Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Recap
2018 was a painful time for Blue Jay fans. Pitching was a problem north of the border, as the Rays ranked in the bottom five in ERA, hits allowed and home runs given up. None of these stats bode well for fantasy prospects. However, they really are an issue in a division with two of the most prolific offenses in professional baseball. What it meant was a fourth place finish in the AL East and a total shift towards rebuilding for a future in Toronto. On a more positive note, while they were only average at scoring runs, they ranked fifth in home runs hit themselves. The new season may not prove to be immediately fruitful for Blue Jay fans. However, after 2018, the words rebuilding have to be encouraging.
Toronto Blue Jays 2019 Fantasy Projections –Rebuild in Progress North of the Border
Three years ago, the Toronto Blue Jays won 89 games to earn the second American League wildcard spot. They knocked out divisional rival Baltimore in the winner-take-all wildcard game, and then swept the favored Texas Rangers in three straight to play for the AL championship.
The Cleveland Indians proved too talented for the upstart Blue Jays, but the fans north of the border had high hopes. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, those hopes were dashed by injuries and underachieving. Heading into a fresh new season, the mode north of the border in Toronto is rebuild.
2019 Fantasy Pitchers Projections – The Best of the Blue Jay Staff
The Blue Jays pitching staff is a mishmash of aged-veterans and sometimes baffling talent. Marcus Stroman has been marvelous at times, while at others he has been woefully inept at getting hitters out. No pitcher on the Blue Jays staff warrants anything like draft day consideration for fantasy purposes, but there could be a surprise or two.
Marcus Stroman SP – Since his audition and AL membership in the 2014 All-Rookie team, Stroman has clearly shown promise. During the summer of 2017, he earned MVP honors at the World Baseball Classic. He had continually ranked high in fantasy-relevant categories until a disappointing 2018 had Blue Jay fans and fantasy owners scratching their heads. Injury was part of his downfall last season, and how he looks this spring will go a long way towards determining his fantasy value. If his struggles are behind him, Stroman is worthy of a fantasy roster spot for sure.
Aaron Sanchez SP – Sanchez is equally as much of an enigma to Blue Jay followers as Stroman is. Ever since his outstanding 15-2 record in 2016, he has struggled to stay healthy and struggled to find the plate when he was. If he finds his rhythm in 2019, he may prove a viable free agent addition, but until then, he is better left on the fantasy baseball waiver wire.
2019 Fantasy Hitter Projections – The Best Bats North of the Border
Toronto has two young prospects that are definitely worthy of mention. Both Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. are dynasty league targets. The rest of the Blue Jay 2019 lineup is middle-of-the-road in a fantasy discussion, at best. A number of these veteran bats may be on the move as part of Toronto's ongoing rebuild.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – The second-coming of Vlad the Impaler may be at the top of any dynasty draft board. Guerrero tore through minor league pitching like he was hitting batting practice. At 20-years old, he is clearly the brightest light north of the border in Toronto.
Any time you're the son of a Hall of Fame hitter and the number one prospect in all of professional baseball, you will draw fantasy baseball attention. As a young player, Guerrero Jr. will experience bumps in the road, but he seems primed for fantasy greatness.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – Gurriel Jr. seemed to find his hitting stroke during his second season in the Blue Jay minor league system. A former Cuban national player, Gurriel Jr. has been rated as high as the number one international player in baseball. His fantasy value is attached to his middle infield position. Gurriel Jr. may have dual position eligibility at both shortstop and second base as well. His stock is even higher in dynasty leagues.
Fantasy Rank Team
Guerrero Jr. is going to be slotted to hit sixth to begin the season, but look for that to change. Gurriel Jr. will bat second, but he could also push for starts at the leadoff spot. Both these hitters will need time to season. The pair of fantasy viable pitchers may well be on their way to new surroundings sooner than later, keep your ear to the ground about moves involving Stroman and Sanchez.
The Bottom Line for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019
Rebuilding can be a woefully painful process. It is where the Toronto Blue Jays are heading into 2019. Their only saving grace from a last place finish in the American League East could be the even more woeful spot of the Baltimore Orioles. Look for a bulk of the Blue Jay veterans to be headed back south of the northern border before the 2019 ends.