|Photo Courtesy Premier Life|
The beginning of the rest of his career began in 2008. After not performing well in Pittsburgh he was sent down to AAA. Another bump in the road for Jose. However he would end up being traded to Toronto before the deadline and became a backup infielder and outfielder for the Jays. In 2009 he also served as a utility player but near the end of the season he showed promise hitting 10 of his 13 home runs on the season in September. Then what I like to call "The Year" happened. 2010 would turn into The Year of Jose. after being named the starting right fielder for the Blue Jays, Jose knew he finally had a consistent role on a team for the first time in his career. Jose began to tear up the league. He hit his 20th home run two months into the season which already topped his career high. And the home runs didn't stop. He would hit his 30th in the month of July. He then broke a Blue Jays record on September 15th by hitting his 47th home run of the year; breaking George Bell's team record that was set in 1987. As the end of the season came along, Jose would finish with 54 home runs which was the highest total since 2007 when A-Rod did it. He also became the 26th player in history to hit over 50 home runs. His final stats for the 2010 season was 54 Home Runs, 124 RBI's and a .260 average. Over the course of the season he was named to his first all-star game, won the Hank Aaron Award, and a Silver Slugger. However he would finish fourth in MVP voting. It was the season nobody saw coming, and it would continue.
|Photo Courtesy CBS Sports|
As we enter the 2012 season there is a sense of optimism around the Jays. A core of young promising talent waiting to break through. However the league must be aware of the man who has risen to the top of the league. At 31 Jose is in his prime and should continue to produce. And with the help of the other young sluggers on his team, he should be able to push Toronto to its first postseason birth since 1993. He is a proven leader and has shown the willingness to do what it takes for the team to win. He has switched positions when it would benefit the team and did it with a smile. With Brett Lawrie entrenched at third base, Jose should finally get to play a full season in right field. It should be an exciting season and I for one can't wait to see what Jose pulls out of his bag of tricks this year.
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Info via MLB.com and bluejays.com