BP Toronto’s Bold Predictions for 2017

It’s that time again! All of us here at BP Toronto have dusted off our crystal balls and attempted to predict the future of the 2017 Toronto Blue Jays. Qualms? Questions? Comments? Be sure to let us know what you think of our picks in the comments below.

Record in 2017

Andrew Munn89-73 – They may very well have replaced everyone that they lost.
Bennett Brauer81-81 - Perfectly average.
Dave Church83-79 - Still in the mix, but more second wildcard than first.
Elie Waitzer84-78 – The lack of depth at most positions scares me.
Evan Peaslee88-74 – Arguably the best rotation in the AL won’t be enough if the offense doesn’t improve on 2016.
Gideon Turk91-71 – This number would be higher if Francisco Liriano had any track record of throwing innings.
Greg Wisniewski85-77 – This team isn’t getting any younger, and the division isn’t getting any easier.
Jenn Smith90-72 – The team underachieved last season and Liriano should an upgrade to an already solid rotation.
Joshua Howsam87-75 - I actually think this year’s team could be even better than last year’s, but the division’s tougher.
Kyle Matte92-70 – Best record in the AL East; third straight trip to the postseason.
Matt Gwin66-90 – If you’re clever, you’ll realize that this record is missing 6 games and isn’t really a record at all.
Michael Passador90-72 – The bullpen won’t be as terrible as it was early in 2016, which should offset offensive losses.
Nick Dika86-76 – With the team in the hunt, beer lineups will again be unbearably long at the Rogers Centre.
Rachael McDaniel87-75 – Like last year, but less good.
Sean Addis91-71 – A full year from Liriano and break out year from Stroman will make for happy Jays fans.
Tammy Rainey93-69 – Last year I was the most optimistic about the team and that hasn’t changed.


Best Position Player

Andrew MunnJosh Donaldson – All hail our Viking Lord.
Bennett BrauerJosh Donaldson - This award should be named after him.
Dave ChurchJosh Donaldson – The best player on the team by a mile.
Elie WaitzerJosh Donaldson – Have you seen his calves in tight socks?
Evan PeasleeJosh Donaldson – This isn’t even close.
Gideon TurkKevin Pillar – Improved plate discipline and stellar defense? That’s a 7 win player.
Greg WisniewskiJosh Donaldson – Is there really anybody who even comes close on both sides of the ball?
Jenn SmithJosh Donaldson – I don’t need to tell you why.
Joshua HowsamJosh Donaldson – I wanted to go with Joey Bats here, but the new .400+ OBP Donaldson is unfair.
Kyle MatteJosh Donaldson – Unsurprisingly, Josh will be team MVP, but Jose Bautista will provide more offense.
Matt GwinDalton Pompey – He had a .950 OPS in AA in 2015 and probably saves stranded cats in trees.
Michael PassadorJosh Donaldson – I’ll offer up Kendrys Morales as Best Position Player given expectations.
Nick DikaJosh Donaldson – You know why.
Rachael McDanielJosh Donaldson – A controversial opinion, I know.
Sean AddisJosh Donaldson- Get your umbrellas ready!  It will be an extended rainy season.
Tammy RaineyJosh Donaldson – You have to go with Josh until someone passes him by.


Best Pitcher

Andrew MunnMarcus Stroman – Starting for USA in the WBC finals means he’s the best American pitcher, right?
Bennett BrauerMarcus Stroman - He will prove the haters wrong and step up BIGly.
Dave ChurchJ.A. Happ – We’ll yawn through six innings and two runs a night from this guy.
Elie WaitzerAaron Sanchez - With the innings talk behind him, Sanchez will truly be dirty.
Evan PeasleeMarco Estrada – He won’t overpower hitters but he’s the best on the team.
Gideon TurkMarcus Stroman – He’s blocked all the haters, so now he can just focus on shoving.
Greg WisniewskiRoberto Osuna – I know we all love the starters, but Roberto deserves some love too.
Jenn SmithMarcus Stroman – Dude’s going to pitch like he’s got something to prove.
Joshua HowsamMarco Estrada - I have to stay true to my brand and he’s also apparently healthy again. #ACEstrada
Kyle MatteFrancisco Liriano – The bigger question will be if Frank finally reaches the 200 inning plateau.
Matt GwinDalton Pompey – I’m betting he picked up a nasty knuckleball while warming the bench with R.A. Dickey.
Michael Passador - Marcus Stroman - I’m a member of Team Sanchez but I’m going all in on #StruttinStroman.
Nick DikaMarco Estrada – Blowin’ 88-mph gas by the rest of the AL East since 2015.
Rachael McDanielMarcus Stroman – He got Migos glasses, there’s no way he’s losing.
Sean AddisFrancisco Liriano – He will continue his renaissance with Russell Martin.
Tammy RaineyFrancisco Liriano – On statistical value, Sanchez might slightly exceed him due to IP.


