Toronto Mike

Four Blue Jays Players Who Need to Up Their Game

The Toronto Blue Jays have one of the league’s most talented rosters, yet they find themselves fighting for the playoffs roughly 100 games into the season. When the Jays play well, all bets are off, and they are one of the top teams in the league. But many players have been struggling to play at their highest level.

The Jays still have strong odds to contend for the World Series, ranking as one of the favourites on gambling sites like Betway Canada. But for the team to reach the lofty expectations of fans and oddsmakers, several players will need to step up. Let’s look at the key players the Jays need to take their performance up a notch.

Alek Manoah

Alek Manoah is the obvious answer. He entered the year fresh off nearly winning the Cy Young last season. He has entirely lost his superpowers this year. He has a 6.10 ERA and has been demoted to the minor leagues. It is a shocking turn of events for a guy everyone thought had an incredibly bright future as an ace for the team. However, the same player who dominated last season is still in there somewhere, and he is only 25 years old. Fans are praying for a return to form.

Daulton Varsho

The Jays sent a haul to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Daulton Varsho, including top prospect Gabriel Moreno and the underrated Lourdes Gurriel Jr. The payoff has not been good so far. Varsho is a solid defender in left field, but he is hitting .213. That is completely not going to cut it, given the expectations. His power has also dwindled significantly. It is a disappointing turn from a player who has all the tools to really lift this team. If his bat starts connecting more, the Jays will be in good shape.

Alejandro Kirk

Alejandro Kirk was one of baseball’s big breakouts last season, hitting .285 for the Jays, making an All-Star team, and earning the Silver Slugger as a catcher. This year, the level has slipped dramatically. Kirk has hit only .251 and has four home runs on the season, significantly off his pace from last year. Kirk is still very young and unquestionably talented, and he gets on base a solid amount. The 24-year-old can turn it around this season because it was clear that the talent was there last season. He hasn't been terrible thus far, but there is a higher level fans have seen him reach.

George Springer

Springer has performed adequately for the Jays this season, although it is below the level he has set for himself throughout his extraordinary career. His batting average of .257 would be the worst since his rookie season, and his OBP of .326 would be the worst of his career. His power has been below his standard as well. While Springer is getting older, playing at 33, he still has a ton of athleticism. He is capable of playing better, and he has been reliably more productive throughout his decade-long MLB career. It is fair to expect a step up.

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