The Future: Something Blue Jays Fans Can Be Thankful For
This Thanksgiving, while Canadians are around the table and saying what they are thankful for, Toronto Blue Jays fans can be thankful for their future. As the rebuild continues in Toronto, the Blue Jays seem to be ahead of schedule in their rebuilding plans. As young position players continue to form, the pitching staff can look to improve in the 2020 season.
The Junior Jays
Blue Jays fans can be thankful that they got a glimpse of their future with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Bo Bichette all making their Major League debuts. After hearing plenty of excitement around these players, the sons of former all-stars outplayed their dads in their rookie season.
Cavan Biggio is likely the best Blue Jay second baseman since Yunel Escobar. While many second basemen have failed to stay healthy, Biggio now fills that hole in which the team was missing for so long.
Bo Bichette started the 2019 season out with an injury. After the trade deadline, he made his début and set the record for most consecutive extra-base hit games in a row within his first 11 games. Not only that, Bo had 61 hits in 46 games this season, ending the year with a slash line of .311/.358/.571.
Going into the 2019 season, many felt that Guerrero would dominate the Rookie of the Year race. This was the first time in his professional baseball career where Guerrero slumped, but he had a good second half, slashing at .293/.349/.452.
Blue Jays can also be thankful that pitchers such as Ryan Borucki and Matt Shoemaker are due for a comeback season in 2020. As injuries played a significant part of their season, one can hope they will be back and better than ever. With plenty of spots open in the 2020 rotation, prospects such as Nate Pearson, Patrick Murphy, Anthony Kay, and T.J. Zeuch can provide for pitching depth when the teams seemed to lack it.
In the bullpen, Ken Giles had a great start to the season, but injuries limited him in the second half. Blue Jays fans can be thankful for bullpen arms such as Justin Shafer and Jason Adam who were nice surprises this season. The Blue Jays had the third most bullpen innings in 2019. Yet, their bullpen finished above average despite veteran pitchers traded away.
As the team got younger, veteran leadership is essential in guiding young players as they become major leaguers. Thankfully, Randal Grichuk did a good job as a leader on and off the field. As the Blue Jays home run leader in 2019, fans can celebrate that he will be a Blue Jay for at least 4 more years.
Charlie Montoyo provides a breath of fresh air to a changing climate. He is someone who was willing to make adjustments throughout the season. Montoyo proves himself every day as a manager to get the most from his players. As a leader for the young players, fans can be thankful for a positive role model like him behind the bench.
The fans are excited about the work the front office has done. The core of young players provides a new level of excitement for the future. “We shift our focus to continuing to build upon this young core.” Said Blue Jays General Manager Ross Atkins. “We feel that we have the flexibility and an incredible opportunity ahead of us to do that.” The Blue Jays finished the season with wins in 12 of their last 18 games, including games against the playoff-bound New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Although patience is necessary from the fan base, the Blue Jays can return to the top of the American League East soon. October baseball in Toronto is something this country is always thankful for.