The Top 10 Blue Jays moments of 2019

November 11th, 2019

TORONTO -- Youth was served in 2019, as  and a cadre of youngsters, including and , gave fans a sneak peek at the future of Blue Jays baseball. Below are the 10 most memorable moments from this past season:

1. Plakata, Plakata, Plakata
July 8 Home Run Derby
When Vlad Jr. landed in the Majors, he was already a big name. At the Home Run Derby in July, he became a rock star. Guerrero finished as runner-up to eventual winner Pete Alonso, but the 91 home runs he launched in his record-setting performance stand as one of the most exciting moments of the 2019 season. Guerrero was the youngest participant in Derby history, and in his incredible battle with Joc Pederson, he launched the deepest shot of the night at 488 feet.

2. Bichette sinks Yanks with walk-off HR
Sept. 13 vs. Yankees
Bichette did it all in his rookie season, but few moments rival his walk-off home run to beat the Yankees, 6-5, at home in 12 innings. His blast capped a 3-for-5 day, but what made this walk-off so exciting were the tense seconds of waiting after the 21-year-old launched his sky-high shot to left-center. With a launch angle of 36 degrees, the ball hung up in the air before just barely clearing the wall to seal the win.

3. Hernández ends slugfest
July 26 vs. Rays
The Blue Jays were down, 9-2, in the sixth inning against the Rays, but they stormed back to set up ’s walk-off heroics and a 10-9 win. Toronto launched four home runs in the eighth and ninth innings -- including a three-run shot by Guerrero and a pair of homers from Brandon Drury. This was also Hernández’s second home run of the night during an offensive outburst from both clubs.

4. Biggio’s first blast
May 26 vs. Padres
Biggio didn’t enter the season with the same hype as teammates Guerrero and Bichette, but he showed in 2019 that he’s got plenty of pop, as well. Biggio’s first home run was a skyscraper in Toronto’s 10-1 win over San Diego, with a launch angle of 37 degrees, according to Statcast. It eventually landed in a vacant suite on the 400-level of Rogers Centre. His Hall of Fame father, Craig Biggio, was in attendance for the big day.

5. The first (and second) of many
May 14 vs. Giants
It took Guerrero a couple of weeks to find his power stroke in the big leagues, but he finally broke out in a 7-3 win over the Giants with his first and second career homers. The first was launched to straightaway center, leaving Guerrero’s bat at 111.3 mph and travelling a whopping 438 feet. He pulled his second home run just a touch to left-center, but he hit it even harder (113.7 mph) and farther (451 feet). There could be hundreds more to come, but Guerrero’s first pair will always be memorable.

6. Vladdy walks the line in debut
April 26 vs. A’s
The most anticipated moment of the season was always going to be Guerrero debut, and the No. 1 prospect in baseball at the time did not disappoint. Guerrero sparked a rally with the game tied, 2-2, in the bottom of the ninth as he showed incredible bat control -- adjusting his swing to shoot the ball down the first-base line and into the right-field corner. Vlad raced to second base amid one of the loudest roars of the season at Rogers Centre, and he soon scored on a walk-off home run by Drury to give the Blue Jays a 4-2 win.

7. Biggio hits for the cycle
Sept. 17 vs. Orioles
Biggio turned in one of the most impressive individual performances of the season when he hit for the cycle against the Orioles in September. Biggio became just the third Blue Jays hitter to hit for the cycle, and he joined his father, Craig, as the second father-son duo to accomplish the feat. Biggio came to the plate in the ninth inning of Toronto’s eventual 8-5 win needing a triple to complete the cycle, and he launched a ball off the wall in left-center field. The 24-year-old’s smirk as he rounded second and ran to third stands as one of the best images of the 2019 season.

8. Smoak caps 11th-inning rally
April 28 vs. A’s
The Blue Jays fell behind, 4-1, in the top of the 11th inning in a well-pitched game against the A’s back in April. Even after they rallied back to tie it in the bottom half of the inning on a Drury homer, the 0-for-5 didn’t seem to be the likely hero. The veteran first baseman has a track record of coming up in big moments, though, and he adjusted his swing to shoot this one the other way. It wasn’t the hardest-hit ball of Smoak’s career at just 86.9 mph off the bat, but it got through the infield to bring home Freddy Galvis for a 5-4 win.

9. Jansen calls game
June 29 vs. Royals
’s walk-off homer gave the Blue Jays a 7-5 win over the Royals on a night in which the rookies carried the offense. The catcher’s 402-foot shot sealed it, but Jansen was set up by Biggio’s first career grand slam and a solo shot off the bat of Guerrero.

10. McKinney walks it off
June 20 vs. Angels
Shortly after being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo in June, outfielder announced his return with a walk-off two-run home run to give the Blue Jays a 7-5 win over the Angels. McKinney entered as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning, but he made his only at-bat of the night count.