Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays had high hopes heading into the season after the addition of several all-stars like Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey and Melky Cabrera. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, all that money did not result in wins. They missed the playoffs and watched their division rival Boston Red Sox march all the way to a World Series Title. All hope is not lost for the Blue Jays. They have a wide array of talent and they all have a year of experience playing with each other.
Strength: Hitting. Plain and simple. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion lead a powerful Blue Jays lineup that has the ability to hit with any team in the league. The lineup is strong 1-9 and is expected to produce much more than last year.
Weakness: On paper this team has what it takes to win the division and compete in the playoffs. The one thing that is holding them back is team chemistry. There needs to be a leader or leaders in that club house that can cheer them up after a losing streak and keep them level headed during a winning streak. This aspect of success is heavily underrated. Team chemistry will go a long way in how the Blue Jays play this season.
Difference maker: Jose Bautista. Will he put up stellar offensive numbers? Yes. Will he play great defense? Yes. He will be a great player like he is every year. This year he needs to be a difference maker in the club house. Like I said earlier, the Blue Jays need a leader with all that talent around. He needs to be the one to step up and say, “this is my team, everyone follow me.” If he can do that and help this team stay consistent all season, then that could be the difference maker for the Jays this season.
Prediction: While I think the Blue Jays will make improvements, I don’t see them pushing past the Boston Red Sox or the New York Yankees this coming season. They will be a tough team to compete against, but this division is one of the toughest in the MLB. Blue Jays finish 3rd in the AL East a few games behind the Yankees.