Daulton Varsho listed as Blue Jays’ No. 1 breakout candidate for 2023

Sep 28, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Daulton Varsho (12) crosses
Sep 28, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Daulton Varsho (12) crosses / Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Newly-acquired outfielder/catcher Daulton Varsho has been listed as the Toronto Blue Jays' biggest breakout candidate for the upcoming 2023 season, according to Keegan Matheson of MLB.com.

Varsho was acquired by the Blue Jays from the Arizona Diamondbacks last month in exchange for OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr and the club's No. 1 prospect, C Gabriel Moreno.

After mixed reactions from fans on social media initially, it seems as though fans have come around and now seem to like the trade for the Blue Jays.

Varsho brings a left-handed bat, he plays in the outfield (he can play all three positions the outfield at an above-average rate), he can fill in at catcher as needed, and has elite defense. What's not to like?

It says a lot that despite already having a great season with Arizona last year, MLB.com has picked him as the most likely on the Blue Jays to breakout this season.

Appearing in 151 games last season with the Diamondbacks, Varsho had good numbers.

He slashed .235/.302/.443 with 27 home runs, 74 RBI, and 46 BB. Even more impressive, though, were his defensive statistics.

Much of Varsho's appeal is relating to his defense, and rightfully so. During his 125 games played in the outfield last season, Varsho had a fielding percentage of .989. Keep in mind that anything over .970 is usually considered elite. He also had a RngR (range runs above average) of 0.6. Not to mention, his WAR (wins above replacement) of 4.6 last season would have been tops on the Blue Jays roster. Fangraphs projects him to have a WAR of 3.5 this season.

Evidently, from the statistics above, Varsho had an impressive 2022 campaign on both sides of the ball. If Varsho can indeed breakout for the Blue Jays in 2023 while maintaining his elite defense in the outfield, it would be huge for the club.

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