WATCH as Daulton Varsho does everything the Blue Jays need from him in just one game
By Eric Treuden
When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Daulton Varsho from the Arizona Diamondbacks back in December of 2022, the deal was immediately labeled as a drastic overpay by the Jays. After all, Gabriel Moreno was ranked as the top catching prospect in the game.
Varsho, 26, has gotten off to a bit of a slow start for the Blue Jays during the regular season. This comes on the heels of an also uninspiring Spring Training performance in which he hit just .196 with one home run in 21 games and 51 at-bats.
The speedy outfielder turned himself into one of the best defensive players on the grass last year after starting his career as a catcher. He's a constant threat to beat you both at the plate and on the field, utilizing smallball to outsmart opponents as well in the form of bunt singles and stolen bases.
Defense. Smallball. Homers. This is what the Blue Jays wanted from Daulton Varsho.
On Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals, Varsho did absolutely everything the Blue Jays wanted from him when they traded for him, all in one game. The left-handed outfielder found a way to carry the Jays to victory both at the plate and in the field.
Starting things off in the second inning, Varsho made an absolute laser of a throw from left field to home plate to catch Matt Duffy, who had been tagging up on a flyout off the bat of former Blue Jays outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. This type of play has become a consistent part of Varsho's repertoire recently.
In the top of the sixth inning, with the Blue Jays holding a 2-1 lead over the Royals, Varsho came through with another key part of his game: a home run. Last year, he hit 27 big flies for the Diamondbacks. With the new renovations to Rogers Centre, it's possible he tops 30 this year if all goes well. So far, so good.
Finally, in the top of the eighth inning, Varsho showed off yet another tool he has in his arsenal: his wheels. He laid down a picture-perfect bunt off of Royals lefty Amir Garrett and was able to speed down the first base line to secure a bunt single. He moved up a runner from second base in the process, making this decision a win-win.
Varsho is unique in that he has multiple different ways he can beat you in a baseball game. To borrow a popular line from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., last year's performance by Varsho in Arizona was just the trailer. This year with the Blue Jays is when we get to see the movie.