The Jays are back and so am I! The Toronto Blue Jays have taken Major League Baseball by storm. With a magical spring training record of 22-4, they are leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the league and showing a style of play that make them very dangerous.
That being said, they won’t be anyone’s sleeper after such an eventful spring training.
As we lead up to the season, there will be countless projections and arguments made for and against the strengths of the Blue Jays. Do they stand a chance in the AL East? Is this spring training just smoke and mirrors?
Regardless of where you stand, I am sure we can muster up some kind of debate in the comments section.
That being said, today’s piece will focus on my statistical projection for some of the Blue Jays’ most important and wild-card players coming into the season.
Joey Bats comes into this season as one of the most feared hitters in the bigs. Many fail to see that Bautista made some great strides last season and actually improved over his 2010 season.
I expect Bautista to have another monster year with big loft walk total a solid AVG and OBP as well as big-time power numbers. That being said, teams won't give him anything to hit unless whoever bats fourth—Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion or Brett Lawrie—starts to take advantage.
Line: 101 R, .302 AVG, 42 HR, 106 RBI, 11 SB, 109 BB
Romero clearly had a career year last season, posting excellent numbers across the board. I remember it was only a few years back when everyone was labeling him a bust. He is clearly one of the 10 best lefty starters in the game today and will continue to progress in the daunting AL East.
That being said, I don’t think his numbers will improve. Teams will be looking and keying on him like they do for David Price and CC Sabathia, and I think his numbers will regress, only slightly.
Line: 16 W, 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 8.00 K/9
He is the biggest wild card in both fantasy baseball and for the Blue Jays. Depending on who you talk to his projections could be anywhere from .300 and 30/30 to .260 and 14/15.
Obviously I believe he falls somewhere in the middle. With his energy, spirit and zeal, I think he will be a very successful major leaguer for the Blue Jays.
Do I think he will figure it out in his first full season? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be a very solid third basemen and possible All-Star.
Line: 80 R, .286 AVG, 23 HR, 77 RBI, 20 SB, 55 BB
All indications are that his command has improved and that he is in great shape and ready for the season to begin. I believe he will bounce back from a terrible 2011.
No one with this much talent should put up those types of numbers.
After a solid spring his BB rate will decline yet, I still expect an ERA near 4 and a suspect WHIP.
Line: 12 W, 3.98 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 9.4 K/9
This is probably the toughest projection of all. Rasmus is a sexy five-tool player who should be a full-blown stud.
How will he handle a full year north of the border without the same family network he had in St. Louis (whether that is a positive or negative thing is up to you)?
I believe Rasmus will improve and show glimpses of what makes him special, but still irritate the fanbase with his inconsistency.
His overall numbers won’t look like numbers you’d expect from such a highly sought-after prospect (can we still call him that?).
Line: 75 R, .271 AVG, 21 HR, 65 RBI, 9 SB
I don’t think there is anyone that wishes any ill upon McGowan after all he has gone through.
Finally coming back (although he looks like he will be shut down for April) and showing some life, I hope McGowan exhilarates the fanbase and brings back the mutton chops.
On a side note, what do people think of the Jays signing him to an extension so quickly?
Personally I love it as the terms are so low (less than $2 million for next season and the following one with a club option for 2015).
At best you get a fantastic rotation arm and at worst you lose $2 million a season. Why not take the gamble at that price? I would think that they believe his health has returned.
Line (skewed as he will miss a month): 7 W, 4.17 ERA, 1.35 WHIP
I was a big fan of Santos last season. As a converted position player who hits the gun around 95-plus, he will continue to improve.
I still can't believe the Jays got him for so cheap but I believe he is the perfect closer for the Jays, and with help from Francisco Cordero he will only improve.
I am excited to see a closer with his stuff in the ranks.
Line: 38 SV, 1.11 WHIP, 2.22 ERA, 5 BS
This guy just oozes charisma. Every time he speaks everyone gathers around to lis…who am I kidding, this guy is as dull as a doorknob and looks like he plays with just as much enthusiasm.
I fear that he has become the new Vernon Wells for the Jays.
This is a true make-or-break season for Lind. If he succeeds then his position is secure; otherwise he might become a Jack Cust-like player.
I think he will find some success and I could definitely see his success leading to a successful Jays season; I expect improvements as well.
Line: 67 R, .266 AVG, 27 HR, 88 RBI, 50 BB
Let me know what you think of these projections in the comments section below.
I did not include E.E., Henderson Alvarez or other members of the Jays, as I believe that these players are the most crucial to their success.
Excited for a new Jays season!
Get at me on Twitter @the__ste (Double Underscore)