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Best and Worst Seasons for Jays Shortstops by WAR

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Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Tony Fernandez

We’ve got another slow news day, so lets look at another one of these.

Here is our top 10 Jays season by fWAR:

  • Tony Fernandez also holds the 11 spot on the list. Yeah, he was terrific, smooth in the field and a great swing from both sides of the plate. And he could steal bases. There aren’t many guys I would rather have on a team. I really wasn’t happy when we traded him off to the Padres, but it all worked out. He had a couple of nice seasons playing second and third base, for us, at the end of his career. He’s one of those guys who, I figured, would have made a good coach, if wanted to.
  • Marco Scutaro also holds the the number 12 spot on the list. He got on base well, and played good defense. He was a favorite of mine. I loved how much fun he had playing the game. Things like kissing his bat after a rare home run, taking second base on a walk and just generally having a good time.
  • Tony Batista was picked up early in the 1999 season, played short and did a great job. In 2000 he hit 41 home runs, playing third base. In 2001, he started slow and we put him on waivers, to be picked up by the Orioles.

He had the world’s strangest batting stance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLszFqTMOmM

Well, maybe not the world’s strangest, but it is high on the list. I tried to copy it, but there was too much to do while the ball was coming in.

  • Yunel spent 3 seasons we us. The middle one was pretty decent. Baseball Reference has it as a 4.7 WAR. It is hard to remember that he was a pretty good player, when the eye black thing clouds everything.
  • Reyes had 2 good seasons with us (he has the #18 spot too), and then got run out of town by the media in his third season, so we traded him for the next aging, overpaid shortstop. Troy has the 14th and 37th spot on the list.

And the bottom 10:

  • Griffin was the type of shortstop you don’t see so much anymore, because we have better defensive metrics. Griffin.....well he couldn’t hit, so we took it for granted that he was a good glove (he wasn’t a bad glove, but not one that could carry his crappy bat). He had 18 steals, in 1980, with 23 time caught. That’s how a fast runner gets a -5.5 runs for his base running. Today his manager would forbid him from stealing. As a Jay he stole 79 bases and was caught 74 times. He also has the 16th spot.
  • Hector Torrez and Luis Gomez were our shortstops in our first couple of seasons. I couldn’t tell you a thing about either one.
  • I feel bad about having John McDonald on the list. Ditto Ryan Goins.
  • Alex Gonzalez played with us for 8 seasons. He also has the 17, 19, 20, 29 and 30th spots on the list. He’s not to be confused with Alex A. Gonzalez who played with us in 2010 and has the 22th spot on the list.

In between the top and bottom, there are a lot of names I remember fondly: Chris Woodward (15th, 31st), Manny Lee (13th, 36th), Mike Bordick (21st), Munenori (26th), Russ Adams (27th), Mike McCoy (35th), David Eckstein (41st), Dick Schofield (42nd). And some I barely remember: Felipe Lopez (32nd) Chris Gomez (33rd), Royce Clayton (34th).