2023 Blue Jays mid-season report cards with letter grades: Position players

As we prepare for the return of regular season baseball following the All-Star Break, it's a good time to review the Blue Jays' season to date, specifically giving grades for each of their position players.

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Brandon Belt: C+

Brought in to add pop at the DH position, Brandon Belt started this season poorly. However, following a disappointing April, he looked more like the player the Blue Jays hoped he would be when they signed him.

Belt's biggest issue is his strikeout rate which, at 37.3 percent, is easily on course to be the highest of his 13-year Major League career. There is also a concern his bat has gone cold again recently, since his return from hamstring inflammation.

Of course this leads to the question of how productive the 35-year-old will be for the remainder of this season? While no one expects his All-Star form of 2016 or something resembling his career-high 29 home runs in 2021, it's still fair to request more consistency and reliability moving forward.

Danny Jansen: C+

There have been some calls recently for Danny Jansen to take over as the Blue Jays' everyday catcher, but it's arguably better to continue the platoon situation for now. This doesn't mean the 28-year-old hasn't had a decent season so far - just not quite good enough to take over behind the plate on a full-time basis.

Offensively, while Kirk makes contact with the ball more, Jansen has better productivity, i.e. more homers and RBI, as well as a slight edge in WAR (0.8 vs. 0.7). Jansen has proven to be particularly effective with runners in scoring position, which is a valuable commodity when considering the team's struggles as a whole in this scenario.

Defensively, we've already touched on where Kirk has had an edge, but Jansen does provide veteran experience and confidence for the pitchers, including usually calling a good game. Overall, Jansen has been solid enough but, like his fellow pitcher, is capable of more.