Randal Grichuk, Consistently Inconsistent

I may be lambasted for saying this, but I believe Randal Grichuk has value. We’ll cut to the chase, he’s the definition of streaky. Between April 1st and May 31st, we all thought he changed. In 208 plate appearances, Grichuk had a slash line of .289/.322/.819 with 9 homers and a wRC+ of 119. He also walked 4.3% of the time while striking out 18.8% of the time. However, the most surprising statistic is the fact he had 39 RBIs.

Now, RBIs isn’t a very good statistic for determining whether or not a batter is good because it is totally dependent on whether or not the batters ahead of you get on (unless you hit 100 solo homers in a season), but it fooled me and many other Jays fans into thinking his approach had changed.

I know we’ve been lied to in the past and if I’m wrong, I should rightly be roasted.
But Grichuk is a different hitter this season.#BlueJays #WeAreBlueJays
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) May 6, 2021

How about his next three months? Well it didn’t go as well. Between June 1st and August 31st, 272 plate appearances and had a slash line of .201/.246/.579 with 12 home runs, a wRC+ of 65 and 37 RBIs. …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 goals for Malachi Flynn in 2021-22 season

Toronto Raptors: 3 goals for Malachi Flynn in 2021-22 season

Part of the fun and, simultaneously, the stress of entering this next year of Toronto Raptors fandom is the amount we don’t know. Between the new signings, important trade acquisitions, big-time rookies, and shuffling the entire franchise’s deck, young players like Malachi Flynn and Scottie Barnes will likely be in focus. Potential is the most dangerous […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 goals for Malachi Flynn in 2021-22 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Mikheyev wants out and for some reason the Leafs aren’t on board

Kyle Dubas believes in this group, even the players that don’t have any interest in being part of the group anymore.
Earlier this evening Elliotte Friedman came out of hibernation and gave us a few insider tidbits, including this nugget about Ilya Mikheyev:
According to several sources, Toronto winger Ilya Mikheyev asked for a trade following the 2020-21 season. But, what is important to the story is that the Maple Leafs made it clear they do not want to accommodate this request. With Zach Hyman and Joe Thornton gone from the left wing, the organization told Mikheyev it considers him a key part of their team and are counting on him to have a big year.
This issue from Mikheyev’s point of view is ice time, and that’s kind of a bizarre stance to take when he struggled to produce offensively last season. His opportunities to produce were somewhat limited as he was tethered players like Alexander Kerfoot and Pierre Engvall, who like himself aren’t likely to generate offence without a proper catalyst. And while Friedman cites Hyman (who should have always been ahead of Mikheyev in the lineup), and Thornton (who Mikheyev should rightly be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The 2021 Top 20 Leafs Prospects: #2 Nick Robertson

Coming second on this year’s Top 20 Leafs Prospects list is last year’s #1, Nicholas Robertson.
Robertson, who torched the Ontario Hockey League for more than a goal-per-game in 2019-20, came into the 2020-21 season with a lot of hype and excitement surrounding him. Leafs fans were encouraged to see him keep his head above water in his first NHL stint as he joined the Leafs for their play-in series against Columbus.
Evaluating Robertson’s 2020-21 campaign was challenging, as he had a tough time stringing together long stretches of play between injuries, the Marlies’ COVID hiatus, and spending time watching the Leafs from the press box. When he played, his talent was still noticeable, the work ethic was still abundantly apparent, and he still showed a knack for blowing pucks past goaltenders. However, he played just 27 games of professional hockey last year, which did not give us much runway to work with to assess his progression.
Position: Left Forward
Age: 19 (20 on September 11)
Height: 5’9
Weight: 164 lbs
Drafted: 53rd Overall, 2019 NHL Draft by The Toronto Maple Leafs
2020-21 Teams: Toronto Marlies, AHL (21GP) | Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL (6GP)
2020 Prospect Ranking: #1
Overview
Robertson, an undersized forward at 5-foot-9, was selected midway through …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

