I would imagine there aren't too many people happier to see how great Jose Bautista has been this season than I have. Right after he and Alex Anthopoulos signed the big contract I was getting emails from people telling me that our 'boy genius' GM had blown it big time. How could he give a big contract to a one-year wonder so soon after getting rid of Vernon's contract. Rob Neyer, right on the SB Nation front page, said how it was the wrong deal.
So I was spending too much of my time arguing that it really isn't a bad contract, that the Jays, at an average of $13 million a season, weren't paying Jose to hit 54 home runs a season, but if he could hit 25 to 35 a year and take walks like he did last year, it was a good contract. Maybe a bit longer than what I thought he might get but about the money I thought he would.
It wasn't like there weren't reasons to think he might even be a little better this year. Last year he started slow. .213/.314/.427 and, it seemed, like the only person with confidence in Jose was Cito. He had a great May then a poor June, .179/.324/.431 before he went wild in the second half. Also, Jose had a very poor BABIP last year, just .233, a big drop from the .270's area he usually was in. It didn't seem right that a guy, hitting the ball as hard as he was, should have such a low BABIP.
If he could start the season off better and get a few more balls to avoid gloves, it was possible that this year would be even better than last, even if he didn't hit 54 home runs.
Well, he has started off the year better than last year (ya think?) and his BABIP is a very healthy .337. That might fall some as the season goes on, but then again, with how hard he hits the ball, it might not drop that much. He will finish this year with a better batting average than last year's .260 and he'll out do last year's on base percentage of .378 and he might even hit 50+ home runs again, if he gets 50+ pitches to hit. That might be the question.
So I have a lot of confidence in Jose. I'm glad that Cito had confidence in him when there was very little apparent reason for him to have. And I'm glad that Alex had even confidence in him to give him that contract. Can you imagine how much money Jose could have made it he had waited until now to negotiate the contract.
Now if Gillette wanted a really good advertising campaign they should sign up Jose, if their razor can cut through that beard, they really have something. I think they could do a great commercial showing him shave and the filling in again, right behind the razor. The good part is they wouldn't need any special effects.