The Toronto Blue Jays are having an exciting 2021 season.
Not many folks expected the club to contend for a playoff bid this year, but with less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, Toronto is still firmly in the mix.
Baseball is a team sport, but there are a few players who have really helped carry the load for the Blue Jays throughout the year.
Today, we’re ranking the team’s three most valuable players in 2021.
Let’s get started.
3. Robbie Ray
It’s impossible to know where the Blue Jays would be without Robbie Ray.
The lefty is a legitimate Cy Young candidate, and he’s by far the best starter in Toronto’s rotation.
Robbie Ray, Sick 90mph Slider. 🥴
13th K. Give the man his Cy Young. pic.twitter.com/orlDtD65hF
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 15, 2021
Ray leads the league in ERA (2.72), ERA+ (161), innings (182), starts (30), strikeouts (238), WHIP (1.03), and hits allowed per nine innings (7.1).
He also has a stellar FIP (3.40), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.29), and nine-inning strikeout rate (11.8).
The 29-year-old has allowed four earned runs or fewer in all of his starts this season.
Equally as impressive, he has allowed three runs or fewer in 27 out of his 30 starts.
Ray is absurdly reliable, and if the Jays make the playoffs, he’ll be largely to thank.
2. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien is in his first year with the Blue Jays.
He’s playing on a one-year deal.
Given the way he has performed this year, Toronto is likely going to do everything in its power to keep the All-Star around for as long as possible.
Semien simply can’t be stopped this season.
He is having the best power-hitting season of his career, and very few people saw it coming.
The 31-year-old has 41 home runs, 38 doubles, and two triples in 152 games.
Marcus Semien – Toronto Blue Jays (41) pic.twitter.com/pQwt0DtFu1
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 21, 2021
He’s slashing .267/.339/.539, and he has an OPS+ of 135.
As if that’s not impressive enough, he has also been elite defensively.
The infielder has a whopping 1.5 defensive WAR on the year and 10 Defensive Runs Saved.
Overall, he has a WAR of 6.7 on the season, giving him the second-best mark of any Blue Jays player.
He is guaranteed to show up on some MVP ballots.
Plus, if the Blue Jays make the playoffs, Semien figures to become an even bigger weapon.
He has a career .371 batting average and 1.021 OPS over nine postseason games.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Of course, the obvious choice for the top spot is Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The 22-year-old is having a historically good offensive season, and if it not for Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani, Guerrero would likely be the runaway favorite for the AL MVP award.
The youngster leads the league in batting average (.323), on-base percentage (.413), slugging percentage (.617), OPS (1.030), OPS+ (177), total bases (348), home runs (46), hits (182), and runs (120).
Ladies and gentlemen, your current MLB HR Leader… Mr. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 👏👏👏pic.twitter.com/hAnBBuAm7G
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 18, 2021
The slugger is an absolute nightmare for opposing pitches to deal with, and it’s probably going to be this way for many, many years.
Guerrero leads the Blue Jays with a 6.8 WAR.
Over his last 23 games, he’s batting .382 with a whopping 1.225 OPS and 10 home runs.
There’s no way to slow him down right now, and if Toronto finds itself in the postseason, Guerrero will surely make the most of the opportunity.