It’s time to stop being upset at Mitch Marner

This summer has honestly been incredible. It’s been a time where everyone could step away from the game of hockey for a while. For myself, this past year and a half has been the hardest part of my life, and it got to the point where watching the sport I love felt like a chore.
Obviously, seeing the Maple Leafs go out in the first round for the fifth-straight year didn’t help that feeling. However, I’ve been able to step back throughout this break and really notice my feelings toward the team, and its players.
I’d like to discuss one player in particular — Mitch Marner.
Are you still mad at him? You probably are.
Whenever I see someone upset about Marner, it’s usually because of his contract value. The 24-year-old has the seventh-highest cap hit in the NHL at $10,903,00, and usually, every Maple Leafs fan has something to say about it. Some could be good, but usually, most of it is criticism.
But it’s time to stop talking about it.
After another exit in the first round, fans were upset. I genuinely think people were more angry with Marner than the Leafs team as …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 3 potential outcomes for the 2021-22 season

Toronto Raptors: 3 potential outcomes for the 2021-22 season

Up and down the line of this Toronto Raptors roster, there are scores of questions that the club needs to answer in a timely fashion. Can Pascal Siakam return to All-NBA form? Can Fred VanVleet step in and fill Kyle Lowry’s hefty shoes? Will OG Anunoby take the step from elite role player to star? […]
Toronto Raptors: 3 potential outcomes for the 2021-22 season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Getting to know Hagen Danner, a catcher the Blue Jays have converted into a pitching prospect

The Blue Jays may not make the playoffs this season. In fact, with each passing day, Blue Jays fans are getting the Julius Caesar treatment. All these winnable games that have turned into losses are the equivalent to Caesar getting poked 23 times at the steps of the Pompey Theatre. It’s been a slow and painful season to watch a team underperform.

It’s not all bad, however, as the one thing I find enjoyable with the Blue Jays at the moment is writing articles about current prospects, which is what this article will be about.
With the 61st pick in the 2017 draft:
I’ve mentioned this player before in an article. In fact, Hagen Danner’s name came up in my last article about Chavez Young.  The Toronto Blue Jays drafted a 18-year-old catcher/pitcher Hagen Danner out of Hunting Beach High School. According to Pipeline’s top 200 draft picks, these are Hagen Danner’s grades and there are a lot of them as a 2-way player.
Grades:
As a hitter:
Hit: 50
Power: 45
Run: 30
Arm: 60
Field: 55
Overall: 50
As a pitcher:
Fastball: 60
Curveball: 50
Changeup: 50
Control: 55
Overall: 50
Hagen Danner ranked as the 41st best draftable prospect in 2017, so how did he …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

When could Bobby McMann be in an NHL lineup?

Bobby McMann and where he could be playing this year is very interesting. With all the players that the Toronto Marlies have, he could be sent to the Newfoundland Growlers. However, he could stick with the Marlies if he has a good training camp.
In this video, I discuss when, and if, McMann could make it to the NHL. And why I might need a little more time to figure out that answer.
Enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario for 4 star players in 2020-21

Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario for 4 star players in 2020-21

This upcoming NBA season could be one of the most unpredictable and intriguing in the history of the Toronto Raptors. This team did just lose Kyle Lowry and is coming off of an 11th place finish in the East, so a rebuild makes sense. Likewise, this team is full of holdovers from 2019, so a […]
Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario for 4 star players in 2020-21 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ

Welcome To Rock Bottom

At this point, each loss is becoming more and more laughable and not in a good way. The game on Sunday afternoon was no different.

This series along with the Washington series, really feels like how the Cubs series felt in 2017. Both teams were in a position to make a run for a wildcard position, yet both teams went on a road trip and weren’t successful in making ground. With around 40 games remaining, it’s looking less and less like our beloved Blue Jays can make up the 4.5 games remaining against the Oakland Athletics. Especially as they play the tough Chicago White Sox starting on Monday.
Losing 5-3 to the Detroit Tigers hurts, like a lot.  Let’s dive head first into pain, shall we?
Things worth mentioning:
Bats need heat to survive:
The Jays’ bats went cold in this series. This has actually been a problem all season, but according to most, they have a top offense because they occasionally smash teams into the ground. Peep this mid June tweet of mine.

The classic cold bat move of:
Pounce on the starter and potentially score a ton of runs, but don’t.
And then proceed to be bad for …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation