Top 5 shortstops in Blue Jays franchise history by WAR

Who are the best to have played the game for the Jays at their shortstop position over the years?

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game One / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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#3 Alex Gonzalez (8.0 fWAR)

To make things clear right off the bat, we are referring to the ancient Alex Gonzalez back in the 1990s and not the one that played half a season with the Jays in 2010.

Gonzalez was a former 13th round pick of the Jays back in the 1991 MLB Draft. He first appeared on the scene in 1994 following the back-to back championship-winning seasons by the club. As a rookie at the time, Gonzalez wasn’t able to maintain his starting gig after struggling in his first 15 games and was subsequently replaced by veteran Dick Schofield the rest of the way. Little did the Jays and Gonzalez know that he would become their mainstay at shortstop for the following seven seasons while becoming one of the underrated hometown heroes along the way.

The perplex thing about Gonzalez was that he wasn’t exceptionally good or bad in whatever he did. Yet he provided enough steady run production and defense across the eight years he spent with the Jays. Overall, Gonzalez batted .245 with a .691 OPS, 77 OPS+, 407 runs scored, 172 doubles, 20 triples, 83 home runs, 350 RBI, 85 stolen bases and 64 sacrifice hits in 890 career games with the team. For a club that had not been known for successfully putting down sacrifice bunts/hits over the past few decades, Gonzalez was one of the rare breeds that was a master at it, including leading the American League with 16 back in the 2000 season. Whether the Jays needed a walk, move a runner over, or drive in a run, he would often get the job done at the right moment.

So unlike the more elite star power in Reyes and Scutaro above, Gonzalez comes in at the number three spot on this list due to his long-term solid contributions over his extensive tenure with the club. With a heartwarming smile always on his face whenever he played, it’s no wonder he was among the fan favourites back in his time.