Jays From the Couch hands out some hardware with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Players of the Month for August 2019
The Blue Jays finished up the month of August with a record of 12-15. Not great, but hey, lately the Jays have been worth spending your evening or weekend afternoon on. The Bo Bichette era is here, and many would point to him as the most exciting player on the roster right now. But is he? Well, let’s take a look at how the month of August shaped up and see who gets my vote for player of the month. I’ll be handing out two Player of the Month awards — one to a position player and the other to a pitcher.
The first name that stands out to me in this chart is Jacob Waguespack. It’s hilarious that he was able to draw a walk in that masterful seven-inning performance that he put together against the Dodgers. We’ll set the minimum number of plate appearances needed at 50 in a month to qualify. Sorry Reese McGuire, but I make the rules around here!
It’s good to see that Randal Grichuk, Danny Jansen, Teoscar Hernandez and Cavan Biggio were able to put together decent months! Billy McKinney has also been half-decent since being recalled from Buffalo on August 13th.
But let’s quit stalling and get to the big guns. Look, if Bo Bichette was called up earlier in the year, he might have a shot at the rookie of the year award right now. That’s not to discredit what Yordan Alvarez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have done this season, but holy crap.
Do I have to pick just one? I write that as if someone else is putting me in this situation. There’s no one but myself to blame for being in this predicament. I know Guerrero has the higher wRC+ and it’s been fun to watch him pass himself in the ranks of hardest-hit balls this year, but it’s Bichette all the way!
Bichette’s 1.2 fWAR was just too impressive to pass over. That and he’s broken, tied or added to either Blue Jay rookie records or long-standing baseball records almost every other game.
– Tied Ted Williams‘ rookie record from 1939 for nine straight games with an extra-base hit
– Only player in MLB history to hit doubles in nine consecutive games
– He and Delgado only Blue Jays with eight HRs in their first 25 career games
– Only Blue Jay to have 45 hits in their first 30 MLB games
– Most hits by a Blue Jays rookie in a single month (39)
– The third player in Live Ball Era (since 1920) with 15 doubles in first 30 MLB game. Only Joe DiMaggio had more
– Third most multi-hit games in the first 30 games (16). Only DiMaggio and Roy Weatherly had more (1936)
Oh, and he’s only the sixth player ever to have a two-homerun game against Clayton Kershaw. BO BICHETTE IS A TORONTO BLUE JAY, FOLKS.
POSITION PLAYER OF THE MONTH: Bo Bichette.
These are the top 10 Blue Jays pitchers sorted by innings pitched. Maybe a month isn’t a large body of games on its own, but these totals look low. And yeah, the staff hasn’t been kind, so the innings are more spread out, but also the Jays only have two or three starters at the moment. They’re going with a combination of openers, splits and bullpen days to get through the season. At least that’ll be a bit easier after the roster expands in a few days.
But who stands out in that chart? Well, Ken Giles only pitched eight innings in August, but he did it to the tune of a 2.25 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 15.75 K/9 ratio. So, if you’re hoping the Jays can bring back a haul for him this winter, then that helps that cause. But eight innings is not enough to give him the award this month.
For me, it’s got to be either Waguespack or Wilmer Font. Font won’t be a free agent until 2024 and what a pickup that could be if he pitches half this well next year. His 0.7 fWAR is the most out of any Blue Jays pitcher for August, but he’s not my choice for Pitcher of the Month.
Guys, it’s easily Waguespack. The guy we got in return for Aaron Loup! Maybe the front office does win the occasional trade? Now, I’ll set some expectations moving forward. My opinion is because of his start against the Dodgers on the 22nd of the August. That performance was well worth staying up past midnight on a Thursday night. Maybe we’re a bit starved for good pitching, and that’s why it stands. But also, he’s been a pleasant surprise ever since they decided to give him an extended look in the rotation at the beginning of July.
Since July 3rd, Waguespack has an ERA of 3.93, a whip of 1.27 and 39 Ks in 55 IP. Now, that’s nothing to jump out of your chair over. But those are solid back end of the rotation numbers on a good team. Look for him to be a mainstay in 2020.
PITCHER OF THE MONTH: JACOB WAGUESPACK
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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