Top 5 catchers in Blue Jays franchise history by WAR

Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies
Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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#5 Alejandro Kirk 6.9 WAR

Alejandro Kirk made his Blue Jays debut during the bizarre, truncated 2020 season, getting called up for nine games and showing he was ready for the big leagues. The Tijuana native hit .375 (9-for-24) with a homer and three runs driven in. His best game came on September 21st when he went 4-for-4 with a home run and three runs scored. Despite the limited playing time, the fan-favorite produced 0.2 WAR. 

Fans weren’t sure what to expect from Kirk in 2021 with a chance for extended reps both at the plate and behind it. A hip flexor injury caused the 25-year-old to miss a large portion of the middle of the season and he was limited to 60 games played. Overall in 2021, Kirk hit .242 with eight homers, 24 RBI, and a .764 OPS (105 OPS+) and a 0.9 WAR, a performance that felt somewhat disappointing.

A month into the 2022 season, the buzz on Kirk’s ascendancy seemed like it could be fool’s gold. On May 1st, the young backstop had a .232 average (13-for-56) with zero extra-base hits and a single run scored. Over the next two and a half months, Kirk hit .337 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles, and a .969 OPS. That extended hot streak earned the burgeoning star the starting catcher assignment in the All-Star Game.

In the season’s second half, Kirk returned to earth with a .246/.340/661 slash line with three homers, but his season numbers were impressive. A .285 average with 14 home runs, 63 RBI, and a .786 OPS. That helped him win the Silver Slugger Award, and he finished the season with 3.9 WAR, the highest single-season total for a catcher in team history. 

That kind of production pales compared to last year’s, but Kirk had his moments in 2023. The dip in his BAbip from .299 in 2022 to .265 in 2023 helped lower his batting average to .250 with eight home runs, 43 RBI, and a 1.9 WAR. He also saw his caught stealing percentage fall from 26% to 18% with the new, larger bases. His projections for 2024 are more in line with 2022’s gaudy stats.