With the season's true mid point having passed this week and its unofficial end to the first half looming with next week's All-Star break, the timing couldn't be better to project how the Blue Jays will perform from here on out. With several unexpected offensive performances, both good and bad, this process will be closer to guessing than projecting.
FanGraphs ' ZiPS rest of season projection for each player will be shown, along with some analysis and a revised projection (better known as guesswork) based on hunches, the plausibility of certain trends continuing for another eighty games and deep inner thoughts (guessing). This type of writing lends itself to agreements and disagreements— be sure to kindly share some of your own below. Keep in mind ISO will be used in place of slugging percentage for the triple-slash lines.
Aaron Hill Rest of Season ZiPS: .219(BA)/.292(OBP)/.169(ISO) 21 HR
Always best to start with the worst and work on up. Sadly, Hill's 2010 has been unfathomably bad after last season's breakout year. Through 297 plate appearances he's hitting just .189 thanks to a .183 BABIP , both a direct result of his incredibly low 8.5 percent line drive rate on balls in play. The only thing saving him from complete offensive ineptitude is a career high 9.4 percent walk rate and decent .166 isolated power.
The walk rate has fallen each month from April to June, taking his OBP with it. In each of the season's three months, he's failed to hit over .200 or have a BABIP over .200. There is almost no sign of a rebound, save this for his track record coming into the year.
Rest of Season RPGW(Revised Projection Guess Work): .225/.298/.165 22 HR
Adam Lind RoS ZiPS: .230/.291/.169 22 HR
If this was going in alphabetical order you'd see Adam second on this list, too. But he's second here because he's been equally as bad as Hill but has no injury excuse to partially blame. When ZiPS projects the DH who recently signed a long term deal to put up the above numbers, there is cause for concern. It's also warranted siince Lind has had his worst ISO of his career to this point at just .146. The .205 batting average and ten homers doesn't help inspire much confidence either.
Like Hill, it wasn't reasonable to expect Lind to duplicate his outstanding 2009, but the drop off has been stunning. June saw Lind hit rock bottom with a .208 wOBA. However, he did have a nice 22 percent line drive rate for the month. He also had one month, April, of above average production. One more than Hill.
RoS RPGW: .240/.320/.162 23 HR
Lyle Overbay RoS ZiPS: .245/.327/.155 15 HR
Almost through the disappointing performances. Overbay's rough season has been easier to handle for Jays fans because he's most likely gone after this season—or any day now, and there is a top prospect waiting in the wings to take his job.
He's also bounced back from his poor start, hitting for a higher average and raising his wOBA each month of the season through June. He hit .282 with a 12.2 percent walk rate last month. He's continued to hit righties well posting a .337 wOBA against them this season. He might not be here for long, but the bounce back should help his trade value.
RoS RPGW: .260/.360/.150 13 HR
Fred Lewis RoS ZiPS: .273/.336/.152 34 DB 12 SB
The first pleasant surprise on the list is Fred Lewis, he was a late addition to the roster and has been productive with Travis Snider on the DL. Cast off by the San Francisco Giants, Lewis has bounced back from a disappointing 2009.
He's done a little bit of everything at the plate for the Jays collecting 21 doubles, seven steals in ten attempts, walking 7.4 percent of the time and hitting .277. Expect more of the same, and a few more walks from Lewis in the second half.
RoS RPGW: .271/.350/.157 38 DB 14 SB
Alex Gonzalez RoS ZiPS: .250/.293/.200 22 HR
Gonzalez started off the season with a thunderous, homer fueled, .404 wOBA quickly helping to ease the loss of Marco Scutaro. He then promptly came back to earth with a .305 wOBA in May and then another solid offensive month with June's .326.
With his slick defense, any offensive barrage is a bonus for the Jays. ZiPS projection is more or less in line with his current OBP and batting average but isn't buying his current .225 isolated power. Not going to buy it below either as Gonzo hasn't had an ISO over .200 in a full season, ever. But he should still be able to pop more than just the seven homers ZiPS is projecting the rest of the season.
RoS RPGW: .257/.298/.195 24 HR
John Buck RoS ZiPS: .260/.305/.229 22 HR
Another pleasant surprise from an off-season acquisition who was primarily brought in as a veteran place holder for J.P. Arencibia. Buck's done just that and even picked up an All-Star invite too. He's hitting for a career high .274 which he's also ruining with a career low 3.8 percent walk rate. Buck has always had power posting a full season ISO over .200 twice including 2009's .237.
Look for him to drift back towards his career .239 batting average and 6.8 percent walk rate and keeping the power on as long as he's in Toronto.
RoS RPGW: .248/.300/.224 25 HR
Vernon Wells RoS ZiPS: .270/.324/.239 30 HR 41 DB
The resurgence of Wells at the plate isn't too hard to believe if you overlook last year's injury riddled campaign. Wells already has 19 homers and 24 doubles while hitting .274 with a .328 OBP. His .373 wOBA would be the third best of his career if it held up 'til seasons end.
His wOBA has fallen each month from April's .469 to June's .338. If he stays healthy Wells numbers should fall somewhere in between those two and he should have his first 30 homer season since 2006.
RoS RPGW: .272/.330/.245 33 HR 40 DB
Jose Bautista RoS ZiPS: .234/.351/.254 31 HR 29 DB
Plenty has been written about Bautista's surprise season already. That'll happen when you hit 21 homers in the first half of the season after never totaling more than 16 in a full season. Bautista certainly has made the most of his full-time playing status.
His prodigious power and superb 14.6 percent walk rate have more than offset his .236 batting average. The power is a surprise but the walk rate isn't all that much higher than 2009's 13.9 or his career mark of 11.3. ZiPS projected Bautista for a .200 ISO before the season but he's at .296 right now. It's unlikely Bautista can hit 40 homers but he should come awfully close.
RoS RPGW: .238/.356/.262 35 HR 29 DB
The soon to be infamous RPGW system will return both later this week for a look at the Jays pitching staff and the end of the season.
(The ZiPS projections are from FanGraphs.com, great site that makes articles like this possible)