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What Past Toronto Blue Jays Player Would Make the Biggest Impact in 2013?

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COMMENTARY | The Toronto Blue Jays have assembled a stellar cast of quality athletes for this 2013 campaign. Of course their is always room for improvement, so what past Jays star would make the biggest impact this season?

Since the club's inaugural year in 1977 an argument could be made for many past favorites. George Bell, Devon White, Joe Carter, Pat Borders and Jack Morris are a few of the possibilities.

However, no one would prove a greater asset to the team right now than hall of fame second baseman, Roberto Alomar.

Let's briefly review the impressive resume of No. 12:

  • 12 All-Star appearances
  • 10 Gold Glove awards
  • 4 Louisville Silver Slugger awards
  • 2 World Series Championships
  • Career batting average of .300
  • Inducted into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame

The successes of course speak for themselves, but why would Alomar be particularly successful on this Toronto club?

For one, the current Jays second baseman is a utility man that has played both infield and outfield. Emilio Bonifacio came over in the blockbuster trade with the Miami Marlins last November.

Versatility is a strength of Bonifacio, but being a career depth option compared to a steadfast starter in one main role are two entirely different things.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Miami was actually looking at keeping Bonifacio in center field or even swapping him into third base. So can someone who is not a true second baseman and on his fourth team in seven years really be expected to solidify up the middle?

The native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic only hit above .261 once in his career and averages an astonishingly low 68 game appearances per season.

In comparison, Alomar was a rising star at second when he and Joe Carter joined the Blue Jays from San Diego in 1991. Already well respected defensively, he had compiled an overall .283 batting average in three campaigns with the Padres.

After donning the blue and white Robbie exploded. Near super-human athleticism made almost impossible plays out on the field seem routine. Combine that with tremendous speed and the ability to hit for extra bases and it was clear that Alomar was Toronto's long-term solution at second.

In this season's batting order he would slide in perfectly at number two behind Jose Reyes. A double shot of speed and power for opposing pitchers. Pop in Melky Cabrera at three, Jose Bautista for cleanup, and Edwin Encarnacion in the five hole.

Who is going to be able to stop that lineup? No question marks arise until Adam Lind at six.

Now obviously not every position can have a Hall of Famer attached to it and Roberto Alomar caliber talents don't come along very often.

However, a journeyman like Bonifacio, or anyone else on this 2013 roster, is not the answer for second base. The Blue Jays simply require a better and more reliable solution.

To make a serious run at a championship off the bench contributors like Bonifacio or Maicer Izturis are absolutely essential to plug holes and be able to step in at different spots. Not as every day starters though.

Give the Jays Alomar and you get a lock for the American League East pennant.

Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81.

Andy is a sports journalist and broadcaster with over 8-years experience covering professional, collegiate and minor league sports

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