2021 Blue Jays rankings by position, we will be ranking the top five active players at each position as the club gets prepared for the 2021 MLB season. The Blue Jays have committed to developing players from the minor leagues to the majors, a new tactic for Toronto under president Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins.
2021 Blue Jays Rankings: Top 5 Starting Pitchers
#5. LHP Robbie Ray – The now 29-year old lefty returns for his first full season with the Blue Jays, after being acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in August 2020. Robbie Ray was the 2019 pitcher of the year for the Arizona Diamondbacks, he finished with a 12-8 record, and a 4.34 ERA. In 2020 Ray pitched in 12 games combined, he had 11 starts and finished the year with a 6.68 ERA, and a 2-5 record. Robbie Ray looks to improve on his numbers from a year ago, he looked good during his first appearance in 2021 spring training, he showed good control in his two innings of work, finishing with two strikeouts, and a 4.50 ERA.
#4. LHP Steven Matz – 29-year old left-handed pitcher Steven Matz takes the fifth spot among Blue Jays starting pitchers. The former New York Mets pitcher was acquired in a trade during the off-season and will look to return to the form he displayed in 2019. Steven Matz has spent 6 seasons in MLB, he has a 4.35 ERA and a 31-41 record.
#3. RHP Tanner Roark – In his first season with the Toronto Blue Jays, right-handed pitcher Tanner Roark had two wins and three losses in 11 starts, he finished the year with a 6.80 ERA. In 2021, now 34-years old, Tanner Roark looks to solidify his name in the Blue Jays starting pitching rotation. The veteran has 183 starts during the 8 seasons he has spent in MLB, he has a lifetime record of 76-67 and a 3.83 ERA in 1148 innings.
#2. RHP Nate Pearson – The six-foot-six right-handed pitcher will be relied upon in 2021 to take the next step and earn his spot in the starting rotation. Nate Pearson will likely be capped in terms of innings pitched as pitching coach and management limit his workload. In 2020 Nate Pearson made his debut for the Blue Jays, he pitched in five games, starting four of those games he finished with a 1-0 record, 6.00 ERA in 18 innings. The future is bright for the top-ranked pitching prospect in MLB, and Toronto will allow him to take on a bigger role with the 2021 Blue Jays.
#1. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu – The 2020 Warren Spahn Award winner returns as the Blue Jays ace for 2021. A solid season for the veteran left-handed pitcher who will be relied upon this season to lead the pitching rotation as Toronto looks to return to the post-season in back-to-back seasons. A 5-2 record in 2020 for Hyun-Jin Ryu, an impressive 2.69 ERA in 12 starts in which he racked up 72 strikeouts was exactly what Toronto needed in a chaotic season. The now 33-year old will be crucial if the Blue Jays want to find success in 2021.
2021 Blue Jays Rankings: Top 5 Relief Pitchers
#5. RHP Tyler Chatwood – The 31-year old right-hander was one of a few free-agent acquisitions for the Toronto Blue Jays this offseason. Tyler Chatwood earned a 2-2 record in 2020, finishing with a 5.30 ERA for the Chicago Cubs, his third season with the Cubs after leaving the Colorado Rockies as a free agent in 2017. In his nine seasons in MLB, Chatwood has a 51-57 record and a 4.40 ERA
#4. RHP Rafael Dolis – 33-year old right-handed pitcher had an impressive 1.50 ERA in 2020 and a 2-2 record for Toronto. Rafael Dolis returned to MLB with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020 after a nearly 7-year hiatus, his last season before 2020 was in 2013 as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Rafael Dolis has four MLB seasons under his belt, he has a 4-6 record, a 4.08 ERA, and 9 saves during his MLB career.
#3. RHP A.J. Cole – Returning for his second season with Toronto, the 29-year old had a perfect 3-0 record in 2020 for Toronto. A.J. Cole appeared in 24 games last season for the Blue Jays, ending the year with a 3.09 ERA and one save in 24 innings of work. A.J was reliable in relief for Toronto, and the Blue Jays will look for the right-hander to replicate his performance again in 2020.
#2. RHP Kirby Yates – Potential closer and the newest Toronto Blue Jays reliever Kirby Yates will look to become the closeout specialist in 2021. The now 33-year old right-hander looks to re-ignite his career after a dismal 2020 with the San Diego Padres. In 2020 Kirby Yates appeared in six games, he accumulated 2 saves, an 0-1 record, and a 12.46 ERA. Toronto hopes he can regain his 2019 form, Kirby Yates racked up 41 saves, a 1.19 ERA in 60 innings of work with San Diego, if he can get close to those numbers then the role of the closer should be his for 2021.
#1. LHP Ryan Borucki – The Blue Jays 15th round draft selection in 2012 will play in his fourth season as a major league ballplayer. The now 26-year old left-hander posted the lowest earned run average of his three-year career in 2020, he appeared in 21 games for Toronto while racking up 21 strikeouts in 16 innings. This season he will be relied upon to pick up where he left off a year ago, with a full spring training schedule and the expectations rising, Ryan Borucki will be a crucial piece of the Blue Jays bullpen.
The Toronto Blue Jays are quickly becoming a serious contender in the American League division. Manager Charlie Montoyo will have plenty of options when it comes to his pitching rotation and the bullpen in 2021.
The 2021 Blue Jays Rankings will continue as we will rank the infield and outfield next time.
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