Toronto made another big addition to their lineup on Wednesday morning. Read to find out why this team’s ceiling couldn’t be higher right now.
The Blue Jays Offense is About to be a Cheat Code
After a 91 win season and a near playoff berth in 2021, the Toronto Blue Jays have been anything but quiet heading into 2022.
Despite losing reigning AL Cy Young Robbie Ray to the Seattle Mariners in free agency, they’ve made big improvements to the starting rotation by signing trade deadline pickup Jose Berrios to a seven year extension. Additionally, they’ve also signed former Giant Kevin Gausman and Seattle Mariner Yusei Kikuchi to five and three year deals, respectively.
However, it’s the offense that is the true jewel of this formidable Toronto squad. The Blue Jays’ bats are going to be a tour de force this season, and they’re putting the AL East as well as the entirety of MLB on notice before their 2022 campaign has even begun.
What to Look Forward to
This is a Blue Jays lineup that ranked 1st in home runs, slugging, OPS and total bases as well as 2nd in team batting average, hits and RBI. They were top five to ten in almost every standard offensive statistic as a team.
Every player from that 2021 lineup, save for Marcus Semien, will be returning in 2021, and they just added another big bat to the mix. On Wednesday morning the Blue Jays made a huge trade with the Oakland Athletics as they acquired All-Star and 3x Gold Glove winner, third baseman Matt Chapman.
Chapman, who’ll be turning 29 at the end of April, is coming off a disappointing year offensively as he hit .210 with a .314 OBP and .403 SLG through 151 games. However, he still managed to hit 27 homers and drive in 72 runs in 2021.
Chapman’s defensive skills are without question, and he’s shown what he’s capable of with the bat as he earned an All-Star nod and finished 6th in AL MVP voting in 2019. His presence in an already scary Blue Jays’ lineup solidifies this team as the best offense in baseball.
Everyone knows that the centerpiece of Toronto’s offense is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who tore the cover off the ball in 2021, hitting .311 with 48 home runs and 111 RBI. Guerrero Jr., who just turned 23 on Wednesday is the future of the Blue Jays’ franchise and he certainly has a number of great names around him in the lineup.
The Starting Nine
The Jays will have an abundance of talent at every position in 2022. Their starting outfield is comprised of Lourdes Gurriel Jr, George Springer and Randal Grichuk who all had solid 2021 campaigns, each hitting more than 20 homers with Gurriel and Springer both hitting over .260.
Teoscar Hernandez who’s listed on the depth chart as Toronto’s starting designated hitter is also an outfielder who had an incredibly impressive 2021 season, hitting .296 with 32 homers, 116 RBI and an .870 OPS.
On the infield it’ll be Guerrero Jr. and Chapman playing the corners with Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette playing up the middle. Biggio and Bichette are both the sons of former All-Stars and right now they’re building their own impressive resumes.
Biggio played in just 79 games in 2021 and hit .224 with 7 homers and 27 RBI but his ceiling is sky high. He’ll be turning 27 in April and it’s not a bad bet to say that this will be a breakout year for him.
Bichette on the other hand already had his breakout year in 2021 as he batted .298 with 29 homers and 102 RBI and finished as the American League hits leader with 191. Before that, between 2019 and 2020, Bichette hit .307 with 16 homers, 44 RBI and an .896 OPS through 75 games.
If this team plays even close to expectations, it’s going to be a tough year for the rest of the American League. Look for the Blue Jays to dominate the AL East in 2022 and put up record offensive numbers.
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