The Blue Jays' 2024 campaign is being carried by non-superstars early on

Guerrero and Bichette aren’t leading the way, which Jays players have been doing the job?
Los Angeles Dodgers v Toronto Blue Jays
Los Angeles Dodgers v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages

When the Toronto Blue Jays lost a few of their star players from 2023 this past offseason, they looked to some of their remaining superstars to help carry the load heading into 2024. However, the "big three" of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and George Springer have struggled coming out of the gate all at the same time. Any time a power outage occurs simultaneously for three of your main leaders, it should instantly spell disaster for the club, especially when they are having major problems generating runs already.

Thankfully, the Jays have stayed afloat so far, as some key players have stepped up big time to help fill the void. One of them is Daulton Varsho. After a disappointing first season with the Jays, Varsho has played a major role in fueling the offensive attack this year thus far. He currently leads the team in runs scored (16), home runs (6), RBI (14), stolen bases (3) and slugging percentage (.500) among players that have played at least 20 games. Who knows where the Jays would actually be right now without his output, not to mention the amazing elite defense he has also been providing in the outfield as well.

Another key contributor to the Jays’ success in 2024 has been free agent addition Justin Turner. Despite some believing his best years may already be behind him entering his age-39 season, Turner has shown that he still has plenty left in the tank. He ranks first on the team in batting average (.306), OBP (.390) and OPS (.861) among players with a minimum of 20 games played. On top of that, he has added 13 runs, 8 doubles, a pair of home runs and 12 RBI in 27 games to date. For someone that was expected to just help supplement the Jays’ offense, he has relished the role of hitting in the cleanup spot and has actually carried the team on his shoulders to some sustainable success as a result.

Another surprising player that has looked good is Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Despite his numbers that he has put up so far may suggest otherwise (he has just 7 runs scored, one home run, 6 RBI and a .240 batting average), advanced statistical metrics show that he is actually seeing the ball well and making good contact. With his xBA in the 91st percentile, his sweet spot % in the 92nd percentile and whiff rate also in the 92nd percentile, he could break out any time soon.

In a way, he could eventually play a vital role similar to what Kevin Kiermaier did last season, which is doing damage in the bottom part of the Jays’ order and helping to set up the top of the lineup. As an added bonus, Kiner-Falefa has also put his Gold Glove-caliber defense on full display as he has been spotless in the field while seeing playing time in four different positions so far.

With a handful of players who were supposed to be lesser contributors doing their part in carrying the team, it's about time the big guns start stepping up their game, too. Once that happens, the Jays can once again return to being a force to be reckoned with.