Blue Jays have a power surge in Kansas City after a slow start to the season
By Henry Wright
The Toronto Blue Jays had an uncharacteristically slow start to their season in the power department, taking until the ninth inning of their fourth game to finally hit their first home run. On Thursday in Kansas City, the power started to turn back on. In a 6-3 victory over the Royals, the Blue Jays had their first game of the year with multiple home runs, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Cavan Biggio both going deep, while Daulton Varsho, Matt Chapman, and Kevin Kiermaier all doubled.
Chapman, who's batting just below .500 to start the season, opened the scoring with a two-run double off the left field wall. This 109.5 MPH exit velocity hit was the hardest hit ball of the game, and while he still seems to be struggling with hitting balls to the track and just short of the wall like he was to start last season, he's hitting the ball plenty hard enough, and you'd have to imagine the homers start coming soon. The at-bat prior, Varsho had doubled over the head of the first baseman down the right field line, his third of the year. Kiermaier's double in the second was a bit less emphatic, hitting the ball 82.3 MPH right up the middle, but was extremely aggressive on the bases and was able to leg out a double.
In the top of the fourth, Biggio, who's quietly had a nice start to the year, took Jordan Lyles deep to right field, a shot that would've been gone in all 30 MLB parks. Admittedly, Lyles served him up a changeup in the most hittable part of the zone, but it's still good to see Biggio getting the power going. In the top of the fifth, Vladdy took an equally hittable sinker 436 feet to left field for his second home run in as many days, another ball that would've been out in all 30 parks. Guerrero has a 1.167 OPS through seven games this season, and seeing the power start to come is a great sign that he could potentially return to his 2021 form.
After a rough start to the year for the offense, it's good to see the power come back to the Blue Jays. The improved baserunning and defense have already proven to be helpful to the team, but hitting will always be their bread and butter, and hopefully, the end of the series in Kansas City serves as the benchmark for the rest of 2023.