Ex-Jays Thriving in NL

After varying degrees of success in the American League East, five ex-Jays are excelling in the National League.

Aaron Hill (Arizona Diamondbacks) .291/.360/.508 (244 AB, 10 HR)

Aaron made headlines after hitting for the cycle:

With 10 HR, a .369 wOBA and 2.5 WAR less than half way into the season, Hill continues to excel in the NL (he hit 315/.386/.492 in his short NL stint last season). All of a sudden, the Diamondbacks 2-year, $11 million contract for Hill is looking like a bargain. Even with heavy regression, AHill looks like a lock for 3.5 – 4.0 WAR this season.

John McDonald (Arizona Diamondbacks) – .280/.322/.512 (82 AB, 4 HR, 7 2B, 4 IBB)

For a minute let’s pretend sample sizes don’t exist. Cool? Ok, this season McDonald has a higher SLG and OPS than Albert Pujols. And McDonald has only 1 fewer IBB. John McDonald for an NL silver slugger!

Ok, that’s not realistic. The IBB are from hitting in the #8 slot. But come on, 11 extra base hits including 4 long balls in only 82 AB!?!?!

Lyle Overbay (Arizona Diamondbacks) – .366/.446/.577 (71 AB)

Overbay has found a home in Arizona, acting as back-up 1st baseman to Paul Goldschmidt. Lyle is also the Diamondbacks primary LHB off the bench, making 13 pinch hit appearances this season. He’s one of the few Diamondback players with a higher OPS on the road than at home.

Josh Roenicke (Colorado Rockies) – 41.2 IP, 2.76 ERA, 26 BB, 28 K

The MLB leader in relief IP, Josh has found a home and an opportunity in Colorado. Plus/Minus for his season:

Minus: He’s struggled with command and has allowed nearly 24% linedrives.

Plus: Able to pitch multiple innings per appearance, he still throws hard (92.4 MPH avg on his FB), has kept the ball in the park with a low 0.43 HR/9 rate and has opposing batters hitting into nearly 55% GB.

Shawn Camp (Chicago Cubs) – 3.44 ERA, 36.2 IP, 29 K, 10 BB (2IBB), 1.255 WHIP

He’s a strikeout machine! Ok, not really, but compared to last season he’s like Clayton Kershaw.

2011 season in Toronto: 32 K in 66.1 IP.

2012 season in Chicago: Only 3 fewer K in 29.2 fewer innings (29 K in 36.2 IP)

Mini Scouting Report: Camp has embraced his slider this season, throwing it over 40% of the time. This has resulted in a diminished ground ball rate (only 42.5% vs his career rate of 54+%), which has been offset by the additional strikeouts. His 2012 FIP is near a career low at 3.35. Camp still brings his fastball at only 87 MPH, but the change in pitching philosophy, along with moving into the NL Central has helped Camp’s bottom line.

Question/Scenario: It’s late July and the Jays are contention for a Wild Card. Would you be interested in bringing any of these players back to Toronto via trade?

Notes: Images via Google images, stats via ESPN, B-Ref, Fangraphs, video via MLB.com

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