3 Blue Jays who are proving their Spring Training stats were flukes, 3 who were legit

Which Blue Jays players coming out of Spring Training became a totally different player in the regular season, and which ones showed that they could be consistent throughout?
Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays, Bo Bichette and Whit Merrifield
Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays, Bo Bichette and Whit Merrifield / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Very often, as MLB players warm up to get themselves into shape during Spring Training, they may attempt to try different things in their preseason games to see what may work for them, or they may treat it like it’s already in-season and become focussed and game ready right from the start. As a result, sometimes their preseason performances may or may not be a good reflection of what their potential outcome would be like for the rest of the regular season, depending on what buildup approach the player may use their Spring Training for.

Here, we take a look back at three Toronto Blue Jays players who had impressive Spring Training stats, but have failed to reproduce their success so far during the regular season. In addition, we will also look at three Jays players whose performance during the spring did indeed foreshadow what was to come for the 2023 year.

Three Blue Jays whose Spring Training stats were a fluke

Santiago Espinal

For Santiago Espinal, he was just coming off his All-Star season in 2022 in which he hit .267 with 51 runs scored, 25 doubles, seven home runs, 51 RBI and six stolen bases. However, the bulk of his solid numbers were accumulated during the first half of the 2022 season, thus leading to his All-Star nod at the Midsummer Classic. Espinal actually struggled with run production down the stretch, as in his last 40 games of the season, he only produced 12 runs scored, four doubles, one home run, and 11 RBI, and was relegated more to part-time duties near the end of the season, after being the everyday starter for most of the season.

As a result, Espinal was out to prove himself again this year that the slump near the end of the 2022 season was just a fluke and that the All-Star version of him is what he truly is. He sure made his statement during Spring Training this year by posting a strong .294 average with a .776 OPS, along with five runs scored, two doubles, a triple, one home run, six RBI and three stolen bases in 51 at-bats, and appeared to be back to form. However, once the 2023 season started, it has been a year-long struggle for Espinal. Perhaps it was due to the sharing of second base duties with others, but he has been basically relegated now to bench player status on the team with the odd start here and there. For 2023, he has hit just .223, with a .603 OPS, with only 21 runs scored, seven doubles, one home run, 12 RBI, and two stolen bases in 51 games played.

His impressive spring sure did not translate to regular season success unfortunately, and as a result, his firm hold for a spot on the Jays roster could be in jeopardy as the trade deadline looms large.