The 2019 season has now officially concluded. The Toronto Blue Jays finished the year with a 67-95 record good for fourth in the AL East.
The season had it’s ups and it certainly had it’s downs but the success of the young guns is definitely a cause for excitement.
Like I did in the player grades at the All-Star break I will only be including players who had a significant impact on the Blue Jays season, so while I would love to give Anthony Alford a A+ for hitting his first home run as a walk off in the 15th inning he didn’t play enough to give him a fair grade.
Jansen didn’t have the offensive year everyone thought he would but he has come a long way behind the plate. He has played solid defence and has developed into a good game caller. Hopefully next year the offensive side of his game will improve. C
Smoaky. We have most likely seen Justin Smoak in a Blue Jays uniform for the last time. This year wasn’t his best year at the plate but he was once again a leader in the locker room. C+
Apart from Stroman who departed to New York at the deadline Biggio was the team leader in WAR at 2.8. Biggio has demonstrated elite plate discipline leading to a .364 OBP. Seems to all of the little things really well. Anyone who still thinks Biggio isn’t the future at second base for the Blue Jays is wrong. A+
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
While he didn’t have the MVP season some people were projecting his rookie season was not a failure. His slash line of .272/.339/.772 would be praised for other rookies but his expectations were higher than the sun. His defence was better than expected and hopefully his bat takes another step in his sophomore season. B+
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Gurriel has had a up and down season to say the least. He was sent down at the beginning even missing his bobblehead day. But then he returned and set the league on fire at his new position of left field. But then he finished the year on the 60-day-IL. He will start next season as the everyday left fielder, hopefully it comes with consistency, play wise and health wise. B
Hernandez’ season was interesting. I am not convinced he has a role on this team in the future. His bat is very inconsistent and he still struggles in the field. I feel like next year will be his make or break season. C
Grichuk had a very Grichuk esque season. He hit over 30 home runs but had a sub .300 OBP. I would like to see his OBP rise to make his contract worthwhile. B-
Tellez is going to see first base everyday next season with the likely departure of Smoak. He did hit over 20 home runs but like Grichuk his OBP was below .300, next season will be crucial for Tellez. C
Drury became the Blue Jays super utility man after the call up of Biggio and Bo Bichette so I give him credit for all of the shuffling. But his OBP of .262 is really sub par. D+
The other half of the return for J.A. Happ really struggled at the plate this season. The Happ deal is starting to look like a wash. McKinney seems nothing more than a fourth outfielder. D
Bichette lit the league on fire after being called up after the trade deadline. Even having his name mentioned alongside Joe DiMaggio. His slash line of .311/.358/.930 is outstanding. He has looked like a future star and will be a staple of the Blue Jays lineup for years to come. A+
The most bizarre trade still looks confusing. While Aaron Sanchez is out for the rest of the year due to shoulder surgery Fisher hasn’t even shown that he deserves a roster spot. During his time in Toronto he hit for an average of .161, he has shown no flashes of becoming anything for this team. F
Didn’t do much of anything at the plate but he made some highlight reel plays in centre. At 27, he is just a bench baserunner/fourth outfielder. D+
Who would have guessed that Thornton would have led the Blue Jays in innings pitched by the end of the season. Well, he did. He finished with 154.1 IP and showed off his wicked spin rate on his curveball. Might be the only pitcher from this season (besides Anthony Kay) who has a guaranteed spot in the rotation next season. B+
A pretty decent surprise, Waguespack impressed this season. While his future with the team is uncertain he will most likely be a part of the team next season. Depending on the offseason plans of the front office his rotation spot is not locked up. B
Font found success as an opener this year. It is yet to be seen if Charlie Montoyo plans to continue that into next season but even if he doesn’t I would like to see him get a role in the bullpen. B-
Most likely is only on the Blue Jays because of an unfortunately timed injury near the deadline Giles has been elite. Still under 30 (29), the Blue Jays can either deal him in the offseason or keep him to close for the up and coming core. A
Rest of the Bullpen
Sam Gaviglio, Justin Shafer, and Derek Law have shown flashes of success out of the bullpen but the bullpen situation for next season is really up in the air. C+
Rest of the Starters
The starting rotation this season was a mess. It is the number one thing that needs to be addressed in the offseason. Richard and Buchholz were both failures. Kay and Sean Reid-Foley both showed promise but need to see more time next season to gauge their future role with the team. D
Well this season was interesting. But the success of the young core is cause for excitement. Disagree with any of my grades? Let me know in the comments below.
I mean hey, we didn’t lose 100 games.