Jose Bautista has easily been baseball’s biggest surprise in 2010, going from a relatively useful yet unknown commodity to the game’s premier homerun hitter in the span of one season. In 2009 the 30 year old veteran Bautista was a 1.9 win player (1.9 WAR) and slashed a rather pedestrian 235/349/408 and in 404 PAs he belted 13 HRs while posting a .173 ISO and .339 wOBA. He provided value with his versatility (able to play multiple positions) and league average defense but all in all was likely considered expendable by Toronto Blue Jays brass heading into the season if his numbers didn’t improve.
Bautista’s unprecedented 2010 season has been well documented by a lot of great sources on the net but to quickly recap Bautista has been a revelation with the bat and is already a near 7 win player (6.9 WAR) and has slashed 260/378/617 with 35 2Bs, 54 HRs, 124 RBIs, 100 BBs and has even chipped in 9 SBs. He has a ridiculous .357 ISO (career .207) and a .422 wOBA (career .346), he has been aided by an inflated 21.7% HR/FB (career 13.8%) but not a ridiculous rate and he has even been hindered by a low .233 BABIP. Any way you slice it and whatever your preferred method of stat-ology might be it has been a huge year for Jose Bautista.
This piece is to do a little comparative action to compare Bautista’s giant 2010 and any past big time Jays seasons to see exactly where this season fits in terms of greatest seasons (offensively) for a Blue Jay. As I scoured the books to see who I would compare his season to I stopped no further than a man who ranks as the greatest Blue Jays hitter of all time, our old friend Carlos Delgado. Oh there were some nice years from a few other sources, the usual suspects of John Olerud, Roberto Alomar, George Bell, Joe Carter, Jose Canseco’s juice filled comeback season and the like but I figured it would come down to a showdown between Bautista and Delgado.
So here is the matchup: in one corner we have 2010 Jose Bautista (season still continuing of course, so counting stats will improve but rates shouldn’t move much) and in the other corner all the way from Puerto Rico it’s the 2000 Carlos Delgado.
First, we will start with some standard counting stats:
Let’s now look at some more advanced numbers:
Considering Jose Bautista leads the league in HRs this season, has 100+ RBIs, 100 BBs and basically having a once in a lifetime season yet his numbers still pale in comparison to Carlos Delgado’s 2000 I have to ask a couple questions:
1) Should Delgado not be given the MVP considering that hack writer from Chicago left Delgado off his MVP ballot entirely, costing him the award?
2) If Jose Bautista has been accused of potentially using PEDs how has Delgado managed to avoid the same scrutiny even ten years later?
3) Should the Jays be actively looking to maximize Bautista’s value on the trade market?
It’s a shame this amazing season by Jose Bautista (and Delgado’s 2000 season) has basically been for naught in terms of the teams overall success, it would be nice to hot-tub time machine this beast of a year about two years into the future when the exciting and potentially dynamic rebuild is hopefully starting to really blossom in the highly competitive AL East landscape. Either way, kudos and a big hat tip goes to Jose Bautista who has put up one of the better Blue Jays offensive seasons of all time, and definitely one of the most surprising in Major League Baseball history.