2016 Blue Jays Season Review: Junior Lake

Junior Lake

Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.

 

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The Blue Jays picked up Junior Lake off of waivers from the Baltimore Orioles in December last year and intended to use him as outfield depth. Lake, 26, had shown tremendous promise in his minor league career as well as in his first half-season in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 2013 but it appears that big league pitchers have figured him out in the intervening years.

Lake had a decent but unimpressive spring, hitting .256/.341/.385 with five doubles before he was sent outright to Buffalo. In Triple-A he hit .244/.328/.387 with six home runs in 69 games before getting a call to Toronto in late June. As an injury replacement, he played regularly until the middle of July, hitting just .206/.289/.382 with a home run and three doubles in 15 games. He returned to Buffalo for five games, and was brought back to Toronto in mid-August, getting into two games: one as a defensive replacement and the other in a pinch-hitting role, going 0/1.

Lake cleared waivers and was sent outright back to Buffalo where he finished the season and wasn’t recalled for September. He chose free agency at the end of the season.

 

Contract Status

 

Lake became a free agent and signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox.

 

Emily Says

 

Junior Lake was claimed off waivers by the Jays last December, and was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo after Spring Training. On June 24th he was called up following an injury to Jose Bautista. He appeared in nineteen games before being designated for assignment on the 25th of July. He returned to Buffalo but then was called up for a three-game stint in August.

He started ten games, being used mainly as a pinch-runner and late -inning defensive replacement in the outfield. He had seven hits in 35 at-bats, a .200 average. He went 3-for-9 in June with a home run, 4-for-25 in July and 0-for-1 in August. He doubled three times and walked four times, for an OBP of .282 and a slugging percentage of .371. He struck out eleven times, a rate of 28.2%. He also stole a base, drove in two runs and scored five.

He logged 93 innings in the outfield and five at first base. He made one error in seventeen chances as an outfielder, for a fielding percentage of .941. At first, he made three of three putouts, including two double plays.

 

Regular Season Grades

 

Jay: D
Emily: D+

 

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