A look at how far the Toronto Blue Jays lineup has come since Opening Day 2018

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Left field: Curtis Granderson (2018) Daulton Varsho (2023)

The owner of one of the most exciting blends of power and speed in recent memory, Granderson joined the Blue Jays in 2018 near the end of his big league career. He played in 104 contests and hit 11 home runs with a 112 OPS+. While he was a shell of the player he once was by the time he became a Blue Jay, he had one heck of a big league career that spanned nearly two decades.

Varsho, 26, is going to suit up for a non-Diamondbacks team for the first time in his young career. He possesses an impressive mixture of power, speed and well above-average defense that should be more than enough to replace Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in left. Last season in Arizona, Varsho hit 27 home runs and drove in 74. Look for both of those numbers to go up in the newly-renovated Rogers Centre.

Center field: Kevin Pillar (2018) Kevin Kiermaier (2023)

Pillar began his career with the Blue Jays and was known as a human highlight reel. He was an annual lock to hit around 15 home runs but nearly all of his value was split between his ability to steal bases and play incredible defense in center. He is currently signed to a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves for the upcoming campaign.

While Pillar put up an impressive 3.0 Defensive Runs Above Replacement in 2015, that mark was topped by the man who Toronto is going to turn to in center for 2023, Kevin Kiermaier. Kiermaier is another guy who isn't going to blow anyone away at the plate, but his defense is absolutely astounding when he's healthy. Health has been a concern for him over the past few seasons but he is reportedly healthy heading into 2023, so let's cross our fingers and toes that we can get a full season out of him.

Right field: Randal Grichuk (2018) George Springer (2023)

Grichuk spent three seasons as a member of the Blue Jays and was always a threat to hit a home run, hitting 25 in 2018, 31 in 2019 and 12 in the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. He spent way more time in center than he should have with the Jays, since he is primarily a corner outfield option, but he was a well-liked figure during his time north of the border.

Then there's Springer, 33, who has also had his fair share of issues staying on the field. Last season, he played in 133 contests for the Jays, making his fourth All-Star Game and posting a 131 OPS+ on the year. 2023 is an important one for him as he is making the switch to right field full-time and will be a crucial part of this lineup.

Designated hitter: Kendrys Morales (2018) Brandon Belt (2023)

Morales had a profile so similar to then-teammate Justin Smoak's. Morales was a big switch-hitter who didn't have a spot on defense so spent the majority of his big league career as teams' designated hitter. With the Jays, he hit 49 home runs over two seasons and posted a combined .249 batting average and 103 OPS+.

Belt, 34, is leaving the Giants, the only organization he's ever known, to play in Toronto. He still has it at the plate, as evidenced by his 29 home runs in just 97 games in 2021 and is reportedly fully healthy heading into 2023. He can still swing the bat well and is a strong defender at first, so he will be able to competently fill in there whenever Vladdy needs a day off.

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