The Toronto Blue Jays franchise became a part of Major League Baseball in 1977. Since that time, they have won back-to-back World Series Championships (1992 and 1993) and hold the distinction of being the only current MLB team outside the United States. During their 42 years as a team, the Jays have accumulated countless All-Star caliber players. Now, with the benefit of advanced statistics, fans can rank the best players in history. The following stars are the top five players in Toronto history according to the WAR (wins above replacement) statistic.
(Note: These rankings are based solely on each players WAR during their career with the Toronto Blue Jays. All WAR statistics are from Baseball Reference. The batting statistics can be accessed here and the pitching information can be found here.)
Toronto Blue Jays Top Five Players
5) Carlos Delgado: 1993-2004 (Career Jays WAR: 36.8)
Career Stats (17 years): 7,283 at bats, 1,241 runs, 473 home runs, 1,512 RBI, 14 stolen bases, .280 BA
Blue Jays Stats (12 years): 5,008 at bats, 889 runs, 336 home runs, 1,058 RBI, nine stolen bases, .282 BA
No list of great Blue Jays is complete without Delgado. The two-time All-Star is the team’s all-time leader in slugging percentage, OPS, runs, total bases, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks, and extra base hits. Despite only receiving one official at-bat during his rookie year, Delagdo was awarded a World Series ring in 1993. While his exceptional play never translated to postseason success, in part due to the team’s position in a very tough AL East, he was a central part of the team for over a decade.
4) Jose Bautista: 2008-2017 (Career Jays WAR: 37.0)
Career Stats (15 years): 6,051 at bats, 1,022 runs, 344 home runs, 975 RBI, 70 stolen bases, .247 BA
Blue Jays Stats (10 years): 4,364 at bats, 790 runs, 288 home runs, 766 RBI, 56 stolen bases, .253 BA
No one expected Bautista to develop into a star power hitter when he arrived in Toronto. However, he would make six All-Star teams and set the single-season franchise record for most home runs in 2010 (54). His go-ahead home run in the 2015 ALDS is one of the most iconic images in Blue Jays history. Bautista’s contributions to the team resulted in back-to-back ALCS appearances in 2015-16. His teams finished the season with a winning record in six of his 10 seasons in Toronto.
3) Tony Fernandez: 1983-1990; 1993; 1998-1999; 2001 (Career Jays WAR: 37.5)
Career Stats (17 years): 7,911 at bats, 1,057 runs, 94 home runs, 844 RBI, 246 stolen bases, .288 BA
Blue Jays Stats (12 years): 5,335 at bats, 704 runs, 60 home runs, 613 RBI, 172 stolen bases, .297 BA
Fernandez is the only player on this list with the distinction of serving four different stints with the Blue Jays. The three-time All-Star is currently the franchise’s leader in games played, hits, singles, and triples. The longtime shortstop was a part of the 1993 championship team and was also a key part of two ALCS teams.
2) Roy Halladay: 1998-2009 (Career Jays WAR: 48.5)
Career Stats (16 years): 416 games started, 203 wins, 3.38 ERA, 2,117 strikeouts
Blue Jays Stats (12 years): 313 games started, 148 wins, 3.43 ERA, 1,495 strikeouts
Duration with the team is the only thing keeping the recent MLB Hall of Fame inductee out of the top position. During his Blue Jays career, Doc Halladay was a six-time All-Star and 2-time Cy Young award winner. His 22 wins in 2003 remain a club record. While his career with the Blue Jays never included a playoff berth, Halladay was unquestionably one of the most dominate pitchers of his era.
1) Dave Stieb: 1979-1992 (Career Jays WAR: 57.2)
Career Stats (16 years): 412 games started, 176 wins, 3.44 ERA, 1,669 strikeouts
Blue Jays Stats (15 years): 408 games started, 175 wins, 3.42 ERA, 1,658 strikeouts
Steib played all but a handful of his career games with Toronto. The seven-time All-Star is the team’s all-time leader in wins, ERA, strikeouts, games started, and innings pitched. He was also an integral part of Toronto’s success in the first half of their existence. He was the team’s best starter during two ALCS appearances (1985 and 1989) and contributed to a third ALCS.
- Jimmy Key (29.9)
- Jesse Barfield (29.5)
- Vernon Wells (28.7)
- Edwin Encarnacion (24.3)
- Roger Clemens (20.1)
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