Blue Jays: Top-five first basemen in franchise history

League Championship - Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Four
League Championship - Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Four / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages
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#1 Carlos Delgado

Blue Jays career: .282/.392/.556, 1423 games, 336 homeruns, 1058 RBI, 36.8 bWAR

Blue Jays resume: 2x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron Award, three top-20 finishes in MVP voting

The trade of John Olderud was a necessary transaction, as it made way for the best first baseman in franchise history, Carlos Delgado. Signed as a 16 year old out of Puerto Rico in 1988, Delgado quickly ran through the ranks of the minor leagues and made his debut in October of 1993. 

Originally a catcher, Delgado was forced to play left field due to the presence of Olerud at first. Once Olerud was moved, Delgado became the mainstay at first. From the time he became a full-time player in 1996, Delgado would average a slash line of .286/.397/.565 through 2004. This consistent offensive production would result in numerous All-Star appearances and Silver Sluggers, and put Delgado on the map as one of the best first basemen in baseball.

Deglado’s best ever performance came in September of 2003, when he blasted four homeruns in a single game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Delgado would average 38 home runs and 121 RBI per 162 games as a Blue Jay, and carried a 142 OPS+ over his Jays career. Delgado was also durable, only playing less than 140 games twice over those nine years as a full time player, two of those seasons he played in all 162.

Delgado’s averages with the Blue Jays are nothing short of unprecedented. He’s one of the greatest hitters to ever grace the roster, and is one of the biggest Hall of Fame snubs of the last twenty years. However, Delgado's exploits have earned him well deserved spot on the Level of Excellence. He is the franchise leader in homeruns, RBI, walks, slugging, OPS, doubles, and extra base hits, and is easily the best first baseman to wear a Blue Jays uniform. 

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