3 Blue Jays we were wrong about near the start of the 2023 season
By Edward Eng
Brandon Belt had probably one of the worst starts, not only in his career, but in MLB this season. He had only six hits through the first 11 games of the season, managing only two runs scored and one RBI, to go along with close to a 50% strikeout rate. We began to wonder if Belt could potentially lose his spot in the lineup, and perhaps even the possibility of the Jays letting him go altogether.
But luckily Jays' management bred a lot more patience, and recently we have seen quite the turnaround for Belt. He is beginning to look more and more like the solid veteran left-handed power bat that the club signed him for in recent weeks. In particular, in his past seven games, he is hitting a torrid .455 with a 1.329 OPS, including one home run, four RBI, six runs scored, to go along with four walks and nine strikeouts. Also, his strikeout to walk ratio has dropped considerably from his 4:1 season average down to about 2:1 during his hot stretch. On the season, Belt now has an average EV of 91.7, which is the highest in his career, and is hitting the sweet spot at 52.4%, showing he is indeed seeing the ball well, according to Baseball Savant.
More importantly, he looks way more confident and competitive in his at-bats in recent weeks, compared to the overmatched, feeble looking ones at the start of the season.
That was then:
This is now:
Hopefully, this is the Belt that will stay for the rest of the season as he would definitely be a difference maker down the stretch if so, lengthening the entire Jays lineup along with the rejuvenated Whit Merrifield.