Predicting the 2020 Toronto Blue Jays Outfield
With the 2020 season fast approaching, it may be worth discussing the Toronto Blue Jays and their outfield core. While the Blue Jays have made significant off-season moves to improve the franchise, their outfield needs addressing. While it’s unlikely that they sign another outfielder, there could be internal changes to improve their outfield.
As the Blue Jays infield consists of young superstars with fathers who dazzled in the major leagues the outfield, on the other hand, is mediocre at best. Here is the likely formation of the Blue Jays Outfield.
Opening Day Starter
The Blue Jays acquired Randal Grichuk from the St. Louis Cardinals in January 2018 for reliever Dominic Leone. In two seasons with the Blue Jays, Grichuk has hit .238/.289/.476 with 56 Home Runs and 141 RBIs. Following the 2018 season, the Blue Jays decided to sign Randal to a 5-year $52 million extension. Grichuk remains a staple in the Blue Jays outfield and will likely play every day as long as he remains healthy. As he heads into his 28-year-old season next year, Blue Jays fans can expect good things from the Randoll.
Randoll Giveaway Tea Party pic.twitter.com/aJ9TbmOI0B
— Victoria 🥕 (@biaginger) September 19, 2019
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. came into the majors in 2018 originally as a middle infielder. With the Blue Jays expecting the arrival of Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette, they knew they had to move Gurriel to keep his bat in the lineup. Therefore, Gurriel began to play left field for the Blue Jays. In doing so, this leaves Gurriel capable of being a utility player. In 84 games with the Blue Jays Gurriel hit .277/.327/.541 with 20 Home Runs and 50 RBIs. Heading into the 2020 season, fans can expect Gurriel to regularly start in left field while making the odd start in the infield.
Similar to Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Teoscar Hernandez is an outfielder better known for what he can do from the plate. In 125 games, Hernandez hit .230/.306/.472 with 26 Home Runs and 65 RBIs. As Hernandez developed as an outfielder, the Blue Jays have put them as their starting center fielder following the Kevin Pillar trade. His spot as an everyday starter is not guaranteed in 2020. Hernandez will need to have a big Spring Training to be a starter.
The Blue Jays acquired Derek Fisher in a trade that saw Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini leave Toronto. Although a lot of fans were not happy when this trade happened in July, Fisher still has a chance to become a starting outfielder in Toronto. In 57 games between the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros; Fisher hit .185/.257/.370 with 7 Home Runs and 17 RBIs. Fisher can play all three outfield positions, leaving the possibility of being the team’s fourth outfielder.
On the Bubble
Billy McKinney played 84 games with the Blue Jays last season. In that time he hit .215/.274/.422 with 12 Home Runs and 28 RBIs. Heading into his 25-year-old season, McKinney needs to step up in order to claim a spot in the Blue Jays lineup. He can play all three outfield positions as well as first base. So the Blue Jays could keep him as a utility player if he stays with the club.
Anthony Alford has been seen as a highly-touted prospect. After being selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 MLB draft, Alford has yet to live up to the height many projected him to. After being called up to the Blue Jays in September the last three seasons, Alford has only 33 career Major League games. Alford has not done enough with the Blue Jays to earn his spot in Toronto permanently.
There have been off-season rumors that Cavan Biggio or Bo Bichette have been considered to play a few games in the outfield. As both have stellar bats, the defensive transition is nothing new to the Toronto Blue Jays. In 2019 they transitioned infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the outfield. It’s possible that the Blue Jays could move either player to the outfield in 2020.
Starting in Buffalo
Heading into his 28-year-old season, Jonathan Davis has only 57 Major League games played. While Davis is mentioned in the Blue Jays depth chart, it’s likely that he will start another season with the Buffalo Bisons. Unless there is an injury in the outfield, it’s likely that Davis may not even play in Toronto this season.
Although there have been a lot of criticisms surrounding the Blue Jays outfield core, there hasn’t been much change in the off-season. The core consists of a few players who have yet to break out as Major League players. The Blue Jays are hoping for someone to step up in 2020.