Daulton Varsho is heating up at the plate and we're here for it

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

In 2022, Daulton Varsho did it all. He displayed major power from the left-side of the batter's box, made highlight reel catches in the outfield, and showed his versatility by playing in multiple key positions. He was the handyman that could do it all, and the Jays took notice. Giving up what most believe was a heavy price in top prospect Gabriel Moreno, and fan favorite Lourdes Gurriel Jr. in order to obtain his services.

Fast forward to the start of this season where he hit .357 with a .978 OPS in his first seven games. He showed his potential to get on base more by drawing three walks, and his ability to drive in runs with four. He also launched his first home run as a Blue Jay, an opposite field shot against the Royals, which was his first one out to left field since 2021. It could not have gone much better for him in his first week as a Jay. But following his two-hit performance on April 6th, everything changed. Over the next 20 games, he went on to post a .122 AVG, .244 OBP, and .176 SLG for an OPS of .420. During this time, he positioned himself in the 4 or 5 spot in the lineup, but only produced a pair or runs driven in during this spell. 

One of the main reasons for this slump was opposing pitchers started to locate fastballs up and in on him, and he could not catch up, prompting many chases and weak popups. Because of this, he needed to change at the plate. Early on this season we have seen him tinker with a toe tap in his approach, and it is something he has done before, but it has been clear in the early going that it is causing his swing to be late. The night he eliminated the toe tap and reverted back to a small leg kick was May 2nd against the Red Sox. Coincidentally that night he went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. The next night, another home run and two-hit game. Since May 2nd (eight games), he has hit three home runs and driven in nine with an impressive slash line, a .387 AVG, a .394 OBP, and a .774 SLG for an OPS of 1.168. From these eight games, he has raised his season batting average from .186 all the way up to .233 and his OPS from .625 to .710. Clearly, eliminating the toe tap and instead opting for a small leg kick has been key to this hot streak and may be the solution for him going forward.

It is also important to note this is only his second full season as a major leaguer, and only six months ago he was traded from one of the most southwestern teams in baseball all the way to one of the most northeastern, meaning some bumps in the road should be expected, especially in the early going. Nonetheless, getting him back to form is going to be a major victory for the Jays. Because if he becomes a major run producer in the 5 spot, then he gives Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman more pitches to hit since pitchers will not be able to throw around them.