Part of the beauty and fascination with professional sports, is not knowing what to expect from your team or teams. However, what if Blue Jays supporters and baseball fans in general, could have some idea of what to expect next season?
Well, look no further than FanGraphs' batter and pitcher projections for the 2024 season. While not an exact science by any stretch, it still makes for intriguing reading.
Of course, all we're really interested in, are the projections for the Blue Jays specifically. Here is a look at six players who are predicted to either regress or improve next year:
Chris Bassitt - Regression
If you were going to use just one word to sum up Chris Bassitt this past season, 'durable' would be a good description. He proved to be remarkably resilient during the first season of his three-year deal with the Blue Jays.
Bassitt lead the American League with 16 wins, 33 starts and 826 batters faced, which were all single-season career highs. He also led the Blue Jays specifically, with 21 quality starts and 200 total innings, which were also both single-season bests.
In addition, the 34-year-old recorded a 3.60 ERA, 4.28 FIP and 1.175 WHIP. When it was all said and done, he was nominated for the All-MLB Team and finished in 10th place for AL Cy Young voting.
With all this, what can Blue Jays fans expect Bassitt to do for an encore next season? Well, they probably shouldn't get their hopes up.
That's because FanGraphs have the 2021 All-Star projected to regress somewhat in 2024. In fairness this should be expected, given the combination of his age and coming off a season of so many aforementioned career bests.
In this respect, Bassitt is anticipated to see his record drop from 16-8 to 12-11. He's also projected to see his ERA rise from 3.60 to 4.24, and his WHIP from 1.18 to 1.29.
Further, the Toledo, Ohio native will also be marginally less effectiveness with his FIP, strike rate and walk rate. They will go respectively from 4.28 to 4.39, 22.5 percent to 20.9 percent, and 7.1 percent to 7.2 percent.
However, if you're looking for some encouragement, consider that Bassitt's level of consistency and durability was not expected going into the 2023 season. As much as we pay due respect to FanGraphs' projections, the Blue Jays righty is more than capable of proving them wrong.