Blue Jays all-time best starting lineup based on WAR

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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Designated hitter: Edwin Encarnación, 23.2 fWAR

When Edwin Encarnación came to Toronto in 2009 from the Cincinnati Reds as another reclamation project, nobody could have foreseen the impact that he would end up having on the franchise. Much like José Bautista, Encarnación unlocked something special as a Blue Jay and became one of baseball's most feared power hitters.

Over eight seasons, he played 999 games for the Blue Jays, 425 as the designated hitter, compiling a 23.2 fWAR, seventh all-time among position players.

His first two full seasons in Toronto were nothing to write home about; he hit 38 home runs across 230 games. The 2012 season was a different story. He bashed a career-high 42 home runs — a mark he reached twice as a Blue Jay.

From 2012 to 2016, Encarnación put up monstrous offensive numbers. He slashed .272/.367/.544, hit 193 home runs, with 34 or more long balls each year, and drove in 550 runs. He earned three All-Star invitations and received MVP votes in four of those seasons, finishing as high as 11th.

His 239 home runs as a Blue Jay put him firmly at the top of the leaderboard among DHs and third all-time behind only Bautista and Carlos Delgado. He also ranks first in hits (977), runs (593), RBI (679) and walks (477).

Encarnación and his famous "Ed-wing" home run trot had some big moments for the franchise, including his "hat trick" three-homer game in 2015. But it was his playoff heroics that Blue Jays fans will remember most. He fully ensconced himself in Jays' postseason lore when he crushed an 11th-inning walk-off home run in the 2016 Wild Card game against the AL East rival Baltimore Orioles.

The Jays inexplicably let Encarnación go in free agency after the 2016 season, despite the fan-favorite slugger wanting to return to Toronto. He ended up playing four more seasons, with three seasons of 32 or more home runs, with Cleveland, Seattle, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.