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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Santiago Espinal

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

Santiago Espinal had a terrific rookie season, last year. I figured he was playing over his head and would revert to a lower-average player, but with a very good glove.

But then he had a pretty terrific start to this season.

But then, since he’s been alternating between hot and cold stretches. He’s had hitless streaks and hitting streaks. Back in May, he had a 16-game hitting streak (with a .357/.403/.464 line). In early June he had a stretch where he hit .400/.441/.655.

His batting line:

Standard Batting
Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ GDP HBP
27 80 309 283 30 77 20 0 6 37 3 2 22 53 .272 .324 .406 .730 107 9 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/5/2022.

Much like last year, he's been killing lefties (.354/.419/.585) but having troubles vs. right-handers (.248/.294/.353). Against lefties, he could lead off or bat cleanup. Against righties, he should hit at the bottom of the lineup.

The leftie numbers are a small sample, just 65 at-bats, but, considering he was much the same last year (well not to the same degree) I think we can trust that he is better against LHP.

Defensively, he’s looked great, he’s made just 3 errors at second base (of course he’s made 2 errors in just 64 innings at third base, but then third basemen tend to make errors). UZR doesn’t agree that he is terrific at second (-0.9 UZR/150). I’m thinking the number will improve as the season goes on. In Outs Above Average he is third in the AL at second base, at 6.

Santiago is a finalist in All-Star voting (voting starts today). I’d love to see him play in the All-Star game.

Baseball Reference has Espinal at a 2.0 WAR. FanGraphs 1.8 which puts him tied for third on the team.

Poll

For the first half I’d give Santiago Espinal an

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    A
    (164 votes)
  • 44%
    B+
    (269 votes)
  • 21%
    B
    (130 votes)
  • 4%
    B-
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    C+
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    C
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    C-
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    D+
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    D
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    D-
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    F
    (0 votes)
600 votes total Vote Now