Choosing the Blue Jays leadoff hitter

Pillar? Saunders? What about Tulo? Donaldson? Bautista?

The Toronto Blue Jays are off to a less than ideal start this season, and are currently tied for second in the American League East with a 7-7 record.

The 3 greatest leadoff hitters ever

1. Rickey Henderson:
With a career 2,190 walks, 1406 stolen bases, and .401 OBP, there is no questioning the fact that Rickey Henderson was the greatest leadoff hitter ever. Henderson also amassed 3,055 hits and scored 2,295 runs over his 25 year career.

2. Pete Rose
What he lacked in speed, he made up for with his bat. Rose remains the all-time MLB leader in hits, with 4,256 of them. That, coupled with a his 2,165 runs and .375 OBP has cemented his place as one of baseball’s all-time greats.

3. Ichiro Suzuki
Despite playing his first nine seasons of professional baseball in Japan, there’s no denying that Ichiro is one of the greatest leadoff hitters ever. With 2,939 career MLB hits, Ichiro will likely join the 3,000 hit club this year. Additionally, he has 10 200+ hit seasons under his belt, the most hits ever in one season (262), 499 career stolen bases, and a .356 OBP

Despite the fact that there are 148 regular season games left in the year, there are already concerns surfacing over the reliability of the team’s bullpen, the uncharacteristically high number of team strikeouts, the struggles of Troy Tulowitzki and Russell Martin, and recently, who should hit leadoff.

Manager John Gibbons has stated that Kevin Pillar and Michael Saunders are the two leading candidates for the job, despite their terrible on-base percentage (OBP).

In light of this, let’s examine Pillar and Saunders, along with some other Blue Jays players that could arguably hit in that leadoff spot.

Here is a visual representation that analyzes the stats associated with the leadoff spot and the Jays Candidates.