When an average fan is asked who Ryan Goins is, a baseball player is probably the last thing that comes to their mind. He isn’t flashy like Mike Trout, He doesn’t have the power of Bryce Harper, nor is he ever talked about, but Ryan Goins does more things right than wrong. He plays the game the right way and the hard way.
The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Goins in the 4th Round of the 2009 MLB Draft and nothing was heard about him at all. He didn’t have great numbers in the minor leagues, he was no elite prospect, and he was rarely asked for in trade discussions. He was a depth player in the minor leagues and was an afterthought on ever joining the major league team.
After the Blue Jays’ blockbuster 2012, due to the trades with the Marlins, the Mets and signing Melky Cabrera in free agency, 2013 was the year the Blue Jays would win it all and break what was at the time, a 20-year playoff drought. However that failed to happen. The year was full of disappointment and confusion on how a team with that much talent finished so many games under .500. Defensively they were, frankly quite awful. The Maicer Izturis, Emilio Bonifacio platoon at second base rarely worked, and errors were more common than wins. As the season mercifully came to an end, the Jays needed a spark that would give the fans something to cheer about and shore up their defense. They called up some kid named Ryan Goins. They called up someone hitting .257 in AAA with close to no power and who never made the news stories, most fans didn’t even know he existed.
They were in for a surprise, Goins started his Major League career making highlight reel plays, and sometimes routine ones that the aforementioned second baseman were rarely making. He became a human highlight reel, dazzling fans with defense and flair while going on a nine-game hit streak. Fans finally had something to cheer about. They could finally rest easy on balls to the second baseman and watch in awe as he performed the spectacular. The previously unheralded Goins went into 2014, as the lead candidate to win a job as the Opening Day second baseman.
When 2014 rolled around, Goins started slumping at the plate, he started his season hitting .176 before being optioned down to AAA Buffalo. 2014 was a write off for Goins, while regular making his great defensive plays and sporting a .993 fielding percentage, there was not much else he could do. He finished the season hitting just .188 with one home run and just 15 RBI’s in his limited time on the field. Everyone was disappointed, they thought they found their second baseman of the future.
Fast forward to 2015 , after a great spring training, doing nothing but hit (.315) and play great defense, Ryan was optioned again to the Minors as Devon Travis the newest Blue Jay super prospect won the starting second baseman job. After an injury to Reyes, Goins was back up, trying to fill a void and has stayed in the Majors since doing an adequate job of replacing the flashy Reyes. When Reyes became healthy Goins stayed on as a utility man playing, second base, left field, right field, shortstop, third base, he was the super utility man. A few months later, Travis went down with a shoulder injury and Jays fans around were holding their heads as they lost their star second baseman and the offense they were getting from second base was going to be limited.
Enter Ryan Goins.
Since Travis went down with an injury, Goins has posted a .321 average (22/70) and has gone 16/38 (.421) while enjoying a career-high 12-game streak and an OBP of .442, also a career-high. He has done more than anyone expected and has surprised everybody. He has driven in nine runs batting from the ninth spot, including a two-run, walk-off homerun against the Cleveland Indians, to keep the Jays division lead at 1.5 games.
Go-Go-Goins as teammates call him has been nothing but spectacular while keeping his always steady and great glove at second base, sporting a .996 fielding percentage and has a RDrs of 6.0, which shows he saves six more runs than the average second baseman.
Going back to his newly found patience and offense, Ryan is hitting .274 with runners in scoring position which shows his clutch and how he bears down when it matters most. What is most outstanding is that he has drawn 16 walks in August, coming out of the ninth spot in the batting order and getting on base for the big boppers, Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki and Edwin Encarnacion. It’s tough for the Jays’ lineup to get even more dangerous than it already is, but with Goins still riding his hit streak, taking his walks and getting on base for the top of the lineup, Toronto just got a whole lot scarier. They are a threat all the way from top to bottom.
Ryan Goins is Toronto’s starting second baseman and he deserves every bit of credit he receives. He puts on a clinic in the field and is showing newly found offense. His average before the All-Star Game was .226 an since then he has hit .289, and his overall average is up to a more than respectful .252 coming out of the ninth spot.
The holes in Toronto’s lineup are getting smaller and smaller, and Goins is doing everything right to play everyday and chase Toronto’s first World Series since 1993. He saves runs with the glove and wins games with the bat. Right now there aren’t many better all-round second baseman in baseball.