Blue Jays’ Kevin Kiermaier said he wants to make the Rays regret letting him go

Photo credit:Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
3 months ago
On Monday evening, Kevin Kiermaier will make his return to Tropicana Field.
The 33-year-old outfielder spent 10 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Ahead of the opening game, Kiermaier told Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae that he said “I’m going to make you guys miss me”.
From 2013 to 2022, Kiermaier amassed a 23.5 fWAR, along with a 147 Defensive Runs Saved and a 68 Outs Above Average in 7,235.2 innings fielded in the outfield. His bat with the Rays was a little bit below average, as he slashhed .248/.308/.407 with 82 homers in 3351 plate appearances for a 97 wRC+.
Well, Kiermaier has already become one of the best Blue Jays players on both sides of the field. This season, he’s slashing .317/.372/.492 with three homers in 138 plate appearances, with that entire slash line being a career high if he maintains it. Furthermore, his 141 wRC+ is tied with Bo Bichette, and ahead of hitters like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Brandon Belt, and Alejandro Kirk.
Obviously, Kevin Kiermaier could be a candidate for as gold glove in centre field. In 317 innings fielded, he has a 10 DRS and a 4 OAA. His DRS of 10 is tied for the lead league with Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox (with the next closest being 5), while his OAA of four is just behind Roberts’ 5.
If we broaden the scope to that of the entire MLB, Kiermaier is tied for the best DRS in baseball, while he is tied for 11th in OAA, a tool that better measures infielders rather than outfielders.
Kiermaier also has a 1.4 fWAR, only behind Matt Chapman and Bo Bichette, who both have 1.9 fWARs. If he were on the 34-14 Tampa Bay Rays, his 1.4 fWAR would rank sixth on the team, which is pretty impressive considering how well the Rays have played in 2023.
Kevin Kiermaier has been a breath of fresh air in centre field, and hopefully he can continue his great pace to start the 2023 season.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.


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