Finally, who can forget the unorthodox season Brandon Belt has produced so far this year for the Jays. Belt started the season in a mighty slump, striking out almost 50% of the time and swinging at the baseball like he was swatting flies and missing badly. But boy oh boy, did he magically turn his season around in a hurry like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, as in May and June, he combined to hit .302, with a .901 OPS, 16 runs scored, 12 doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI, 23 walks and 51 strikeouts. This was more in line with the Belt the Jays expected they were getting when they first signed him this past offseason.
Moreover, his drastic improvement was so exceptional that even Belt himself believed an All-Star spot should have been in the bag for him, but instead, he thought the online voting process was rigged, letting Los Angeles Angels’ two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani beat him “by a hair” to nab a starting spot as the designated hitter on the AL All-Star roster. But jokes aside, he never was going to beat Ohtani, not in this lifetime, but he certainly should have gotten an extended look as a reserve for the DH spot over Oakland Athletics’ Brent Rooker (who? Yes, exactly…you probably need to look him up as much as we had to), who was named to the roster instead in his first All-Star selection. You could tell Belt was quite frustrated by taking it out on the Boston Red Sox on Sunday by smacking two home runs for good measure.
Nevertheless, at least we know Belt will be fresh and ready to go for the Jays post All-Star break, and hopefully can lead the Jays on a nice playoff run.