The 2018 Blue Jays were being an afterthought for quite a few of us residing south of the border. They weren’t very good more than enough to contend with the two tremendous-groups at the major of their division nor were being they so aggressively terrible that people could not aid but stare. They received 73 games very last year, and this year figures to be about the identical. PECOTA initiatives them to win 75 games while FanGraphs has them at 77.
The coronary heart of the buy will however characteristic Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak. The rotation will be led by Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard will be there to fill out the roster while Ryan Borucki, Sam Gaviglio, Thomas Pannone and Sean Reid-Foley battle for commences.
At to start with glance, it appears to be far more of the identical, but this season won’t be without having its significance. 2019 marks the starting of a new chapter of Blue Jays baseball.
The important transfer of the Blue Jays’ offseason wasn’t an addition the greatest name they signed was Freddy Galvis. The greatest improve to the roster was the release of Troy Tulowitzki. Soon after Josh Donaldson still left in no cost company, Tulowitzki was the remaining reminder of Toronto’s playoff pushes in 2015 and 2016.
All those Blue Jays groups gave two of the far more memorable postseason times of the decade: that buck-wild seventh inning from the Rangers and Edwin Encarnacion homering off Ubaldo Jimenez instead of grounding out from Zach Britton, but in the long run, individuals groups failed to attain the Planet Sequence permit by yourself win it. The seasons considering that have been used striving to salvage what was shed in individuals attempts. The 2019 Blue Jays won’t be competitive, but this year we’ll see how they turn out to be competitive once again in the upcoming.
As soon as his service time is effectively manipulated, we’ll see the debut of the major prospect in the nation: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Although he has not yet taken a important league at bat, the 20-year-previous Guerrero’s PECOTA projections estimate that he’ll be the Blue Jays greatest participant by just about a comprehensive win. That is even considering that Brandon Drury will be finding the commences at 3rd while the Blue Jays make sure a further year of crew management.
Guerrero will be finding the glut of focus this year, but the Blue Jays have a further Prime 100 prospect ready to play his to start with comprehensive year in Danny Jansen. In an era the place Nick Hundley is a approximately normal hitter for a catcher with a sub-.300 OBP, getting offensive price driving the dish is no effortless process.
In his to start with 95 important league plate appearances, Jansen set collectively a .340 wOBA and a 115 wRC+. All through the minors, Jansen has managed to keep away from strikeouts and he displayed previously mentioned normal willpower in his temporary important league stint. Jansen has displayed that he’s ready to take on commencing position and the Blue Jays are ready to give it to him.
Toronto’s other major prospective customers, Nate Pearson and Bo Bichette, won’t surface on the Blue Jays roster until eventually 2020, and the crew doesn’t figure to be competitive until eventually that comes about. Until eventually then, what would constitute a profitable season for them? What is a crew that’s effectively confirmed to finish in fourth location playing for?
The Blue Jays have to have Guerrero to live up to his expectations that considerably is clear. They’ll also be searching for Jansen to refine his activity driving the plate. The promising younger catcher isn’t projected as favorably by PECOTA due to the fact it’s significantly less enamored of his defense. In the majors and at Triple-A, Jansen’s framing operates have ranged from -4.6 to .6. He’s not just a legal responsibility, but it’s an location that could be enhanced.
The Blue Jays will also hope that Lourdes Gurriel will boost his play on the diamond. Gurriel showed some promise at the plate with decent electrical power. His willpower is normal, and his on-foundation abilities are dependent on putting the ball in play. He’s used most of his time at shortstop, and there’s a opportunity he can be a serviceable hitter for the posture, but there’s a question of whether or not he’ll be able to adhere at shorter. In his to start with 300 innings, he amassed -9 DRS, and he did not pass the eyeball test both.
The win-decline column may perhaps not make any difference for Toronto at the finish of the season, but that doesn’t imply the games are meaningless. The new wave of Blue Jays is commencing to arrive, and the hope is that they’re listed here to keep.
Kenny Kelly is a writer for Beyond the Box Score and McCovey Chronicles. You can comply with him on Twitter @KennyKellyWords.