Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 MLB Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays are an intriguing team to me. This team would be a legitimate contender in just about any other division in baseball. They have arguably the best player in baseball in Jose Bautista, and another budding star in third baseman Brett Lawrie. However, this team plays in the daunting AL East, with three other teams that could win it all.

I like the Jays' lineup, aside from the two aforementioned sluggers. Yunel Escobar is an underrated player, and is one of the better shortstops in the AL. Colby Rasmus struggled after being traded, but is still just 25, has power, and plays a premium position. J.P Arencibia slugged 23 bombs, despite hitting just .219. The Jays were 6th in MLB in runs scored, and should be just as strong in 2012. Here is my projected lineup.

SS: Yunel Escobar
CF: Colby Rasmus
RF: Jose Bautista
1B: Adam Lind
3B: Brett Lawrie
DH: Edwin Encarnacion
C: J.P. Arencibia
2B: Kelly Johnson
LF: Eric Thames/Travis Snider

On the outside: David Cooper, a former first-rounder, could get a shot at some point in 2012. He led the Pacific Coast League in batting average, and showed great discipline with 67 BB and just 43 K's. He may not have the bat to stick at first, but he could get a shot.

The rotation will be led by young lefty Ricky Romero. Romero is a stud, as he gave the Jays 15 wins, and 225 innings, with an ERA under 3.00. His walks are a little high, but he is one of the best pitchers in a tough division. Beyond Romero, the Jays have an enigma in Brandon Morrow. The guy throws as hard as anyone, and has some of the most dominant stuff in all of baseball. However, Morrow posted the highest ERA in the history of MLB for a guy who averages more than 10 K's per nine innings, at 4.72. (Athlon Sports, 2012). The Jays should round out their rotation with Brett Cecil, Henderson Alvarez, and Kyle Drabek, the key to the Roy Halladay trade. The team could really use a veteran innings eater in this rotation.

SP: Ricky Romero
SP: Brandon Morrow
SP: Brett Cecil
SP: Kyle Drabek
SP: Henderson Alvarez

The Jays rotation lacks depth, but they have a tremendous bullpen, led by former White Sox closer Sergio Santos. The team also added Francisco Cordero, and reacquired Jason Frasor. Casey Janssen and Darren Oliver, along with Charlie Villanueva should round out the pen.

I really love this team's core. Bautista is signed through 2015, with an option for 2016. Brett Lawrie and Ricky Romero should be all-stars for the next few years, and Alex Anthopoulos has made some shrewd moves as the GM. This team should continue to get better, they will fall short of contention in 2012 though.

Projected Finish: 84-78, 4th in the AL East.

No comments:

Post a Comment