George Springer and Brandon Belt have been the Blue Jays most underrated hitters in May

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

This probably isn't the first time you've heard this, but May has been a rough month for the Blue Jays. Despite this, the offense has still somewhat been there, with their team OPS of .764 ranking fourth in the American League and ninth in MLB. Bo Bichette and Kevin Kiermaier, who have been the team's two best bats as of late, have been receiving plenty of praise, but two other guys who have really gotten going at the plate are George Springer and Brandon Belt. Springer and Belt both struggled immensely in the first month of the season, with .599 and .534 OPS' respectively. Since the start of May though, it's been a completely different story.

While it's obviously never good to see your highest-paid player have as rough of a start as Springer did, there were plenty of reasons to believe he would turn things around. His underlying offensive numbers, despite being below his standards, were above-average relative to the rest of the league, and it appeared that his slow start was just a case of bad luck.

As of right now, it seems as though that may have been the case since his numbers have jumped right back up in May. Through 24 games this month, Springer has posted .301/.381/.495 slash line with a 139 OPS+, and his underlying numbers have continued to get better, as he sits well above the league average in most offensive categories per baseball savant. His defensive metrics have remained uncharacteristically low, with his outs above average sitting in the 15th percentile, but he has still yet to register an error and has passed the eye test in the field for the most part, so this shouldn't be too much of a concern. 

Unlike Springer, some were unsure if Belt would rebound from his brutal start in a Jays uniform. Having spent the first 12 years of his career in San Francisco, it seemed like the switch to the East Coast may not have been best for the 35-year-old first baseman, since not only were his raw number weak, but his underlying stats were some of the worse in baseball.

Luckily, he seems to have turned things around, with a .328/.456/.469 slash line and 156 OPS+ in 22 games this month. The power still hasn't really come, with only two homers on the year, but he's starting to look more like the hitter the Jays were expecting when they signed him this offseason. This doesn't mean he's out of the woods just yet though. His underlying numbers are still very concerning, with an xBA and strikeout rate in the first percentile and his xwOBA, xSLUG, and whiff rate all similarly terrible, so it's possible he's just getting very lucky this month. His elite walk and chase rates should certainly keep him afloat to a degree, but he'll need to start getting better quality of contact if he wants to stay hot for the rest of the season.

It might be a bit hard to be optimistic about the Blue Jays right now, but there are still over 100 games left on the schedule, and if they're going to get back to where they should be, veteran hitters like George Springer and Brandon Belt are going to be integral. They're the only two players on the roster with rings to their name, and if they continue to hit like this, expect the rest of the team to bounce back with them.