Blue Jays’ Mark Shapiro: Bautista poised for ‘very good year’

Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro talks about what it means to have Jose Bautista back for another season, and is marvelling over his strength and condition heading into 2017 Spring Training.

The Toronto Blue Jays have an interesting mix of veterans and prospects heading into the 2017 campaign, which means there’s plenty to talk about as we look ahead to a new season of baseball.

Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro covered a number of topics during a conversation on Sportsnet’s Starting Lineup with Brady & Price on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Monday morning, one day after the Blue Jays’ first split-squad outing.

Shapiro discussed the importance of returning slugger Jose Bautista, talked about up-and-coming first baseman Rowdy Tellez, and shared a few other takeaways from spring training so far.

Mark Shapiro's spring training update
February 27 2017

Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

On bringing Bautista back:
“Jose is a player that has been, for a generation of Toronto baseball fans, maybe the single greatest provider of memories. I think it’ll be great to have him back. Better than that, is if you guys could see him down here. The condition, the shape that he’s in, the strength to his body, the explosiveness to his bat, which even we saw on the first game he played [on Sunday]. He is, I think, positioned for a very good year.”

On the excitement around prospect Rowdy Tellez:
“What’s exciting about him is his age, one—he’s 21 years old—and two, his performance and also his maturity. This is a guy that when you talk to him, his sense of purpose, his work ethic, his understanding of who he is as a player and what it takes to be successful. To me, having talked to players for 25 years, he’s at an exceptional level of awareness for his age. And that only helps to make him more able to maximize his potential and maximize his talent. He also obviously has a very productive bat at a corner position. He’s an exciting guy.”

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