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Blue Jays 2024 Season Projections — Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
3 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays season is now underway as the team started the show on the road. As we prepare to devote our attention to this club in 2024, the main focal point for leadership and performance will obviously be directed towards Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.
The reliance of the two main big-wigs on the field became more natural as the Blue Jays failed to land any of the top names on the market this offseason, who ideally would have been assistance to the offense. Guerrero Jr. and Bichette’s presence around the clubhouse pollute the environment with a “captain” feel although neither have been formally appointed. These two bats are the front runners for the Blue Jays offense and mainly runs through them.
After winning his arbitration case, the 6’2” 245 lbs. first baseman showed up to spring training camp trimmed and in workable shape. His off-season conditioning program has translated well on the field as his athleticism shows out, enhancing his swing mechanics. Physically and mentally, Guerrero has put himself in the environment to compete in the notorious American League East.
Reflecting on Guerrero’s recent numbers and considering the totality of his professional statistics, the 2024 season will be one to watch. The Blue Jays struggled hard with the bat last year, and Guerrero only hit .264, making it his second worst season per batting average, and slugging percentage. This does not take away from the above-average performance he displayed, knocking in a third all-time high of 26 home runs and a third all-time high of 94 RBIs. His plate approach will continue to be the flow to a bright projection and possibly a successful season at the dish. He shows great understanding of how to be an effective hitter with common plate discipline and aggressiveness in the right circumstances. The fastball is his top choice of attack followed by the breaking pitch then the off-speed.
In 2023 the fastball represented the highest of most recordings such as hits, doubles, and home runs. His pitch recognition and discipline is displayed well; he has 72.4% zone percentage with an 83.4% zone contact percentage. He chased 28.8% in 2023 with a 47.9% zone percentage.  He is able to find his pitch and has the patience to wait for something in the zone. This trait will ultimately increase his on-base percentage with more chances for walks and or more batted balls for hits. In 2024, his projections will look like: 32-35 home runs, 160-170 hits, and 97 RBIs. His year ultimately projects better than 2023.
Bo Bichette has recently returned to the Blue Jays lineup in hopes of assisting other reputable bats in overcoming the possibilities of future no-hitters and one-hitters. Bichette’s 2023 season was an All-Star year where his slash-percentages were of quality. He recorded a .306 batting average, a .339 slugging percentage, and a .475 slugging percentage but did miss some time while battling a knee injury later in the campaign.
The main struggle last year for the Jays shortstop was his horrendous strikeout to walk ratio, where he struck out 115 times compared to walking only 27 times. Despite not affecting his average or his on-base percentage, the strikeouts were a concern and a flaw in Bichette’s hitter profile. On the flip side, his performance outside of the strikeouts was quite impressive given the scarcely offensive year by the team as a whole. He finished the year with 175 hits (career third-most big league hits in a season), 20 home runs, and 73 RBIs. Bichette can repeat these numbers plus more if he can figure out an approach that keeps his head above water in his counts and is able to bite at the pitch that makes most sense to him. His strikeout splits end up as 54 strikeouts on a fastball and 51 strikeouts on breaking pitches.
In 2024 he will project to have 165-175 hits along with 25-28 home runs, 80 RBIs, and a reduced strike out number.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

 

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