Blue Jays All-Time Team v.2012

Last year's team can be seen here.

The Blue Jays don't have a lengthy history but in their 33 years of existence they have two World Series (1992 and 1993).  The Blue Jays were able to craft successful teams by bringing in heady veterans like Paul Molitor, Rickey Henderson and David Winfield.  All of those guys had their swan years in Toronto, winning rings in the process.  But picking guys like that goes against what this team is about - trying to find the best guys to represent a particular franchise.  When you think about it in that context, you'll understand why we place such a high priority on longevity.  The best pitcher to pitch for the Blue Jays is probably Roger Clemens but two years spent in Toronto doesn't warrant the nod, in our opinion (even though his two Cy Young awards is compelling).

This team is fairly weak, primarily because of the lack of history but I'm sure that the fans are happy to trade a weak all-time team for two World Series trophies.

This Year's Changes

We moved Carlos Delgado into the infield (from DH), which allowed us to add Vernon Wells to this roster as the DH.  Wells was a near miss last year; he ranks second in team history in hits and home runs and top 5 in a bunch of other statistical categories.  Wells might be remembered by many for his albatross contract but he had some solid years in Toronto.

We also added two starting pitchers - Jimmy Key and Pat Hentgen - that rank among the top 5 in franchise history in wins.  One guy that we considered that didn't quite make the cut is Jim Clancy.  It came down to Clancy and Hentgen and we felt that Hentgen's Cy Young award and multiple all-star appearances as a Blue Jay made him the right choice.

We reviewed the current roster and didn't see anyone worth considering at this point in time (Jose Bautista is still a few years away from cracking this roster).  *NOTE - WE ADDED ERNIE WHITT TO THIS SQUAD - THANKS TO NEIL R FOR BRINGING THE NAME TO OUR ATTENTION.

Here's our All-Time Blue Jays Squad:

C - Ernie Whitt
1B - John Olerud
2B - Roberto Alomar
SS - Tony Fernandez
3B - Kelly Gruber
IF - Carlos Delgado
OF - George Bell
OF - Joe Carter
OF - Shawn Green
DH - Vernon Wells
SP - Dave Stieb
SP - Roy Halladay
SP - Jimmy Key
SP - Pat Hentgen
RP - Tom Henke

8 comments:

  1. I would take Ernie Whitt over Darren Fletcher by a mile. They have similar OPS (Whitt .747 vs. Fletcher .752), but Whitt was superior defensively and a longer serving Blue Jay, playing 7 more years than Fletcher.

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  2. Thanks for checking in. Possible oversight on our part - Fletcher was a better player over the course of his career but Whitt's tenure as a Blue Jay probably makes him a better pick for this team... at least in my mind. I'll check with the group.

    We have changed the way we pick these teams dramatically since we first started... tenure weight much more heavily now than it did when we began this exercise last year (at least on our All-Franchise teams). Our goal is to have the best list going... that's going to take time because we're human and we make mistakes. Glancing over our teams, I know that there are going to be names that we miss. Hopefully, over time, and with the help of our readers around the country, we can get to the point where the list is as good as it gets.

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  3. Another guy to look at is Rance Mulliniks at 3B over Gruber. It's a tough one for me, since Mulliniks was a better hitter, whereas Gruber had a superior glove and more power.

    I'm a huge Jays fan, and a stat head. I'll throw up my list when I get a chance.

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  5. I had to do it now...

    C Ernie Whitt
    1B Carlos Delgado
    2B Roberto Alomar
    3B Rance Mulliniks
    SS Tony Fernandez
    LF George Bell
    CF Vernon Wells
    RF Shawn Green
    DH John Olerud

    Pitchers... I agree 100% with your list.

    Honorable Mentions:
    Kelly Gruber
    Shannon Stewart (.804 OPS, 7.5 Seasons)
    Jose Cruz Jr. (.793 OPS, 5.5 Seasons)
    Jesse Barfield (.817 OPS, 7.5 Seasons)

    Suprise Snub:
    Joe Carter - only a .781 OPS over 7 Seasons with the Jays, which was bettered by players such as Alex Rios (.786 OPS, better defense), Jose Cruz Jr. and Rance Mulliniks. Despite the home run in '93, Joe was only an average corner outfielder in the early '90's... and a totally liability in the field.

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  6. We considered Mulliniks on our first team- felt like Gruber was the better pick (both players under appreciated).

    As for Carter, leaving him off this team would go against what this team is about. He is one of the most important figures in Blue Jays history and is one of only four players to attain the highest club honor (the Level of Excellence). Even if you think, statistically, Alex Rios was maybe a little better, Joe has to make this team. And I'm a phillies fan so I'd love to never see his name again.

    Thanks again for checking in.

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  8. I definitely put my personal feelings into that decision. I was never a fan of Carter, and I guess I have the stats to back it. I totally forgot that he's part of the Level of Excellence; if it's good enough for the franchise, then it's good enough for me.

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