Bo Bichette is having another excellent season, which could see him become the AL hits leader for a third consecutive year. Yes, he only has a three-hit lead at the time of writing (150), but there has to be a certain degree of confidence in a player who knows what it takes to win the award.
Making this even more impressive, is that Bichette is the current AL hits leader despite recently missing 16 games with right knee tendinitis. Which brings us to one of those 'what if' scenarios so popular in the world of professional sports.
In theory, the two-time All-Star has a shot at reaching 200 hits for the first time in his five-year Major League career. At his current rate, his 1.35 hits per game projects to 196 on the season. (He also missed a 17th game through a rest day back in July versus the Dodgers.)
While Bichette can still achieve the magic 200 mark, it will be a shame if he just misses out due to his injury. (Which we appreciate is just an unavoidable part of Major League Baseball.) Further, his hits per game over the course of a 162-game season total 219, which would have been a new Blue Jays record.
This leads to the question of who has achieved the 200-hit season in club history? Here's a countdown of the five Blue Jays players to reach the impressive mark:
NB - All Statistics up to and including August 24.
5) John Olerud - 200
John Olerud enjoyed an excellent career which spanned 17 years in the Majors. He has a resume which includes two All-Star selections, three Gold Glove Awards and -- most importantly -- two World Series championships.
Success was just expected for a player who at one point was the number three prospect in all of baseball. Interestingly though, the individual peak in Olerud's playing career came relatively early on, at the age of 24.
It took place during the 1993 season, when the Seattle native played a significant role in the Blue Jays winning their second consecutive World Series. They were also the first team to repeat since the 1977-78 Yankees.
Olerud got off to a barely believable start, which saw him finish the first month of the 1993 season with an insane .450 batting average. With 36 hits, he had set himself up nicely for what would become a special year.
Ted Williams had been the last AL/NL player to hit .400, way back in 1941 (.406). And yet there was genuine belief for more than half the season that Olerud could do just this.
In the end, the left-handed bat fell below .400 on August 3 and never reached it again. Regardless, he was still blazing a trail through opposing teams with his almost magical hitting.
With the 1993 regular season coming towards its conclusion, 200 hits was still within sight. Olerud managed to finally reach the mark with two hits versus the Orioles, in the second-to-last game.
It helped put a bow on what was a remarkable regular season for the first baseman. He was named to his first All-Star game, had the second-best ever WAR for a Blue Jays position player at 7.8 and finished with a whole host of single-season career highs.
More than this though, Olerud dominated the League, as he came third in AL voting behind Frank Thomas and a teammate we'll get to shortly. He finished first in the AL in batting average, OPS and OPS+, while leading the Majors as a whole in doubles and OBP.