3 reasons the Blue Jays still have what it takes to contend, 2 why they do not

With the trade deadline now in the rear-view mirror, we look at three reasons why the Blue Jays are still in contention and a couple of reasons why they will fall by the wayside.
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Angels v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 5
Next

Defence

Defence might not be as 'sexy' as offence and pitching, but it's still a vitally important component. And the Blue Jays are one of the best in this department.

We previously wrote about the Blue Jays' plans for total defensive domination. Recently their play in the field hasn't going unnoticed, with them featuring heavily in a MLB defensive All-Star team.

In this respect, the Blue Jays are worthy of any praise they receive. On a basic level, the defence's successful play is evidenced by allowing the sixth-fewest runs in the Majors.

Delve deeper, and one of the main reasons for the Blue Jays' success is Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). As per The Fielding Bible, they lead the Majors with a +55, with the second-place Brewers at +44.

On an individual level, Daulton Varsho is at least partly making up for his unproductive bat, tied-first among all players with 17 DRS. Kevin Kiermaier -- who's in the running statistically to be the best outfielder of all time -- is seventh with 13 DRS, while Matt Chapman and Alejandro Kirk are tied-eighth with 12 DRS.

It's no surprise to see this success extend to DWAR, with Kiermaier and Varsho both leading all outfielders with a 1.6 DWAR. Chapman is tied-second at third base with a 1.5, while Kirk is tied-fifth at catcher with a 1.0.

In terms of simple ball handling and security, the Blue Jays are tied-eighth best in fielding percentage and tied-ninth in fewest errors. They are also ranked second with a 4.7 UZR/150. (As per Fan Graphs, UZR is described as the best fielding metric publicly available.)

We could continue, but you get the idea about how good the Blue Jays have been defensively. It is a consistent source of positive production and should continue to play a significant role in the quest for October baseball.