Raptors rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry potentially eyeing Lakers

Raptors rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry potentially eyeing Lakers

For the better part of a decade, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry made up an exceptional Toronto Raptors backcourt, and while that duo never won a championship as a unit, they remain two of the greatest players in franchise history. Both of these players could be on the move this season, as Lowry is an […]
Raptors rumors: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry potentially eyeing Lakers – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors predictions: Best-case scenario core player comparisons

Toronto Raptors predictions: Best-case scenario core player comparisons

Part of the fun of having a young team again is that fans are able to daydream about what each of our players might one day become. If they aren’t finished products, then in the starry eyes of the optimistic fan, the sky is still the limit. Because of this, the Toronto Raptors predictions for […]
Toronto Raptors predictions: Best-case scenario core player comparisons – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Over/Under Previewing the Blue Jays Bullpen using ZiPS projections

In the final part of this season preview we will look at the Blue Jays bullpen and their ZiPS projections. Losing Kirby Yates before the season even starts is a big loss, but there are still lots of good pitchers in the pen and this should be a sneaky good bullpen. 
As a reminder we are dealing with pitching so under in this case means I expect the player to beat their projections. 

Jordan Romano 

Innings
ERA
FIP
K/9
BB/9
HR/9
WAR

49.0
4.07
4.30
10.53
3.33
1.48
0.3

We will start with the bullpen ace Jordan Romano. The Blue Jays haven’t officially announced a closer replacement for Yates, but I think sooner rather than later this will be Romano’s job. He has the big fastball, running it up to 99 in Spring. He strikes batters out, striking out 36.8% of batters last season. The projections are low on Romano because of how poorly he pitched in 2019. The mechanical change he made last season was small but enough for him to have a breakout 2020 season even if it only was 14.2 innings. Per Baseball Savant, Romano added 200 revolutions per minute of spin to fastball in Spring and that will make his fastball that much harder to hit. Especially …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell thanks Raptors fanbase, organization in Players’ Tribune piece

Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell thanks Raptors fanbase, organization in Players’ Tribune piece

The Toronto Raptors had to part ways with longtime swingman Norman Powell this trade deadline, as he was shipped off to the Portland Trail Blazers in order to help Damian Lillard’s playoff push. This deal brought an end to a fantastic tenure with the Raptors that saw Powell evolve from a second-round pick and seldom-used […]
Toronto Raptors: Norman Powell thanks Raptors fanbase, organization in Players’ Tribune piece – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Over/Under: Previewing the Blue Jays Starting Pitchers using ZiPS projections

Part three of this season preview will look at starting pitching. The rotation for the Blue Jays has plenty of question marks after Hyun-Jin Ryu, so let’s get into the ZiPS projections and see how this rotation shakes out.
Since we are dealing with pitchers, the under means I expect them to do better than the projections. 

Hyun Jin Ryu

Innings
ERA
FIP
K/9
BB/9
HR/9
WAR

138.0
3.58
3.75
8.66
1.82
1.24
3.0

Ryu is the Blue Jays ace, and as long as he is healthy he will deal. Health has been an issue for Ryu in the past but he has been healthy the past two seasons and hopefully, that continues into this season. Health is the only reason he won’t hit these projections. Ryu has only had an era higher than these projections once in his career, so I’ll take the under on his ERA. His velocity was down at the start of spring but he ramped up pitching simulated games, and in his last start his fastball was hitting 90-91. Even if his velocity does decline he still keeps hitters off balance with his array of off-speed pitches. His change-up was sharp this spring, and was responsible for six of …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Over/Under Previewing the Blue Jays Outfield using ZiPS projections

In part two of previewing the Blue Jays season we are looking at the outfielders and their ZiPS projections. You can find part one of this series on the infielders here.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Games
AVG
OBP
SLG
wOBA
wRC+
WAR

126
.272
.311
.492
.333
107
1.7

Gurriel Jr.’s offensive profile is that of a boom or bust. He’s a free swinger, who always ranks near the top of the league in chase rate. This approach works for him because he has the bat control to hit those pitches and drive them. This gives Gurriel Jr. a high BABIP which helps him make up for relatively few walks. Gurriel to his credit has improved his walk rate. Gurriel crushes off-speed pitches but what’s concerning is his struggles with fastballs. Over the past two seasons against all fastballs, Gurriel Jr. has a .329 wOBA, per Baseball Savant. That ranks 237th out of 291 hitters who saw at least 1500 pitches. Against hard fastballs it was even worse. Gurriel Jr. had just a .189 wOBA against fastballs thrown 95 mph or harder over the past two seasons which was the fifth lowest in the league. I am going to take the under on his projections, as I think pitchers will …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Blue Jays Consensus Top 30 Prospects, Part 2

Here’s Part 1, we’ll pick up right where we left off…

15. Rikelvin De Castro – SS – 18: Got the high bonus in the 2019 J2 class of Blue Jays signings ($1.2m) based on flashy defensive tools and potential to eventually hit. But the latter is going to take considerably time and effort. A year behind the similarly skilled Jimenez, he’ll surely spend him time on a complex team, probably in the DSL. It will take years to get a full read on whether he was worth the bonus.
14. Otto Lopez – INF – 22: Jumped on everyone’s radar with a batting title at Low-A Lansing in 2019, his calling card is capable defense at multiple positions (he played SS, 2B and both OF corners in 2019 but may be best at 2B) and good bat-to-ball skills with untapped offensive potential beyond simply making contact. He’s got a solid opportunity to be a serviceable MLB utility man but he grades high on baseball instincts and some observers feel he has a shot to be more than that.
13. Eric Pardinho – RHP – 20: The one time Top 10 prospect is one year out from Tommy John and at the stage where he’s throwing but not yet roster ready. …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: The importance of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

For the most part, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s first season with the Toronto Raptors has been a success. As the season progresses and rotations shorten, how important will he be going forward? The skies weren’t always so sunny for Hollis-Jefferson in Toronto. This past offseason, the Toronto Raptors signed the free agent after the Brooklyn Nets let him […]
Toronto Raptors: The importance of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Kyle Oliveira / Raptors HQ

Anderson, Marner strike out at NHL skills competition

Two Toronto Maple Leafs took part in the NHL skills competition Friday night as Frederik Anderson found himself in the save streak contest, and Mitch Marner in a new shooting star competition.

In the save streak competition, Anderson faced nine shooters with multiple attempts shooting on respective goalies to see who could stop the most in a row. The bar was set with St. Louis Blues G Jordan Binnington at 10, but Anderson was close with seven saves in a row.
Marner, meanwhile, took part in the new shooting stars competition that saw him firing seven pucks from the stands 30 feet above the ice at targets on the ice. Each target was given certain values, and Marner was able to total 22 points placing him in a three-way tie with Patrick Kane and Ryan O’Rielly.
With the trio each getting an extra shot, Marner fired his high over a 10-point arch, O’Rielly missed his and Kane ended up hitting a shot worth two points to give him the win.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: One thing from every game last week, including Pascal Siakam’s struggles

Each week we bring you the most important part of every Toronto Raptors game. This week’s highlights include Pascal Siakam being shut down, Raptors selling out to stop Harden, and an extended look at dual bigs. It was a tough week for the Toronto Raptors. Coming off an impressive seven-game winning streak, the defending champs […]
Toronto Raptors: One thing from every game last week, including Pascal Siakam’s struggles – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Bossetti / Raptors HQ