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9 Blue Jays

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IN LIMBO

SCOUT'S TAKE

KEY QUESTION

It's all about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and how soon he'll be ready. He reminds you of a young Miguel Cabrera, Manny Ramírez and Vlad Sr.—you watch in amazement. Hitting's not supposed to be this easy. But there are red flags: His defense needs a lot of work, and unless he takes better care of his body, he might become Pablo Sandoval.

OVERRATED

He popped off about not being extended when Luis Severino and Aaron Nola were, but Marcus Stroman is nowhere near their class. He's not big [5'8" and 180 pounds], and there's always been a lot of torque in how he throws. Once you hurt your leg, you put more strain on your arm.

BUYER BEWARE

Ken Giles can be nasty. But he's also nuts. I think you're going to have an explosion where he ends up punching himself in the face.

LAST LICKS

Clayton Richard in the AL East? Have fun.... I'm a really big fan of Bo Bichette. He has a great feel for the game.... The most important thing for them is to develop their prospects. It's going to be at least a three-year rebuild, but there could be something special at the end of it.

THE PAYOFF PITCH

THE FOCUS in Toronto is on rookie third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who will start this season in the minors. Operating in Vladito's shadow, however, is a rookie catcher who deserves some attention. Danny Jansen was a 16th-round pick who spent four years in the low minors without ever hitting a lick. In 2017, however, he broke out with a .323/.400/.484 line across three levels, then followed with a strong season at Triple A (.275/.390/.473). At a time when catchers are valued for their pitch-framing skills first and everything else second, Jansen, 23, projects as a real offensive contributor, with a batting eye akin to that of his predecessor, Russell Martin. The catch? Jansen allowed 67.2% of base stealers to succeed against him in the minors, and 82.1% in 29 MLB games last season. Improved throwing will make Jansen a huge asset in a league that has many holes behind the plate.

OVER UNDER

86.5

With the Vlad Jr. era set to begin, the future's bright, but for now things will get worse as the Jays wait for their top prospects to mature.

LINEUP

LF Billy McKinney

.252/6 HR/.470 SLG

2B Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

.281/11 HR/.446 SLG

1B Justin Smoak

.242/25 HR/77 RBI

DH Kendrys Morales

.249/21 HR/57 RBI

RF Randal Grichuk

.245/25 HR/.502 SLG

CF Kevin Pillar

.252/15 HR/14 SB

SS Freddy Galvis

.248/13 HR/8 SB

3B Brandon Drury

.169/1 HR/.260 SLG

C Danny Jansen

.247/3 HR/.432 SLG

BENCH

IF/OF Devon Travis

.232/11 HR/.381 SLG

OF Teoscar Hernández

.239/22 HR/57 RBI

FANTASY BREAKOUT

Injuries cost him at bats, but Lourdes Gurriel Jr. showed big power in 65 games. He should be a force over a full season.

ROTATION

RH Marcus Stroman

4 W/5.54 ERA/1.48 WHP

RH Aaron Sanchez

4 W/4.89 ERA/7.4 K9

LH Ryan Borucki

4 W/3.87 ERA/1.32 WHP

RH Matt Shoemaker

2 W/4.94 ERA/1.26 WHP

BULLPEN

CL Ken Giles

26 SV/4.65 ERA/9.5 K9

RH Joe Biagini

6.00 ERA/1.67 WHP/6.6 K9

RH Bud Norris

3.59 ERA/1.25 WHP/10.5 K9

MANAGER

Charlie Montoyo