The Toronto Blue Jays were only established in 1977 but they have been relatively successful in their short time in baseball. They won their first AL East division title in 1985 and then became the dominant force in the division in the late 80s. They claimed four division titles between 1989 & '93, and claimed the AL Pennant in both 1992 & '93.
Their first trip to the World Series was against the Atlanta Braves and they took the title with a 4-2 series will behind MVP Pat Borders. The next year they faced the Philadelphia Phillies but the result was the same, a 4-2 win this time with Paul Molitor taking MVP honors. Since that run of wild success the Blue Jays have only made it back to the playoffs twice, falling in the ALCS both times. Recently the Blue Jays have struggled to compete in the AL East. In 2018 they finished 73-89. Can you take over the team in The Show 19 and return them to the top of the division?
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*All stats correct at time of writing
MLB The Show 19 doesn’t give you a single OVR with which to compare teams like other sports games. Instead you have different rankings to see how one team measures up to another. The Blue Jays do not rank well, coming in at 27th overall. Their best aspect is their pitching, but even that is ranked just 22nd. Their speed (24th) and power (25th) are the next best parts of their team, while contact (28th) and defense (27th) are their weakest points.
The Blue Jays are also at a financial disadvantage, working with a team budget of just $116 million, half that of their AL East rivals in Boston and New York. That means you will need to be very selective with your investments when building up the roster. Which players on the current roster will you be building your roster around?
Ken Giles, Closing Pitcher (87 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$6.3 million + 1 year arbitration
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Slider, Sinker
Best Stats: Velocity (99), K/9 (92), Arm Strength (92), Break (84), Control (81), Clutch (78)
Ken giles was a seventh-round pick for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011. He got his MLB debut in 2014, pitching 45.2 innings with a 1.18 ERA. In 2015 he got some save opportunities, pitching 70 innings over 69 appearances with a 1.80 ERA and 15 saves. The next year he went to Houston and had a disappointing season before rebounding in 2017. In 2018 he got a mid-season trade to Toronto and struggled to adapt.
In The Show 19 giles has elite velocity (99) and superb strikeout ability (92). He also has solid break (84) and control (81) along with a reasonable ability in the clutch (78). All of this combines to make his a very good closer option for any team.
Marcus Stroman, Starting Pitcher (80 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$7.4 million + 1 year arbitration
Pitches: 2-Seam Fastball, Slider, Cutter, 4-Seam Fastball
Best Stats: Stamina (87), Velocity (73), Fielding (68), BB/9 (68), HR/9 (68), Break (67)
Marcus Stroman was a first-round pick for the Blue Jays in 2012. He got his MLB debut in 2014, starting 20 games with a 3.29 ERA in 120.1 innings with 103 strikeouts. Stroman suffered injury in 2015 but returned in 2016 with 32 starts and his first 200+ inning season. He repeated that in 2017 before injury and inconsistencies hurt his production in 2018.
In The Show 19 Stroman is a solid pitcher. He has good stamina (87) and his velocity is ok (73). His break (67) isn't great and his control (58) is shaky too. Stroman does a solid job at limiting walks (68) and homers (68) but he isn't a strikeout monster by any means.
Kevin Pillar, Center Field (79 OVR)
Contract: 1 year/$5.8 million + 1 year arbitration
Secondary Position: LF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Durability (87), Reaction (86), Arm Strength (85), Vision (78), Contact vs L (76), Fielding (74), Arm Accuracy (70)
Kevin Pillar was a 32nd-round pick in the 2011 draft for the Blue Jays, and got his MLB debut in 2013 playing 36 games with three homers and just a .206 average. By 2017 Pillar had added some power to his game, hitting 16 homers with a .256 average and superb defensive play, and his 2018 season cemented those numbers as actual production.
In The Show 19 Pillar has nice durability (87) and good contact against lefties (76) as well as superb reaction (86) and arm strength (85) in the field. Pillar's vision (78) at the plate is good and he has solid speed (61) too. He lacks much power at the plate, but is otherwise a solid player for the Blue Jays.
Toronto Blue Jays MLB Roster
There can be some fluctuation in OVR from save to save in MLB The Show 19, and depending on how recent a roster update you have they can be substantial. However, the baseline stats of a player rarely move. We start our look at the Blue Jays roster with their position players and then their pitchers.
|Player||OVR||Age||Position||Bat Hand||Best Contact||Best Power||Fielding||Speed|
|Kevin Pillar||79||30||CF||R||76 (L)||48 (L)||74||61|
|Randal Grichuk||78||27||RF||R||56 (R)||75 (R)||68||69|
|Justin Smoak||78||32||1B||S||64 (L)||81 (R)||63||2|
|Freddy Galvis||75||29||SS||S||63 (L)||50 (R)||70||45|
|Devon Travis||75||28||2B||R||69 (L)||56 (L)||61||47|
|Brandon Drury||74||26||3B||R||72 (L)||58 (L)||49||45|
|Teoscar Hernandez||73||26||LF||R||59 (R)||75 (L)||45||73|
|Kendrys Morales||73||35||1B||S||84 (L)||72 (R)||58||2|
|Jonathan Davis||70||26||CF||R||61 (L)||45 (L)||71||75|
|Luke Maile||69||28||C||R||44 (L)||47 (L)||95||31|
|Reese McGuire||69||24||C||L||56 (R)||39 (R)||67||45|
|Danny Jansen||67||23||C||R||56 (L)||41 (L)||48||62|
|Rowdy Tellez||67||24||1B||R||70 (R)||69 (R)||40||20|
The Blue Jays MLB roster is made up of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. That is your 9-man lineup and a 4-man bench along with a 5-man starting rotation and a 7-man bullpen including your closer.
