Blue Jays: New veterans bringing a fresh identity to the Jays
Brandon Belt brings his World Series credentials to Toronto
After 12 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt is bringing serious veteran leadership to the Blue Jays, backed by 1,310 games played and two World Series rings.
After arriving at camp, Belt immediately showed his experience and character through how he handled himself. According to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun, the 34-year-old took the time to work the room, getting to know his new teammates and getting comfortable in his new environment. Belt wants his influence on the club to develop naturally, per Longley.
"There’s a lot of chances to have good talks around the batting cage," Belt told Longley. "My plan is to not push any of it. But if it comes up organically, I can share my experiences that I've had over my 12-year career."
That sounds like a man who knows exactly why the Blue Jays brought him into the fold.
Coming off knee surgery that cut short his 2022 season, Belt looks to regain his form at the plate and provide left-handed power. His 29 home runs in 97 games in 2021 show potential for him to be an impact player in the DH spot or off the bench late in games.
After getting a late start due to the surgery, Belt has only 14 plate appearances so far, but has looked strong, slashing .364/.500/.545 with a pair of doubles.
While it remains to be seen how much Belt can contribute between the lines, there's no doubt the longtime Giant will be a valuable asset to the younger Blue Jays as they experience the highs and lows that come with the pressure of being a team most mark as a dangerous contender this season.
As Belt told Longley, "I've been through a lot. I've had a lot of ups and downs and a lot of experiences I can share with them and hopefully help them out."
Next: Chris Bassitt is already influencing the pitching staff.