Billy McKinney

Since joining the Blue Jays in late July, Billy McKinney has been on a tear at the plate, but his defense and overall baseball skills have impressed just as much.

There’s been a blight in baseball these past few years.  Where power has been encouraged, strikeouts accepted, and fundamental baseball pushed to the wayside.  The Blue Jays have been a ball club very much guilty of promoting this backwards style of play.  Living and dying with the long ball, forgetting what it means to have an all- around approach to the game.

As nice as it is to see so many of Toronto’s top prospects currently with the Blue Jays, probably the most impressive thing about them is their fundamentally sound style of play.  They do the little things right and pride themselves on being complete players.  In other words, they have few bad habits.  Unlike a good number of Toronto’s older players.

Yesterday’s game against Tampa Bay was a perfect example of how Toronto’s younger players have such a good understanding for the game.  Whether it be Lourdes Gurriel going opposite field for a single to avoid the shift.  Rowdy Tellez running out a double with the agility and speed that this franchise has never quite seen before from a 1st baseman.  Or Billy McKinney providing the quality outfield defense the Blue Jays expect to see from their starting left fielder.

In the American League, the Blue Jays rank 14th in AVG and 11th in OBP.  Come next season, that should hopefully begin to change because of players like Danny Jansen, Vladimir Guerrero, and McKinney who pride themselves with their ability to get on base every bit as much as they do having a high batting average.

Knowing that the Blue Jays will have a line-up in the near future that’s chock-full of these kind of players is something to really look forward to.  Especially after years of too many strikeouts, brutal base running, and players thinking home run or bust.

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