When the Toronto Blue Jays first acquired Daulton Varsho from the Arizona Diamondbacks this past winter, we were some of the ones most excited about what he'd bring to the table for the Jays. Potential leadoff hitter? Sure. 40 home run candidate? You bet. .270 batting average? Yep, we said that could happen too.
So maybe we got a bit too excited.
Things have not exactly gone according to plan for the speedy outfielder. While he has brought all of the defensive prowess and speed on the bases one could've asked for, his bat just has not gotten going. In March/April, Varsho hit .194, following that up with .229 in May and an impressive .256 in June. However, he then hit .171 in July with 24 strikeouts in 24 games before entering the day hitting .269 in the month of August.
Daulton Varsho is getting hot at just the right time for the Blue Jays
So far, August has clearly been his best month offensively. He's been so much more productive and seems to be turning things around at the perfect time for the Blue Jays. As the club is locked in a race for a playoff berth (most likely coming in the form of a Wild Card spot), it's going to need to be all hands on deck.
In the month of August alone, the 27-year-old has raised his season batting average from .213 all the way up to .222 and it appears to still be climbing. His SLG and OPS are both up over 30 points and he is suddenly one of the more productive hitters in the lineup.
While there isn't one specific stat that you can tie down to determine where Varsho's newfound success is coming from, he has certainly looked more relaxed at the plate and some of the numbers reflect that. He's been much more patient and has been drawing more walks and hitting for some additional power in the process. All told, the four-year veteran has 15 home runs, 45 RBI, 14 stolen bases, a .667 OPS and 84 OPS+ through 123 games this season. Fortunately, his value doesn't stop at what he brings to the table on offense.
Defensively, Varsho has done everything right to enter the "best defender in baseball" conversation in a big way. Baseball Savant has him in the 91st percentile in Outs Above Average and 81st in Outfield Jump. Not to mention that the Fielding Bible has him at 20 runs saved this year, which is the top in all of baseball.
For Varsho, it's been all about patience. He has been frustratingly inconsistent at times, but he brings some incredible defense, high baseball IQ on the basepaths and a bat that's very much still coming around. If he can keep up his hitting ways, look for him to be a very, very important player to this Blue Jays team down the stretch.