Living within the vacuum that is known as Toronto Blue Jays fandom, occasionally I forget how certain players are perceived around the league. During the first half, there was no player more polarizing than Jose Bautista.
Make no mistake, I don’t for a second take for granted what Jose Bautista has accomplished this year, but sometimes I have to pinch myself to realize the Toronto Blue Jays have the best player in the game right now.
So to help bring us back to reality and show fans exactly what kind of a season Jose Bautista has had thus far, here in Bleacher Report fashion are 10 eye-opening facts about Jose Bautista’s incredible first half of 2011.
- So much for Jose Bautista only coming up big when the game isn’t on the line. Those thinking Bautista only thrives in “garbage time”, he’s hit 10 of his 31 home runs (approximately 32%) in the 7th inning or later.
- To compound on that, Bautista has hit 11 go-ahead home runs and 3 game-tying home runs. Which means 45 percent of Jose Bautista’s home runs have either been game-tying or go-ahead shots. Once again, “garbage time” my ass.
- Baseball traditionalists who look at Adrian Gonzalez’ 77 RBI’s compared to Jose Bautista’s 67 RBI’s alone might conclude that Gonzalez is the superior baseball player.
Simply put, Adrian Gonzalez had many more opportunities to drive in runs than Jose Bautista. According to Baseball Prospectus, Gonzalez had more plate appearances with runners on base with 217 versus Jose Bautista’s 182.
Subsequently Gonzalez had 295 total runners on base when he came to the plate compared to Bautista’s 235.
- Bautista was intentionally walked 14 times in the first half. Prior to the 2011 season, Jose has only been intentionally walked a total of 16 times in 7 years.
- With 31 home runs in 299 at bats in the first half, Jose Bautista is hitting a home run every 9.6 at bats. If he maintains that pace the rest of the way and ends up with somewhere in the neighbourhood of 550 at bats by season’s end, he’ll finish 2011 with 57 home runs.
- At no point this season has Jose Bautista’s batting average dipped below .300. At its lowest point, Bautista’s AVG was .304 on April 20th.
- Incredibly, Jose Bautista has only had 3 opportunities in the entire first half to hit a Grand Slam. He is 0 for 3 with the bases loaded.
- Not only is Jose Bautista a phenomenal hitter, he’s also a very astute baserunner. Not know as a speedster, he’s still very effective at going first to third, second to home, etc. Fangraphs has him ranked as the 10th best baserunner in the American League.
- With a first half WAR of 6.6, Jose Bautista himself has more WAR than the entire Twins (6.2 WAR), Athletics (3.2 WAR) and Mariners (2.1 WAR) rosters.
This leads me to believe that a team comprised entirely of Jose Bautistas would win the World Series from now until the machines take over. And even then, they would be hard-pressed to beat the Bautistas.
- There must be something magical in the air in Minnesota, because of the 4 opposite field shots Jose Bautista has hit since 2010, 3 have been at Target Field. The only other was hit at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals this year.