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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Grade Randal Grichuk’s first half

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Randal Grichuk has had an interesting season. He started out as the Blue Jays right fielder and then the team traded Kevin Pillar. The team a) extended Randal’s contract for 5 year and $52 million (plus some incentives) and b) announced that Randal would be our new center fielder. That lasted for a bit more than a month and he was moved back to right field.

Through it all, he hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball. He’s hitting .233/.291/.417 with 15 home runs, 25 walks and 101 strikeouts. His strikeout rate is up, last year he struck out 122 times in 124 games. This year he’s at 101 strikeouts in 84 games.

Last year he struck out 26.4% of the time, this year, so far, 28.5% of the time. His walk rate is up a bit too, 7.1% from 5.8%.

FanGraphs has him at a 0.1 WAR, Baseball Reference 0.5 WAR.

Defensively, UZR doesn’t really like him in CF (-2.6/150) or RF (-12.8/150). I’m thinking his right field number will get better as the season goes on, but then I’m wondering if UZR doesn’t rate out outfielders well because of how deep we are playing them. He’s always rated well in right field before this year. I’m curious how the rest of the season goes.

I think Randal is good defensively. He’s fast enough, gets to most of the balls you think he should. He rarely makes errors. Just an ok arm, but you can’t have everything. I don’t know why the team gave up on him in center so quickly. I didn’t think he was terrible out there.

He gets a lot of complaints for the contract but then, the contact wasn’t his fault he got the contract. It isn’t that bad a contract if he plays like he did last year, he’d be well worth the money. But he has a fair bit of work to do to get to the season he had last year.

We don’t really need him to be a All-Star, with this line we’ll be ok if he’s just decent. We are tied with him for the next few years, so I’m hoping he can turn this around.


For the first half I’d grade Randal Grichuk an

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