Offering an alternate to the Blue Jays' leadoff spot if George Springer continues to struggle

The Blue Jays have an ideal leadoff hitter in Davis Schneider if Springer's offensive woes continue
Cleveland Guardians v Toronto Blue Jays
Cleveland Guardians v Toronto Blue Jays / Cole Burston/GettyImages

George Springer is off to yet another slow start to the year. Coming off of a disappointing 2023, he has yet to show signs of the bounce-back he desperately needs. Despite being a career leadoff hitter, the Blue Jays may need to find a replacement should he continue to struggle. Although he's often found near the bottom of the lineup, Davis Schneider may be the new man to shake up a struggling Blue Jays lineup.

Springer's start to the year has been nothing short of disappointing. After two injury-laced seasons to begin his Blue Jays tenure, Springer was finally able to play a full season last year after recovering from elbow surgery. Springer wasn't awful in 2023, but not the $25M center fielder fans hoped he would be. Now in 2024, he has looked even worse. He's batting an abysmal .205/.285/.311 with only six runs batted in, good for an OPS+ of 74. If the Jays are looking to compete this year, he simply can't continue as their leadoff hitter.

Thankfully, there's a solution. While he may not jump off the page as the ideal leadoff man, Davis Schneider's start to the year has certainly made it something to consider. He hasn't had quite the start he had last year but he's been extremely solid. He's currently hitting .254/.346/.451 (131 OPS+) with three home runs and 12 RBI. Schneider has the perfect mix of bat-to-ball skills without sacrificing the power. As a result, this has allowed him to already accumulate +4 Batting RV according to Baseball Savant, while Springer currently sits at the 6th percentile with -7.

Schneider also has excellent underlying metrics to back up his solid start. Unlike Springer, Schneider accumulates a ton of barrels and makes excellent contact. His xWOBA, a stat that heavily factors quality of contact, currently stands at .355. This is not only third on the team, but grades in the 75th percentile. Furthermore, his barrel rate currently stands at 18.4%, placing him in the 98th percentile. A high amount of barrels means harder hits, which isn't surprising considering Schenider ranks in the 78th and 76th percentile in average exit velocity and hard-hit%, respectively. While barrels don't always guarantee a hit (as we've seen on numerous occasions with Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), they would not only apply early pressure to a team's starting pitcher but give more opportunities for the Jays to score early, a problem that's bugged them for a long, long time.

While John Schneider may be hesitant to make the switch considering both players' major league experience, it's something that should ultimately be considered. Springer moving down in the lineup would not only signal a priority for a bounce back but help breathe new life into what has been a disappointing Blue Jays lineup.