Welcome to the final month before opening day! I hope you have been enjoying spring training as much as I have. Baseball is close! I am overjoyed! At the beginning of March, the official Ball Boy Blog previews of all 30 teams began. The previews feature all the Free Agent signings, trades, NRI, bold predictions, and some cool fun facts at the end! We are starting at the top of the 2020 ranks and working our way down from best to worst! Enjoy!
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AL Team: Toronto(Buffalo) Blue Jays(Jays)
Last Year Record: 32-28 3rd place in the AL East and earned an AL Wildcard.
Record x2.7: 86.4-75.6
Vegas Projected: Vegas has the Jay's to win 86.5 games. I have said it plenty of times. I will keep saying it, and I will stick to it, the Jay's are a better team than the Yankees. I have the Jays projected to win 90 games, finish in 2nd in the AL East behind the Rays(94) and front of the Yankees(88).
RHP Shun Yamaguchi(FA), RHP Taijuan Walker(FA), RHP Matt Showmaker(FA), RHP Chase Anderson(FA), SS Jonathan Villar(FA), RHP Ken Giles(FA), RHP Anthony Bass(FA), 3B Travis Shaw(non-tendered), RHP AJ Cole(non-tendered)
RHP Dany Jimenez(Rule 5)
Josh Winckowiski, Sean Reid-Foley, Tennsy Diaz.
Free Agent Signings:
OF George Springer- Springer has thrived in his career thus far as he is a 3x All-Star. Springer has 3567PA with a .270/.361/.491 slash with 174HR.
SS/3B Marcus Semien- 1yr $18mil deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Semien is only one year removed from a 3rd place finish in the MVP vote in 2019.
RHRP David Phelps to a 1yr $1.75mil deal with $750K via incentives. Phelps looked great in his first 13IP with the Brewers before a trade to the Phillies had him give up 11R in 7.2IP. He did, however, post a career-high 36.5%K rate and career-low 5.9%BB rate.
RP Kirby Yates- If the bounce back goes to plan, he could produce numbers similar to 2018-19 when he pitched 123.2IP with a 1.67ERA with 53SV and an NL leading 41 saves in 2019.
SP Tyler Chatwood- The 31yo owns a lifetime 4.40 ERA/4.83 FIP with a 16.8% K rate against an 11.8% BB rate in 846 2/3 innings.
SP Robbie Ray- 1yr deal bringing him back to help that rotation be even more potent in 2021.
LHP Steven Matz- Matz, 29, the 6yr run with the Mets ends with a 4.35ERA or 579.2IP.
LHRP Travis Bergen- He pitched in 19.2IP with the Giants in 2020 and 6.2IP with the D-backs in 2020. He owns 4.82ERA
RHP Joel Payamps
RHP Anthony Castro- The 25yo Castro made his MLB debut in 2020 with the Tigers and only had 1IP. He pitched in AA in 2019, where he has shown severe command issues in 77BB over 112.1IP. Castro holds two minor league options.
RHP Walker Lockett- The 26yo pitched 8.1IP with 4ER for the Mariners in 2020. In his 54IP in the MLB, he owns a 7.67ERA/5.91FIP with a 6.5K/9.
LHP Tommy Milone-The 34yo Milone owns a career 4.56ERA/4.28SIERA over 913.2IP in his career.
INF Joe Panik- The 2nd straight season with the Jays on a minor league deal. Panik did crack the roster in 2020 and played in 41 games. He slashed .225/.340/.300 in 141PA.
LHP Francisco Liriano- Liriano opted out of the 2020 season, but in 2019 he posted a 3.47ERA with a 50.3% groundball rate in 70IP.
OF Forrest Wall- Over 2329 MiLB PA, he owns a .274/.353/.412 slash line will take over the Jays' 4th/5th OF role with a strong spring training.
RHP AJ Cole- In 2020, he posted a 3.09ERA in 23.1IP. He allowed a weighted .239 OBP, which ranked in the 95th percentile. I do not doubt with a decent showing in spring; Cole will be back in Jay's pen.
1B Tyler White, LHP Nick Allgeyer, RHP Bryan Baker, RHP Jackson Rees, LHP Kirby Snead, RHP Yosvery Zulueta, C Phillip Clarke, INF Richard Urena, INF Logan Warmoth, OF Ryan Noda, LHP Tim Mayza
OF Teoscar Hernandez, SP Ross Stripling
C Riley Adams, C Gabriel Moreno, RHP Ty Tice, OF Josh Palacios, INF Otto Lopez
Returning from IL:
RHP Trent Thorton, RHP Tennsy Diaz,
Prospect Watch in Camp-
INF Austin Martin, INF Jordan Groshans, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Alek Manoah, INF Orelvis Martinez, INF Miguel Hiraldo, RHP Adam Kloffenstein, RHP CJ Van Eyk, INF Leanardo Jimenez, RHP Anthony Castro, INF Kevin Smith, LHP Joey Murray, OF Chavez Young. Each of these players is an organization's top-30 prospect.
I am also watching OF Josh Palacious, a standout at camp, and could be pushing for a roster spot.
Fantasy Impact Players
Pitchers- Hyun Jin Ryu, Robbie Ray, Kirby Yates, Tyler Chatwood,
Position- 1B Vlad jr., 2B Marcus Semien, 3B Cavan Biggio, SS Bo Bichette, OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF George Springer
Upcoming 2022 Free Agents:
-There we a lot of 1year deals given out, and the Blue Jays gave us their fair share. The Jays will have decisions to make next year on who can help them continue to compete. Marcus Semien, Tanner Roark, Robbie Ray, Kirby Yates, Steven Matz, Devid Phelps, and Rafael Dolis.
-If they make the roster Joe Panik and Francisco Liriano.
Storylines to follow
-Are the additions of Springer, Semien, Yates, Phelps enough to get this team enough wins to own the AL East this season?
-The INF should look like this 3B- Biggio, SS- Bichette, 2B-Semien 1B- Vlad Jr. However, Vlady could still be a factor at 3B; we should see a good amount of various schemes between 1B, 2B, and SS.
The Blue Jays will be running the AL East by 2023 and own it until 2030! The ascension up the AL Ranks into the elite class continues.
There is simply nothing better for many baseball fans than eating a hot dog while enjoying a big game. The Rogers Centre sells enough hot dogs each year to cover if they were somehow all lined up, the distance of 3,241 stolen bases. (Based on 2019 numbers)
Thanks for reading today, I am so grateful for your time reading, and I hope you enjoyed reviewing the Blue Jays with me today. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.