I thought I’d ask how you think the Blue Jays outfield will shake out next year. We seem to have an overabundance of outfielders. Maybe no superstars, but many who are major league ready. Some who might develop into stars. Some who might go the other way.
- Randal Grichuk: His defense has been terrific. I like his play in CF, I don’t think is he much worse than Pillar in center. With the bat, he was awful in April, ending the month at .106/.208/.227. Then they put him on the DL. Since coming back from the DL he’s been a different guy, hitting .255/.302/.510 with 15 home runs. Like many of our guys, I’d like if he would get on base a little more. He’s 27 and he’s under team control through the 2020 season.
- Kevin Pillar: Is the surest thing we have in the outfield. We know what he’s going to hit (I’ll bet you he’s going to be with 50 points of .700 OPS next year). We know he’s going to have hot streaks, and we’ve be told he’s figured it out, he’s made adjustments and now he’s got it, and he’ll have cold stretches where you wonder if he can see the ball coming out of the pitcher’s hand. If it were up to me, I’d be looking to trade him this winter, but he’s popular, he’s the longest serving Jay and he’s a known quantity. I’m a bit worried that he’ll be more injury prone as he ages. He has no fear, runs into walls and throws himself to the ground, and doesn’t seem to care about the score, I’d like if he saved his hero moments for when the game is on the line. And, if he tries to steal 3rd with 2 outs again, I’d personally help Gibby to strangle him.
- Teoscar Hernandez: Offensively, he started the season looking like the next coming of Jose Bautista. He ended April hitting .306/.377/.677. Then it all changed, since May 1st he’s hitting .226/.283/.438. I guess the easy thing to say is the pitches adjusted to him and he hasn’t made changes. The question is, can he made the adjustments, so far he hasn’t shown us he can. And, of course, his defense has been awful. Tim Leper says he can get better. I’m not so sure. He’s been an outfielder since entering the Astros’ minor league system back in 2011, if he hasn’t figured it out by now, how are we to expect he will in the future? But then, he’s just 23. Who knows. People talk about him becoming a DH, but he hasn’t shown he can hit well enough to DH. He’s under team control through 2023.
- Dalton Pompey: He’s having his second injury filled season in a row. And he’s out of options. He’s on the DL again, and I don’t know why. When he’s been playing, he’s been pretty good, hitting .285/.368/.449 with 11 steals. He does seem to be the sort of player we are apparently wanting, athletic and all. But, I’m not sure the front office likes him.
- Anthony Alford: He’s having a bad year, tumbling down the prospect lists as we speak. He’s hitting .234/.305/.344 in Buffalo. He moved up the minor league ladder quickly, so I’m not thinking that, sooner or later, he was going to have a down year. I’m kind of interested in seeing how he bounces back next year, but I can’t see him starting the season with the Jays.
- Billy McKinney: He might have a leg up on other players, since the current front office picked him up in trade. He wasn’t hitting well in the minors this year, .222/.307/.470 but he’s been terrific in his small sample in Toronto. He turned 23 today so he’s very young. I hope he gets a lot of at bats the rest of the way.
- Dwight Smith. Jr.: Dwight’s looked good in limited playing time in Toronto. He’s been ok in Buffalo, .267/.360/.410. I think he’s a good 4th outfielder type, but he doesn’t have a particular skill that makes you excited about him.
- Harold Ramirez: Harold is having a great season in New Hampshire, hitting .310/.358/.459, but then it is his third season at Double A, so you would expect him have it figured out. He turns 24 in September. I think he tops out as a fourth outfielder, but he might be a good fourth outfielder. I can’t see him starting the year in Toronto, but he could be in line for a call up.
Tell us who you would pick as the four outfielders to make the Blue Jays roster next season?