Much like Jose Bautista before he became a star player, the Blue Jays will be providing Randal Grichuk with an opportunity to play, and play often, in an attempt to bring out the very best in his game.
The Blue Jays see something special in Grichuk. A hidden potential, and their banking that with the right approach, they’ll be able to uncover these talents. In recent years the Blue Jays have developed a bit of a reputation for having a knack when it comes to unlocking a players skills. Beginning with Bautista in 2010, it then led to Edwin Encarnacion in 2012, and Justin Smoak this past season.
If you think the Blue Jays dealt a quality arm like Dominic Leone for the version of Grichuk he’s been since entering the league in 2014, think again. Toronto traded one of their better relievers for the Grichuk they hope can become an elite power hitting outfielder who at the same time provides plus defense. Making such a trade is a risky move on the Blue Jays part, almost like playing the stock market and banking that Grichuk’s value as a player will only go up.
The Blue Jays hope that Grichuk can become the next Jose Bautista, or at least something along those lines. If the transformations of Bautista, Encarnacion, and Smoak have proven anything, its that there are numerous big league players out there with plenty of untapped potential. Sometimes all a player needs is a change of scenery for everything to come together. Whatever St.Louis’ approach was to help improve Grichuk, it wasn’t quite working. Now a new group of coaches and hitting instructors who work for the Blue Jays will be able to provide a new and fresh perspective that hopefully clicks with the kind of player/person that Grichuk is.
Back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, the Blue Jays invested so much into Chris Carpenter. For whatever reason, he never lived up to the expectations while in Toronto. It wasn’t until Carpenter went to St.Louis that he was able to put it all together and go on to win a Cy Young (2005) and become a 3-time all-star. The Blue Jays dropped the ball when it came to Carpenter’s development as a pitcher, but where Toronto has really excelled of late has to do with developing elite power hitters. A trend they hope to continue with Grichuk.