If you’re like me, baseball’s offseason usually consists of watching a lot of MLB Network. Admittedly, some of the programming can get a little repetitive, but then there’s features like “Top 10 Right Now” that make it all worth watching.
Over the past few weeks, MLB Network has been going through each positions on the diamond, determining the best players at that given position at this moment in time, and it turns out a lot of baseball’s best players reside on the Blue Jays roster.
Just this week alone, they ranked Josh Donaldson as the second best third baseman in all of MLB, and Russell Martin as the fifth best catcher in baseball.
Now keep in mind, this is according to the “Shredder”, which only factors in offensive and defensive metrics. Intangibles are thrown completely out the window and thus removes any human bias towards one particular player.
All that notwithstanding, these results just reinforce how much the Blue Jays improved this offseason at two key positions; behind the plate and the hot corner.
|Top 10 Third Basemen||Top 10 Catchers|
|1.) Adrian Beltre||1.) Buster Posey|
|2.) Josh Donaldson||2.) Jonathan Lucroy|
|3.) Josh Harrison||3.) Jose Molina|
|4.) Anthony Rendon||4.) Yan Gomes|
|5.) David Wright||5.) Russsell Martin|
|6.) Kyle Seager||6.) Devin Mesoraco|
|7.) Matt Carpenter||7.) Salvador Perez|
|8.) Evan Longoria||8.) Brian McCann|
|9.) Juan Uribe||9.) Derek Norris|
|10.) Nolan Arenado||10.) Wilson Ramos|
Donaldson finished second to only Adrian Beltre, and Martin finished just behind former Blue Jay Yan Gomes, Yadier Molina, Jonathan Lucroy and Buster Posey as MLB’s top catchers right now.
By comparison, last year Dioner Navarro was technically the seventh best catcher in baseball (by WAR), but only nine catchers in baseball qualified. If we expand the parameters to make the minimum only 350 plate appearances, Dioner Navarro ranks 19th in all of baseball.
Using similar parameters (except set the minimum PA at 250), Brett Lawrie ranked as the 25th best third baseman in baseball during 2014. Of course, he was injured for over half of the season, but durability definitely factors in to a player’s overall wealth here.
Donaldson and Martin only account for the Blue Jays’ new additions, but Jose Bautista also ranked as the second best right fielder, Jose Reyes was the fourth best shortstop, and Edwin Encarnacion was the sixth best first baseman right now.
With five total Top 10 players (according to the Shredder, mind you) in their starting lineup this year, the Toronto Blue Jays are arguably in a better position to begin the season now than they’ve been in several years.