The Blue Jays lineup is not great, but the core of the production will come from Kevin Pillar (vision 78, contact L 76), Randal Grichuk (power R 75, power L 73), and Justin Smoak (discipline 91, power R 81). Those three are supported by Brandon Drury (contact L 72, contact R 69), Teoscar Hernandez (power L 75, power R 67), and Rowdy Tellez (contact R 70, power R 69).
When it comes to playing the field Luke Maile (fielding 95) is Toronto's best weapon, followed by Pillar (fielding 74) and Jonathan Davis (71).
The starting rotation has Marcus Stroman (stamina 87, velocity 73) as its ace, but he is some way off the ideal production level for a #1 pitcher. He would be a suitable 2 or 3 for a rotation, but not a #1. The rest of the rotation is made up of similarly miscast pitchers. Ryan Borucki (stamina 83, velocity 76) sits in the #2 spot, with Aaron Sanchez (stamina 83, velocity 80), Matt Shoemaker (stamina 81, break 75), and Clay Buchholz (break 84, control 75) rounding off the rotation. Improving the rotation is just one of the things that need doing in Toronto.
The bullpen is anchored by closer Ken Giles (velocity 99, break 84) and setup man Ryan Tepera (velocity 96, break 78). After that things can get pretty bleak. Tim Mayza (velocity 71, break 55), David Phelps (break 77, velocity 72), and Bud Norris (break 88, velocity 85) are ok arms but none are reliable shutdown pitchers. Danny Barnes (break 96, velocity 67) and Thomas Pannone (velocity 71, stamina 68) are both innings eaters and little more.
MLB The Show 19 gives you four lineups to set for your team, these are against a right-handed starter with and without the DH and against a left-handed starter with and without the DH. As the Blue Jays are in the American League most of your games will be played with the DH so these are the lineups you want to focus on the most.
Against righties with the DH the Blue Jays lineup starts with CF Kevin Pillar followed by 2B Travis and 1B Justin Smoak. RF Randal Grichuk is in the #4 spot with the DH Rowdy Tellez and LF Teoscar Hernandez next. The bottom three is made up of 3B Brandon Drury, SS Freddy Galvis, and C Reese McGuire. Without the DH Tellez sits down.
Against lefties with the DH Pillar and Travis remain atop the lineup, with 1B Kendrys Morales and DH Justin Smoak following. 3B Drury is at the #5 spot with grichuk, Hernandez, galvis next and C Jansen in the final spot. Without the DH Justin Smoak comes out of the lineup.
These lineups are pretty good but we can always do better.
Against righties We have promoted Devon Travis to the lead-off spot and put Brandon Drury at the #2 spot. Justin Smoak and Randal Grichuk retain their places at #3 and #4 followed by Kevin Pillar, Rowdy Tellez, and Teoscar Hernandez with Freddy Galvis and Reese McGuire bringing up the rear.
Against lefties Pillar is at the top of the order with Hernandez at #2. Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak are #3 & #4 followed by Drury, Grichuk, Travis, and Galvis with Danny Jansen at catcher.
The farm system can be inconsistent in MLB The Show 19. There are variations in OVR and potential that can cause a great prospect in one save to disappear in another. There can also be an absence of real life prospects, so just knowing some names and picking them up isn’t possible either. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good prospects lurking in the Blue Jays farm system that can help the Major League club.
Barry Moreno, Starting Pitcher (74 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Sinker, 2-Seam Fastball, Curveball, Changeup
Best Stats: Arm Strength (87), H/9 (84), Break (79), Stamina (74), Arm Accuracy (72), Velocity (69)
Barry Moreno may only be 18 but he is well on his way to being an MLB starter. He already has solid stamina (74) and the break (79) to play at a the top level. His velocity (69) is ok, but it is his control (46) that really needs work. Once that has developed he should be ready to slide into your rotation, and with his 5-pitch repertoire he can really do some damage.
Stephen Wirth, Starting Pitcher (70 OVR)
Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, 2-Seam Fastball, Slider, Changeup, Curveball
Best Stats: Velocity (99), Stamina (95), Arm Strength (83), Arm Accuracy (67), Break (66), HR/9 (61), Control (55)
Another pitching option is 24-year-old Stephen Wirth. He already has MLB-ready velocity (99) and stamina (95). With such elite velocity you don't really mind that the break (66) is a little low. Again it is his control (55) that needs a little seasoning, but he is more MLB-ready than Moreno is and could find a spot in the Blue Jays rotation by the time September call ups happen.
Mariano Tejeda, Shortstop (69 OVR)
Secondary Position: 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF
Hitter Tendency: Pull Hitter
Best Stats: Stealing (80), Contact vs L (78), Vision (75), Speed (72), Discipline (65), Baserunning Aggressiveness (65), Contact vs R (62)
Mariano Tejeda has the versatility to play basically anywhere in the field, which is always a bonus, and the speed (72) and stealing ability (80) to be a menace once on base. At the plate he has nice contact skill already (62/78) but absolutely no power whatsoever. His fielding (57) and arm strength (59) suggests you should play him at second base early on.
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