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2011 MLB Preview: Looking at Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays on Paper

Posted By Adrian Fedkiw On Mar 30 2011 @ 10:58 pm In Toronto Blue Jays | No Comments

For the fourth time in five years, the Blue Jays played over .500 baseball.  They finished 85-77 in 2010 after a promising start.

They also flat-out pounded the ball.  Led by Jose Bautista’s MLB leading 54 home runs, Toronto led the majors in dingers with 257.

The Jays traded Vernon Wells and his hefty contract to the Angels.  They then turned around and gave Bautista a five year, $65 million deal.


 C J.P. Arencibia: 7

1B Adam Lind: 7.25 

2B Aaron Hill: 7.25

SS Yunel Escobar: 7.25 

3B Jose Bautista: 8


J.P. Arencibia (24) 35 AB .143 BA 3 R 2 HR 4 RBI 0 SB 

  • Arencibia put up huge numbers in the minors, and won the Triple-A Pacific Coast League MVP last season.  He then made a splash in the bigs by hitting two home runs in his debut.  He struggled from then on.


Adam Lind (27) 569 AB .237 BA 57 R 23 HR 72 RBI 0 SB

  • Lind started off extraordinary slow before coming on a bit in the second half.  He certainly didn’t put up the monster numbers like he did in 2009.  He generates a lot of power, but he doesn’t show great plate discipline.  He’s slow in the field.


Aaron Hill (28) 528 AB .205 BA 70 R 26 HR 68 RBI 2 SB

  • Hill destroys fastballs in the upper part of the strike-zone.  You can get him out off the plate as he tends to chase bad pitches.  He’s adequate in the field.


Yunel Escobar (28) 497 AB .256 BA 60 R 4 HR 35 RBI 6 SB

  • Escobar finally escaped Atlanta and came into his own during the second half last season in Toronto.  He’s aggressive at the plate and likes to mash fastballs up in the zone.  He’s athletic in the field.


Jose Bautista (30) 569 AB .260 BA 109 R 54 HR 124 RBI 9 SB

  • Bautista has become this decade’s version of Brady Anderson.  He made adjustments last year and shortened his swing.  He likes the ball on the inner-half.  He’s a versatile defender.



LF Travis Snider: 7 

CF Rajai Davis: 7.25

RF Juan Rivera: 7

DH Edwin Encarnacion: 7

Travis Snider (23) 298 AB .255 BA 36 R 14 HR 32 RBI 6 SB

  • Snider is strong and has a balanced swing.  He likes the ball down in the strike-zone.  He’s a capable defender.


Rajai Davis (30) 525 AB .284 BA 66 R 5 HR 52 RBI 50 SB

  • Davis is a burner.  He’s a singles hitter with limited power.  He’s adequate in the field, but he uses his speed to close in on balls.


Juan Rivera (32) 416 AB .252 BA 53 R 15 HR 52 RBI 2 SB

  • Rivera was acquired in the Vernon Wells deal.  He has some pop, and the Rogers Center has always been friendly to righties.  He’s not good in the field.


Edwin Encarnacion (28) 332 AB .244 BA 47 R 21 HR 51 RBI 1 SB

  • Encarnacion is a pull-hitter with a long swing.  He’s solid in the field.  He has quick hands and good range.



Ricky Romero: 7.75

Brandon Morrow: 7.5

Brett Cecil; 7

Kyle Drabek: 7

Jesse Litsch: 7


Ricky Romero (26) 210 IP 14-9 3.73 ERA 1.29 WHIP 174 K

  • Romero has a solid set of secondary pitches, with the best being his big tightly spun curveball.  He also has a sinking changeup and a slider.  He keeps his fastball down in the zone.   


Brandon Morrow (26) 146 IP 10-7 4.49 ERA 1.38 WHIP 178 K

  • Morrow is a strike-out pitcher and can be dominant, as evidenced by his 17 strikeout, one-hit gem last year against Tampa Bay.  He throws a hard fastball which gets in the high 90’s.  He has a power slider, but doesn’t really have another secondary pitch.


Brett Cecil (24) 173 IP 15-7 4.22 ERA 1.33 WHIP 117 K

  • Cecil has a long delivery and has a low 90’s sinking fastball.  He keeps hitters off-balance with a loopy curveball, circle change and a hard slider.


Kyle Drabek (23) 17 IP 0-3 4.76 ERA 1.35 WHIP 12 K

  •  Drabek gets solid velocity on his fastball, and looked decent in his September debut.  He’ll probably never be the ace of the staff, but he should be near the top of the rotation.  He throws a slider, curveball and changeup.


Jesse Litsch (26) 46 IP 1-5 5.79 ERA 1.46 WHIP 16 K

  • Litsch struggled in limited appearances coming back from Tommy John surgery.  He doesn’t throw hard, and likes to throw junk.  He doesn’t strike out a lot of people.



RP Jason Frasor: 7

RP Shawn Camp: 7

RP Casey Janssen: 7

SU Octavio Dotel: 7

CP Jon Rauch: 7 

Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Casey Janssen

  • Frasor and Camp are solid.  Frasor is a strikeout reliever, while Camp is a guy that can throw multiple innings. 


Octavio Dotel (37) 64 IP 3-4 22 SV 4.08 ERA 1.31 WHIP 75 K

  •  Dotel doesn’t have the velocity that he used to have, but his fastball still gets good sinking movement.  He also has a sweeping slider that breaks across the plate.


 Jon Rauch (32)  58 IP 3-1 21 SV 3.12 ERA 1.30 WHIP 46 K

  • At 6’11″, Rauch is the tallest player in baseball.  Although he’s tall, he doesn’t throw hard—in or around the low 90′s.  He throws a bevy of secondary pitches, but none stand out.  His slider is the best of the bunch. 


Sizing up the Blue Jays

Projected Lineup

1. Rajai Davis: 7.25

2. Yunel Escobar: 7.25

3. Jose Bautista: 8

4. Adam Lind: 7.25

5. Aaron Hill: 7.25

6. Travis Snider: 7

7. Juan Rivera: 7

8. Edwin Encarnacion: 7

9. J.P. Arencibia: 7

Projected Starting Rotation 

Ricky Romero: 7.75

Brandon Morrow: 7.5

Brett Cecil; 7

Kyle Drabek: 7

Jesse Litsch: 7



RP Jason Frasor: 7

RP Shawn Camp: 7

RP Casey Janssen: 7

SU Octavio Dotel: 7

CP Jon Rauch: 7 



Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Molina, John McDonald, Mike McCoy: 7


John Farrell: 7

INF: 36.75

OF: 21.25

SP: 36.25

RP: 7

CP: 14

MISC: 14

Hitting: 58

Pitching: 57.25

TOTAL: 129.25

Year after year I underrated the Blue Jays and it’s always backfired.  And yet again, I’m probably underrating them.

The AL East is the toughest division in baseball, and with an improved Orioles squad, I think the Blue Jays may finish in the AL East basement.  But I’ll probably be wrong again.

Prediction: 69-93, 5th AL East

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