The Blue Jays are certainly in rebuild mode. Their starting rotation, bullpen, and position players are all a work in progress. That being said, their offense appears to be their greatest strength heading into the 2019 season…and should be a heck of a lot better than last year.
To begin, Toronto has replaced Russell Martin, Aledmys Diaz, and Yangervis Solarte with Danny Jansen, Freddy Galvis, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Let’s just assume Guerrero is already part of the team even if he does begin the season in Buffalo. Based on the 2018 that Martin, Diaz, and Solarte had at the plate, it isn’t much of a stretch to expect far more production from the combination of Jansen, Galvis, and especially Guerrero.
With Josh Donaldson out for all but 36 games last year before being traded to Cleveland, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales were forced to provide much of Toronto’s power and hold things down in the heart of the line-up. The addition of Guerrero completely changes the heart of the order. Not many rookies can hit the ground running, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Guerrero was leading the Blue Jays in AVG, OBP, HR, RBI, and BB by the end of the season.
With Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel, and Teoscar Hernandez all having a full season under their belt with the Blue Jays, it means they should be more comfortable (and productive) this time around. Grichuk has solidified his place as the starting right fielder. While Gurriel’s offensive game is even better than the Blue Jays had anticipated. As for Hernandez, hopefully with the work he’s put in this off-season, he should be able to hold his own defensively.
In 2016 and 2017, Toronto developed no position players who became regulars in the big leagues. Now all of a sudden they have a sizeable group of young players either already here (i.e. Jansen, Guerrero) or who will be joining them shortly (i.e. Bo Bichette). It’s been a long time since Toronto was able to benefit from an influx of talented position players from their farm system, and this year the youngsters will prove how much better they can do compared to the old guard of players that the Blue Jays moved away from this winter.