Breakout Player of the Year

Andrew MunnMike Bolsinger – Not a breakout as a starter, but he might Biagini his way through the bullpen.
Bennett Brauer – Ezequiel Carrera. He will wrestle away the starting LF job and call it his own, à la Pillar 2015.
Dave ChurchDalton Pompey – He’ll get his shot in the outfield eventually, and he’ll run with it.
Elie WaitzerCasey Lawrence - With no clear sixth starter, Lawrence will dazzle in a spot start and log over 50 IP.
Evan PeasleeJarrod Saltalamacchia – Martin needs more time off and Salty will impress with more reps.
Gideon TurkKevin Pillar- #7WinPlayer
Greg WisniewskiTim Mayza – A 25 year old LHP who throws 99mph? Sign me up when a bullpen arm goes down.
Jenn SmithSteve Pearce – His injury woes will be gone, thanks to the Jays’ new high performance department.
Joshua HowsamDevon Travis – He’s going to “break” the “out” with injury streak and have a great, healthy year.
Kyle MatteKendrys Morales – He’ll get voted to All Star Team as the Royals fans forget he’s gone.
Matt GwinDalton Pompey – It’s hard to argue against a two-way player.
Michael PassadorSteve Pearce – Pearce kicks the injury bug and plays 120+ games all over the field.
Nick DikaJustin Smoak - If the front office is right about Smoak, it won’t be just the Cardinals trying to hack the Jays.
Rachael McDanielDalton Pompey – The Jose-lookalike beard is a sign of things to come.
Sean AddisSteve Pearce – He will get regular at bats at first base and left field. Time to shine.
Tammy RaineyDalton Pompey – It might be June before they give him a full shot, but I still believe.


Comeback Player of the Year

Andrew MunnMelvin Upton Jr. – Give him a stable situation and let him prove Atlanta was the anomaly.
Bennett Brauer – Marcus Stroman - Last year he wasn’t at his best. He’ll be top of the rotation caliber.
Dave ChurchJose Bautista – I’m guessing he’s taken the talk of his decline personally.
Elie WaitzerJose Bautista – Baltimore Orioles beware.
Evan PeasleeAaron Loup – A Loup breakout would stabilize the Jays’ bullpen and he might be healthy enough to do it.
Gideon TurkJose Bautista – The King doesn’t stay down for a long time. He’ll be big.
Greg WisniewskiRussell Martin – Find your patience and your throwing arm again, Russell, and you’ll win!
Jenn SmithJose Bautista – Whether or not you buy that Bautista plays best angry, he’s going to have a helluva season.
Joshua HowsamJose Bautista – It’s silly that he’s even eligible for this, but he’s going to be a monster.
Kyle MatteRussell Martin – With a capable backup, Martin will get more rest and will rebound as a result.
Matt GwinDalton Pompey – It’s tough to be an All-Star OFer when you’re forced to play in AAA. That’ll change.
Michael PassadorDalton Pompey – Pompey will boot Uptrrera from LF and stick it to those who wrote him off.
Nick DikaTroy Tulowitzki - He didn’t forgo a childhood and train 18 hours a day to be counted out at 32.
Rachael McDanielJose Bautista – No comment necessary. He’s back.
Sean AddisJose Bautista – He has something to prove and we know what that means!
Tammy RaineyTroy Tulowitzki – Tulo still has (at least) one more .850+ OPS season left in him.


