The Staff Makes Their Bold Predictions for 2019
It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed some Jays From the Couch brand beers, so here we are with our first installments since December: The Staff’s Bold Predictions for the 2019 Toronto Blue Jays!
Roy: Are we ready for another batch of beers? Give me your ONE BOLD PREDICTION for the 2019 Blue Jays, mates.
I’ll start. I think this is the year everyone starts taking Lourdes Gurriel Jr. seriously as an every day player. I’m sick of hearing him referred to as a bench guy. He’s not a great shortstop, and with this team’s depth there, that’s fine. Devon Travis is out with an injury, so I think he’ll slot in real nice there for a while, potentially pushing Travis to Triple-A. I don’t see him sticking at second base, though, but having watched his highlights from Cuba (at a very young age) I can see him playing a plus left field for the Blue Jays in the future. Once he no longer has the positional expectations on him as a shortstop bringing down his defensive WAR, I think he’ll end up as a Top-5 player on the team in WAR by the end of the season, possibly with around 25 HR and a hell of a lot of excitement in his game.
Cath: Ooooh I have to think on that one …
Ryan: Anthony Alford plays in over 80 games with the Blue Jays this season. His spring has shown he is healthy and ready contribute with multiple tools. I think he can very easily beat Dalton Pompey for the 4th slot, and quickly push Kevin Pillar out of center. And then that Teoscar Hernandez/Alford/Randal Grichuk outfield looks really good, especially when Cavan Biggio replaces Teoscar and he moves to DH.
Doyle: Aaron Sanchez returns to form. After dealing with his many finger issues, he is finally healthy and looking rather good. Granted, it is Spring Training, but it is a start. IF he’s healthy, he’s going to look to show he is the same pitcher he was not too long ago. We probably shouldn’t discount the motivation that he could have. With Scott Boras as his agent, you can bet there have been conversations about playing well and becoming a trade target…or an extension candidate. Not that he needed any more motivation than to simply stay on the field, but I’m betting he returns with a vengeance.
Ryan: Is that why you keep trying to trade for him?
Ryan: Gonna need more then. He is a key part of my “pitching squad of death” strategy this year. He can be in the AL what Jimmy Nelson is in the NL.
Jeff Q: Trent Thornton produces 1+ fWAR. I am not sure if that comes as a starter, opener, multi-inning reliever, one-inning reliever or a combination of these roles.
Cavan Biggio plays 40+ games, between second and OF. Brandon Drury produces 2-3 fWAR. Marcus Stroman sets a new career-high in fWAR (3.5 in 2016).
Roy-Z: I love that Jeff drops three bold predictions
Jeff Q: Apologies lol, I realized after #2 that you asked for one, so I figured “might as well keep going.” Also, I’d like to get one right, so….quantity!
Doyle: If that’s the case, I will say that Randal Grichuk, Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez will be All Stars.
Ryan: I’ll say Sanchez reps the team, but Vlad Jr. wont do enough in the short time he has to snag a batters slot.
Doyle: I’ll take the under
Jeff Q: 45 is a good number. Over. Probably just.
Cath: I think Ryan Borucki is going to have a break out season and end with the best numbers in the rotation, leaving all others on the block…
Karen: Teoscar Hernandez will be a good defensive outfielder in 2019 and beyond :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Srikant: Jeff Q and I have the same bold prediction with Drury (2-3 WAR). Never doubt a player Brian Cashman actually gives up value for. I think he ends up doing really well. But I’ll go with something else.
Performance related: Grichuk ends up with a 3+ WAR
Non performance related: Stroman gets traded to Houston for a package involving Francis Martes
Jeff Q: I support the Grichuk prediction
Srikant: Yeah Grichuk is a high-risk player. The BB% is a real killer but power and defensive potential is real. I also agree with @Karen Soutar that Teoscar will be better defensively in 2019. Charlie Montoyo, from his quotes, seems really in tune with analytics and defensive positioning. I think the entire team might be surprisingly good defensively, or at least better than we expect.
Mueller: My bold prediction is based on team performance. After being in the basement with just 5 sacrifice hits in 2018, the Blue Jays will finish with 30. I also think this club will double their stolen bases from 47 to 90-ish.
Ryan: And how many of those can we put Kendrys Morales down for?
Mueller: a solid 2, matching his 2018 total and showing he remains fleet of foot for teams looking to add speed at the trade deadline.
The way I see it, Pillar will be running more which should net him over 20 from the 14 he swiped in 2018. Galvis should return to his normal 15-20 SB range. Hernandez should get more than the 5 he got last year. Runs are going to need to be manufactured wince they might not hit 200 HR this year.
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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.