“Who’s on 1st? I don’t know…third base” – Abbott and Costello
As I sit down to write about the Toronto Blue Jays’ third baseman, I’m stuck. I have a predicament. Who do I write about?
The Jays entered the season with Brett Lawrie as their legitimate third baseman. Unfortunately, injuries limited him to only 70 games this season, and not every game he played was as a third baseman. Here’s a breakdown of all of the men who started games at third for the Blue Jays.
- #13 – Brett Lawrie – 44 games started
- #47 – Juan Francisco – 57 games started
- #66 – Munenori Kawasaki – 18 games started
- #18 – Steven Tolleson – 11 games started
- #15 – Danny Valencia – 32 games started
- Total – 162
Not quite as bad as the revolving door at second base, but still not great. At least every player listed had a positive WAR. Shall we look at their traditional statistics? Let’s!
Bear in mind, here’s their total stats, not just as a third baseman. Valencia’s numbers are Toronto only.
Here’s what’s interesting about third basemen in MLB in 2014:
- No 3B had more than 180 hits
- No 3B had more than 40 2B
- No 3B hit more than 29 HRs
- No 3B had 100 RBIs
- Only 13 3B hit over .260
- Only 1 3B (Rendon –WSH) had more than 100 runs scored
So, offensively speaking, the hot corner wasn’t so hot in 2014 in all of baseball. Let’s look at Toronto Further.
Juan Francisco had 61 more ABs than Brett Lawrie, but struck out 67 more times, and had one fewer hit than Lawrie. With Francisco, even though he had the most doubles, HRs, runs and RBIs of any Jay who played 3B, it’s really hard to look past the strikeouts. More than 1/3 of his at-bats results in Ks. He is eligible for arbitration this offseason. It’s doubtful he’ll be back.
As for the final three on the list, each filled a role nicely for the Jays. Kawasaki had the highest batting average of the three, but had zero power. In fact 54 of his 62 hits were singles. Unfortunately for Kawa [...] Guest, please register or login to access the rest of this content.