Toronto Blue Jays First Semester Report Card. A quick note, I have written this over a couple of days so some stats might be slightly stale.
With approximately one third of the school year, regular season behind us, its safe to say we are at that point where we can judge how a player, coach, or team has preformed, but there is still enough time to correct it. With that said here is a look at how each player has fared thus far throughout the 2009 season. Starting with the position players.
Marco Scutaro – SS
Scutaro has turned into the leadoff hitter that the Jays have lacked since Reed Johnson left us. He is batter .305, but more importantly for a leadoff hitter, his OBP is .408, drawing a total of 37 walks, good enough to lead the team, and be only second in the AL (Carlos Pena is first with 38, Jason Bay is tied with 37). Scutaro has also been nothing to scoff at in the power department with five home runs, and 15 doubles.
First Semester Grade: A- but like his batting average it is on its way down.
Since you posted so recently Scott, I’ll split my post here, Click to keep reading.
Aaron Hill – 2B
Most people would have been happy if Aaron Hill could have returned sans post concussion symptoms. Who would have though that the Blue Jays leading home run hitter would be Aaron Hill. While his 12 home runs are fantastic, I think everyone was wanting that out of at least Wells and Rios by this point. Hill is also leading the team in batting average – .333 and second on the team in RBI – 37. His defense while not gold glove caliber has also been enough to do the impossible task of keeping the Toronto fans quiet.
First Semester Grade: A it looks like he will be the diamond in our rough
Alex Rios – RF
After a promising first half of 2007, many people have been wondering where Rios’ power went off too. So far he has 6 home runs (on pace for 19), 25 RBI and is batting .276. What people tend to forget is that other than that one season, Rios is far from a power hitter. In addition he has only had one season where he has hit above .300 (2006, .302). Rios is a speed guy, last year he swiped 32 bags, but this year he only has four, on pace for about 13. He has usually swatted in around 80 runs, but it looks as if this number too will be down this year. Rios seems to be showing a lack of plate discipline this year with only 15 walks and a .330 OBP.
First Semester Grade: C+ slow start, but Rios has been doing his homework latly.
Vernon Wells – CF
Ahh, Vernon Wells a couple of years ago he was one of the most beloved Blue Jays players, but then he signed a contract. A very big Contract. He would have won rookie of the year if it weren’t for that alien looking Eric Hinske. This season however Vernon is batting .266, has an OBP of .321, but is hitting doubles. His OBP is decent .729, but far below what he is worth. The saddest statistic of the year, as our #4 hitter, our clean up man only has five home runs. Thats only four more than David Ortiz.
First Semester Grade C, adjusted for his contract D + Homework: Start living up to expectations they are: 30 home runs, 100 RBI .295+ BA, 20 stolen bases.
Adam Lind – DH/LF
While he is playing primarily as a DH, he has had a couple of starts in LF, mostly in NL ball parks. He is doing his job as professional hitter, racking in a team leading 38 RBI,but only 8 home runs. He is also batting a respectable .288 and a strong OBP of .365. If I were Cito I would have Lind hit clean up for a few games to see how he does, and to try and light a fire under Vernon.
First Semester Grade: B+
Scott Rolen – 3B
There were many questions surrounding the state of Scott Rolen’s shoulder this season, and in my opinions he has silenced the critics. Hitting .303, but also his .380 OBP show not only Scott has the discipline this year, but he also has his swing back. Listening to the Jays talk recently, Wilner also pointed out how Rolen has been hitting .340somthing with runners is scoring position, this has been a great change from last year.
First Semester Grade: B+
Not known for his speed, Rod has turned into a 1st to home kind of guy apparently. Other than that it is nice to have a catch who can throw people out at second base, or even get the ball there without one hopping it. Offensively he has been nothing remarkable, but good for a catcher and a good bottom of the line up kind of guy.
Overall Grade: B
Sadly being platooned with Kevin Milllar, and not pinch hitting, Lyle has continued to get on base, a very nice OBP of .380, unfortunately he has also continued to hit into double plays. Nonetheless, his defense has been outstanding, when he has played. He has begun hitting doubles again, but still doesn’t have the home-run power that is expected out of a firstbasemen. Given his small number of at bats 126, he has done fairly well.
First Semester Grade: B
All things considered, Millar has done everything he has been expected too. In fact he has been playing a lot more than anyone expected him to play. In my opinion it feels like he has been playing way more than Lyle lately, even against right handed pitching.
First Semester Grade: B
Oh Travis, you started out so hot, you were the future of the organization. You always said the right thing, you had it all power, talent, an ability to play solid defense. Then it all hit the fan, the power stopped. The walks stopped. The hits stopped. Then you got sent back to the third grade. Hopefully you can work it all out in Vegas.
First Semester Grade: F+ Make it back by spring training and maybe we’ll bump that up to a D.
Brought in to provide some rest for Scott Rolen, Bautista turned into a platoon player with Travis Snider getting more than just a couple of plate appearances every now and then. At the start of the season I was wishing the Jays had used the money they spend on Bautista to get a solid free agent aging catcher that the Astros scooped up. Bautista has ben fairly average, except for his ability to get on base (.410). If Bautista were playing everyday, I think an argument could be made for him being the leadoff hitter.
First Semester Grade B +
Johnny boy, I’m sorry we haven’t seen more of you, especially late in innings as our bullpen has gone to the dogs lately. Scutaro has been good though with just one error on the season. I am surprised that Johnny Boy hasn’t played more other than as the odd pinch runner here and there, especially at home to pump up the crowd a little bit.
First Semester Grade: N/A
Called up after an injury to Michael Barett, Chavez has been a surprisingly decent second catcher, but still nothing to write home about. Although Rod has been batting well so far this season, it would be nice to have a bat on the bench that had the potential to hit a long ball at any time.
First Semester Grade: C+ I would rate Joe Inglett, and Michael Barrett, but they really haven’t been around long enough to get a full grade.
Harry Leroy Halladay III
The first pitcher to 9 wins, should be at least 10, and only one loss, and ERA under 3, what more can be said. A “poor” outing for Doc is when he only goes seven innings, and he gives up three runs. The only question if Grenkie will falter so Doc can get a second (should be a third) Cy Young.
First Semester Grade A++
What a success story, going from working as a longshoreman, which sounds so Viking it must be cool, to cracking one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Richmond has had on terrible start, and a few bad innings, but I have a bad feeling he is just a has a temporary spot in the rotation.
First Semester Grade B+
Don’t worry about Susan Boyle, because the Jay’s have Tallet. Crappy pun, sure me. Anyways it has been a real treat to watch Tallet make a successful transition from the Bullepen to the starting five. I think it is all in that stache.
First Semester Grade B, bumped up to a B + for that lip tickler
Remember when B.J. was good, then his speed dropped every year for your years in a row. His average fastball is now around 87mph. He has no control of the strike zone. His ERA is on the other side of 5 and he is making 12 million this year. Epic Fail.
First Semester Grade F – (if I could give him lower I would)
Ricky was Solid for his first few starts, but then got injured, since coming back he has been mediocre at best. If Toronto had the depth that it would if we were healthy, he would still be fine tuning in the developmental leagues.
First Semester Grade C but it’s slipping with every start
He’s slipping with each and every start this season. Sadly, this seems to be the trend amongst the bullpen this year.
First Semester Grade C but like so many others its going down.
I would rate the rest of the pitchers, but they have either been send down, or pitched enough innninges to be judged fairly, or will be back down into the minors sooner rather than later.