Biggest Bust

Andrew MunnDarwin Barney – It’s a pretty good year when the biggest bust is your backup second baseman.
Bennett BrauerMelvin Upton - Even though his real cost is small, baseball isn’t for him anymore.
Dave ChurchMarco Estrada – He had a concerning stretch at the end of last season and that could continue.
Elie WaitzerRowdy Tellez - He’s looked completely overmatched this spring. If he gets a shot, expect the hype to die.
Evan PeasleeKendrys Morales – He has huge shoes to fill. He won’t replace Edwin and that’s what everyone’s hoping.
Gideon TurkJason Grilli – He’s old. I’m told that old age isn’t conducive to being good at baseball.
Greg WisniewskiLeft Field – A big hole will open and swallow up whoever is standing out there too long.
Jenn SmithJustin Smoak – This is an easy pick. Nothing we’ve seen suggests that Smoak can be an everyday player.
Joshua HowsamAaron Sanchez – Expectations for him are so high that even minor regression will seem like a bust.
Kyle MatteJ.A. Happ – He’ll be fine, but Joe Fan will be upset he doesn’t replicate his 20 win, low-3 ERA campaign.
Matt GwinDalton Pompey’s Haters – This may or may not include a Greco-Canadian with an alliterative name.
Michael PassadorJason Grilli – He was a found wallet in 2016. I’ve never found a wallet, so finding two seems unlikely.
Nick DikaDynamic Pricing – Rogers will lose a lot of money when no one comes to watch the A’s on a Monday.
Rachael McDanielJustin Smoak, Starting 1B - He just sounds so morose in his SN590 intro. Doesn’t bode well.
Sean AddisJustin Smoak – He will lose his job by May.
Tammy RaineyJustin Smoak – Basically the only guy on this team I don’t believe in.


Key to 2017 Success

Andrew MunnHit the Ball – This lineup is a little bit vulnerable.
Bennett BrauerHot Start - Can’t fall behind too early and give the brass reasons to sell.
Dave ChurchAlright, No One Get Hurt – A top-heavy team can’t afford many injuries.
Elie WaitzerMid-Season Bullpen Help – If Toronto is over .500 at the deadline expect a similar strategy to 2016.
Evan PeasleeOffense – There’s enough pitching and defence to keep them close. The offense will be the difference.
Gideon TurkDavid Price’s Left Arm – 1st place becomes a reality for the Jays if the Sox lose Price for long enough.
Greg Wisniewski – Positive Regression – The offense needs to improve enough to offset pitching losses.
Joshua HowsamRotation Health – The Jays rotation is as good as they come. The depth…well it doesn’t exist.
Kyle MattePassing the Baton – The lineup will be healthy and lengthy. It’ll will flourish if the players trust the lineup.
Matt GwinDalton Pompey – Steve Pearce will need to take over for Smoak at 1B and Carrera/Upton won’t cut it in LF.
Michael PassadorBullpen Depth – If things start to sour, we can’t count on another pair of dynamite acquisitions.
Nick DikaNo Brawling - With little depth in the high minors, the Jays can’t lose any players in bench-clearing dustups.
Rachael McDanielRogers Centre’s Park Factor - Morales needs to be good; getting out of Kauffman will help.
Sean AddisRotation – They need to do their best to match last season.
Tammy RaineyHealth – It’s a cliche, but the team isn’t loaded with depth. The regulars need to be healthy.


One Bold Prediction

Andrew Munn – Toronto will possess a Top 5 bullpen at the end of the season,

Bennett Brauer – The team will REALLY struggle, will have a terrible trade deadline, Atkins will be let go, and Cherington will take over.

Dave Church – Kevin Pillar’s defense falters enough that his starting spot is in question by the end of the year.

Elie Waitzer – John Gibbons will lead MLB in ejections for the second year in a row.

Evan Peaslee – Dalton Pompey becomes an everyday starter by the All-Star break.

Gideon Turk – Stroman and Sanchez will both compete for the Cy Young, adding another dimension to their ex-bromance feud.

Greg Wisniewski – Kevin Pillar will walk 61 times.

Jenn Smith – Kendrys Morales will make fans forget all about that parrot-toting first baseman when he hits a game-winning home run in the playoffs…against Cleveland.

Joshua Howsam – Travis, Tulo, and Pearce each play over 140 games, but radio pundits still bemoan the absence of Ryan Goins.

Kyle Matte – Advanced stats websites finally recognize the Blue Jays rotation as the best in the American League.

Matt Gwin – Dalton Pompey will be the Blue Jays full time left fielder by May and cement himself as the best at his position in the AL East.

Michael Passador – At least one other player will block Gideon on Twitter and Devon Travis will get this year’s late All-Star campaign.

Nick Dika – Kendrys Morales will hit 40 home runs….and 7 doubles this season. Gonna be a lot of long, loud singles at the Rogers Centre in 2017.

Rachael McDaniel – Two Blue Jays players marry each other over the All-Star break.

Sean Addis – Morales has a better season than EE.

Tammy Rainey – Blue Jays win the AL East.


Lead Photo: © Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Related Articles

1 comment on “BP Toronto’s Bold Predictions for 2017”

Doug Hodgson

Matt Gwin seems to be some kind of a useless tool…..

Leave a comment

Use your Baseball Prospectus username