5 Bold Predictions For The 2021 Blue Jays
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The year has gotten off to a strong start for the Jays as they defeated the Yanks in their season opener. So with baseball finally back, I’m making some BOLD predictions about this year's Jays team. Some might hit the nail while others may sound outlandish. Still, that's why my predictions are BOLD.
1. Vladdy Jr. Breaks Out!
Vladdy Jr. has some major potential but that has yet to rear its beautiful head. Last season, the 22 year old seemed to lack confidence at times. He finished batting under .260 and only hit 9 dingers in 60 games. However, after an offseason dedicated to getting into better shape, the young man is now shredded and ready to go! He's lost over 40 pounds and had a productive spring training.
The Jays have done everything to give a vote of confidence to their young slugger. Something to watch out for is 44 percent of his hits were extra base hits, expect that to increase. He’s got all the potential to be the league’s best hitter. I expect Vladdy to have his biggest season of his young career putting up over 30 dingers this year and helping the Jays make back-to-back postseasons.
2. Jays Add Cy Young Calibre Help
The Jays rotation is alright as it is, Ryu should have another good campaign, but after him the rotation does take a bit of a dip. The question is who will step up and make a leap this season?
Roark, and Ray all looked mediocre at best last year, and even though the acquisition of Steven Matz helps, that move is far from anything to gloat about after he went winless and posted an ERA over 9. This is exactly why I think the Jays are gonna make a big splash.
Remember when Toronto got David Cone in 92? Or David Price in 2015? Both moves were big splashes and helped point the team in the right direction. Toronto should make the playoffs this year given their current roster, but getting a big arm would definitely solidify their spot as contenders in the American League. Sonny Gray is at the top of the list but whoever Atkins gets, I expect they’ll be noteworthy name.
3. Marcus Semien Returns To Form
In 53 games last year, Semien hit just 7 homers and 23 runs batted in. Semien stats dropped across the board from the year prior. His average dropped to .223 and his strikeout rate went through the roof. Jays management obviously looked past that when they dished out the cash. It is a lot of dough for a player that had a tough season, but I figure he can bounce back in a big way.
The transition to second base has been a positive one, despite not playing that position since his days as a White Sox. That's already good news for Jays fans. Semien has shown some power in spring training and has been heating up at just the right time. Can Semien rebound from a disappointing 2020? I'd say yes.
4. Romano Thrives As Closer
The Kirby Yates news was a gut punch to the Jays bullpen to say the least. Toronto looked to have finally shored up the closer role, but one Tommy John surgery later and they are back to square one...or are they? Markham's own Jordan Romano looked like a stud this spring training and in 7 appearances waked away with 15 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. He looked good last year and I think he’s only going to get better.
Jays pitching coach Pete Walker has shown confidence in the Canadian and feels Romano can handle being a closer in the majors. The spotlight will be on Romano this season but he looks more than ready to become the team's closer with Yates out of the picture. Romano will be an all-star this year, YES, AN ALL-STAR!
5. Jays Win AL East
I know call me a lunatic, call me an idiot call, me whatever you want! Toronto will steal the AL East division title this year. The Jays lineup shouldn't be overlooked because they are just as on paper as anyone in the division. Sure our rotation doesn't look as good in comparison to the Yankees, but the Jays front office will take care of that. The bullpen is still strong despite losing Giles in the off-season and Yates with Tommy John surgery.
Remember last season when nobody gave the Jays any chance of making the playoffs? Not only did they make the playoffs they did it without playing in their home ballpark all season long. The Jays grabbed some big names in the off-season, and combined with their young core, I can see them carving staffs all over the league! The Jays will not only contend in the AL East but will snatch the title out of the Bronx Bombers hands!