It's tough to call this season anything other than disappointing for the Blue Jays. With the money they spent and the talent on the roster, fans have a right to expect more than barely making the playoffs and being swept in the opening round.
However, this doesn't mean it was all bad for the Blue Jays. Here is a look at five bright spots from the 2023 season:
1) Bo Bichette
The biggest collective disappointment on the Blue Jays in 2023, was undoubtedly the offense. This is a lineup which just last season was first in the Majors in hits and batting average, third in OPS and fourth in scoring.
This season by comparison, the Blue Jays were still decent enough, ranking tied-sixth in hits and tied-eighth in batting average. However, they were just 11th in OPS and -- most importantly of all -- only 14th in scoring.
This is not acceptable for a team of such excellent offensive talent, with the underachieving highlighted (or should that be lowlighted) by one Vladimir Guerrero Jr. All we can say is, thank goodness for Bo Bichette.
Bichette was the antithesis of the Blue Jays' overall offensive production this season. He was first on the team with a 4.8 WAR and continued to be as consistent as ever, leading the team in hits yet again.
The two-time All-Star had 176 hits in total and reached an impressive milestone early in the season, with his 500th hit for the Blue Jays. He achieved this feat in 407 games, surpassing the previous franchise record of 432 games.
As impressive as Bichette was in general, there's still an element of what could have been this season. At one point, he was not only on course to lead the AL in hits for a third consecutive year, but also had a shot at finishing top of the Majors overall.
Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, he had to contend with right knee patellar tendinitis and an injured right quad. These issues cost him 27 games in total, as well as his shot at the AL and potentially Major League hitting titles.
Overall, there is no denying Bichette makes the offense tick. In fact, he's so important now, that the Blue Jays should probably prioritize him over Guerrero Jr., when it comes to deciding who to lock up long-term.