It all stemmed from the comments section at The Tao of Stieb and it's now ballooned into an internet sensation of epic proportions. After spending almost 11 months with the club, we finally pay tribute to one of the most often overlooked Blue Jays, Jose Bautista.
It's time to give credit where it is due, and so ... the Bautista Appreciation Society (BAS for short) is born.
While his bat may not be feared, Jose Bautista’s outfield skills more than make up for it. Bautista is tied for 5th in the American League with seven total outfield assists. What makes that stat even more amazing is that Bautista has played just 31 games in the outfield.
If you do the math that means he guns down a runner every four games. Compared to his counterparts in the Jays outfield, Bautista has two more outfield assists than Vernon Wells and Alex Rios, both which have started over 90 games in the outfield.
Stat geeks need not worry - this affection for Jose Bautista is warranted and also backed by cold hard facts. Bautista’s RngR (Range Runs Above Average) is an acceptable at -2.4, similar to Alex Rios at -2.9. Bautista’s UZR is even pretty decent at -5.3. Hell, anybody in the Blue Jays outfield right now looks like a Gold Glover compared to Vernon Wells.
If it weren’t for his .256 batting average, I would say that Cito should put Jose Bautista in left field for every game. Defensively, Bautista is a great asset in the outfield and does a great job at holding runners and throwing them out too.
So for all of those wanting to join, official Bautista Appreciation Society membership cards and T-Shirts will be available in the near future. Please sign up in the comments section below.
On behalf of Jose, thank you.