... a very bad man?
... having a season worthy of being discussed among those of Delgado, Alomar, and Bell?
... the owner of MLB's best beard?
(no, really, this is fun - play along with me here)
... now established as one of AA's designated "core players", and therefore
... due a contract extension this offseason?
... the Jays best option at 3B in 2011?
... or at RF?
... making the front office count their blessings they didn't deal him off for the best (garbage) offer?
... deserving of MVP consideration?
... now established as one of the game's top power hitters and offensive threats?
... potentially the most underrated/under discussed player in baseball?
... no fluke or one-dimensional threat a la Tony Batista?
... making the founding members of the BAS (Bautista Appreciation Society) look very wise indeed?
OK friends, levity aside, let's all just appreciate the monster season Jose Bautista is having before our very eyes for what it is: one of the best single-season offensive performances in franchise history. I never thought I'd see the day when Jose Bautista's name was mentioned in the same breath as George Bell and Carlos Delgado, but here we are.
I'm ashamed to admit this, but as early as a month or six weeks ago, I wasn't sold on Bautista as much more than a trade chip heading into this offseason, or approaching the 2011 deadline. Now I can't see how Anthopoulos doesn't take a run at locking him up long-term. It's a dangerous game, negotiating with The Player after a career year, but assuming the demand isn't, y'know, Vernon Wells money (heyo!), how do the Jays not entertain the idea? I don't think anyone should expect another 46+ HR season, but pay him based on 30 and let's call it even.
Who's with me?
Make room for the kids?
Everyone's favorite analyst they love to hate (unless he says something positive about your team's prospects), Keith Law, had plenty to say about the two brightest pitching prospects in the Jays system after taking in a pair of Fisher Cat playoff games.
Both blog posts are behind ESPN's insider wall, but I'll only sorta break the rules by telling you the following:
Kyle Drabek flashed "stuff" he'd never seen nor heard from him before, showing a fastball topping out at 97 and his patented power curve, calling it a major-league out pitch. He now views Drabek as having "ace potential", with "a realistic ceiling just below that". Boom. Hear that, Drabek doubters?
Observing Zach Stewart, KLaw reports a 90-96 sinking fastball, "out-pitch" slider, surprising change, and mixing in a (substandard) curveball. Translation? "Potential #2 starter, maybe a #3..."
(of note, reading the comments from whiny Yankee fans accusing Law of - wait for it - Blue Jay bias for daring to grade the pair of Jays starters more highly than their Yankee prospect counterparts is almost worth the cost of Insider alone)