Anthony Castrovince, at Sports on Earth, lists his top ten MLB lineups for 2015 and the Blue Jays place number 2! The only lineup he rates as better than our Jays is the Red Sox. This is what he had to say about the Jays
:2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I'd strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.
Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.
There are big questions to be answered in Toronto, but you'd be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.
I'm kind of skeptical of lists like this, but I'm happy to think that we might be very good on offense. I'm hopeful that Saunders and Pompey have good seasons and I'm even thinking that Smoak might not be so bad in Rogers Centre. Second base does appear to be a black hole, but we can afford one poor spot in the lineup.
I wouldn't put them quite that high on the list, all will be good if everyone stays healthy, but when has that ever happened? I'm hoping that the new turf is easier on the players than the old turf was, but I'm guessing we'll still have our fair share of aches and pains. If Reyes can stay off the DL and hit like he can, and if Gibby can find a good number 2 hitter, we should be already, offensively.
Over at Baseball Prospectus, they have their Top 101 MLB Prospects list up and there are 4 Blue Jays on the list:
#25: Aaron Sanchez
#34: Daniel Norris
#42 Dalton Pompey
#73 Jeff Hoffman.
About Hoffman they said:
The Year Ahead: Hoffman would easily challenge for consideration at the front of this system if healthy, but it's also reasonable to expect that had injury not struck, the 21-year-old right-hander would never have gotten to Toronto in the first place. The potential of the arsenal and what the overall future role can look like are loud. The arm was already showing strong advancement in the college ranks, suggesting that the ascent in the professional side could be on the quicker side. Of course, we have to consider the near-term hurdle of the injury rehab, combined with the fact that the arsenal must first return to form before taking any more steps forward, which was especially necessary in regards to the overall command. The likely view takes into consideration the risk and probability that the full picture of the stuff in the pro arena won't start to show until 2016. This season will focus on passing the early markers coming out of surgery, returning fully to the mound, and beginning to ramp the arm strength back up. Recent trends tell us there's a strong chance Hoffman can make a full return to form, with the organization's potential reward for taking on the risk and investment being a future front-of-the-rotation power arm for multiple seasons to come.
Is it bad to be thankful that he needed Tommy John?
MLB Trade Rumors looked at possible landing sites for Rickie Weeks and they list the Jays as one:
Blue Jays: Toronto's budgetary constraints are well known, but so is their dearth of usable options at second base. Maicer Izturis may see the bulk of time at the keystone in 2015, but he's a 34-year-old coming off significant knee surgery and being asked to play half his games on artificial turf. Ryan Goins provides an all-glove alternative, but certainly Weeks could give the Jays an option with considerably greater upside at the plate.
I don't see it happening. Week's defense at second base hasn't been good. Fangraphs had him at a -23.5 UZR/150 last year. And it is trending down, he was -18.0 in 2012 and -16.9 in 2013. I think I'd rather go with Travis.
And, if you wanted to see Vladimir Guerrero's kid, Bed Badler posted a Vine. And on his dad's 40th birthday.
Ladies and gentlemen: 15-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr https://t.co/Z2kAZS9XCd— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) February 9, 2015