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Offensive Super Jays of the Day!

The current best hitter in the Major Leagues, Jose Bautista, hit a game-winning go-ahead home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Blue Jays past the Indians 5-4 on July 9 (box). With the game tied going into the top of the 10th, his majestic shot to Progressive Field's left field bleachers took the probability of winning for the Indians from an even 50.0% down to 15.5%, which meant that homer was worth a .345 WPA (Winning Percentage Added, see this Fangraphs article for details). Adding that to his solo job in the 3rd (.125) and his walk in the 1st (.020), and subtracting the WPA of his two outs (.049) nets the Jedi a game WPA of .440 (the numbers don't add up perfectly due to rounding).

On Bluebird Banter, one of the ways to get a Jay of the Day (JoD) award is to accumulate at least .100 WPA. But how about those games where a single offensive player did so much for the team that he accumulates more than .400 WPA? I present to you an unofficial BBB award: Super Jay of the Day (SJoD)! That generally means that the player had a big "clutch" base hit some time late in the game to help the team win. (Of course, WPA has short falls where a high WPA arises from a HBP or error or good baserunning that has little to do with the batter, but play along....)

Let's take a look at where Jose Bautista ranks amongst other Super Jays in franchise history.

15 SJoD: Lloyd Moseby

14 SJoD: Carlos Delgado

13 SJoD: Roberto Alomar

12 SJoD: Joe Carter, George Bell

11 SJoD: Jesse Barfield

10 SJoD: Adam Lind, Ernie Whitt

9 SJoD: Kelly Gruber

8 SJoD: Willie Upshaw

7 SJoD: Vernon Wells, Alex S. Gonzalez

6 SJoDJose Bautista, Otto Velez, Roy Howell, Damaso Garcia

5 SJoD: Ed Sprague, Cliff Johnson, Eric Hinske, Shawn Green, Darrin Fletcher, Jose Cruz, Barry Bonnell

Note: In franchise history, 107 different Blue Jays batters have received at least one Super Jay of the Day award.

Of course, the number of SJoD awards a player has received is a function of both ability as well as time spent with the team. I could make a list of SJoD per total games, but that is a lot of work and I am a lazy blogger. It's really unfortunate that Baseball Reference's play index (which provided this list) does not have a function to automatically do that.

Four of Bautista's six Super Jay of the Day award have come this year (note: in franchise history, only 32 players have ever accumulated >= .400 WPA in a game). The first came on Apr. 22 against the Rays where Bautista was a single short of a cycle, the second on Jun. 24 when Bautista hit the game-winning homer in the top of the 9th against the Cards, and the third on Canada Day when he hit a go-ahead two-run homer against the Phillies that ultimately ended up being a Jays loss.

Adam Lind, the only active Blue Jay with more than 5 SJoD awards, had his only SJoD in 2011 on Jun. 14 when he hit that amazing walk-off homer against the Orioles.

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