Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Matt Musico
We already know Carlos Delgado is the Blue Jays’ current all-time home run king, but what about when it comes to single-season Blue Jays RBI leaders? He’s got a stronghold at the top of that list, too.
There have been 46 different performances in franchise history where a player has collected at least 100 RBI in one season. We’ll take a look at the top eight performances before listing out the rest.
Single-Season Blue Jays RBI Leaders: Top 8
It’s hard to find a more dominant hitter than Carlos Delgado when it comes to a player’s overall career with the Blue Jays. He spent the first 12 years of his big-league tenure in Toronto and absolutely raked. Delgado posted a .949 OPS with 336 home runs and 1,058 RBI in 1,423 games played. This included six seasons of 100-plus RBI, all of which came consecutively between 1998 and 2003.
Three of those efforts are currently residing in the top 10:
- 145 RBI in 2003
- 137 RBI in 2000
- 134 RBI in 1999
Those 145 rib-eye steaks in 2003 led the league. Delgado was also selected to the All-Star Game, won a Silver Slugger Award, and placed second in AL MVP Award voting. He slugged 42 homers during this campaign, which was the third and final time he surpassed 40 in a single season.
There were a couple of instances where Delgado averaged more than one RBI per game played. He collected 83 RBI in 81 home games, as well as 97 RBI in 94 games played prior to the All-Star break. Now that’s what you call elite consistency.
George Bell: 134 RBI in 1987
George Bell took home AL MVP honors in 1987. His increasing power numbers seemingly helped him climb the ranks. Check out his progression between 1984 and 1987:
- 1984: 26 homers, 87 RBI, 19th in MVP voting
- 1985: 28 homers, 95 RBI, 8th in MVP voting
- 1986: 31 homers, 108 RBI, 4th in MVP voting
- 1987: 47 homers, 134 RBI, 1st in MVP voting
Those 134 RBI also led the league that year. Bell got himself on an MVP trajectory thanks to a terrific two-month span between May and June. By the end of April, he had posted a .838 OPS with five homers and 11 RBI. But in the two months that followed, he combined to hit 22 homers with 58 RBI and an OPS above 1.000. Bell didn’t post a monthly OPS below .900 the rest of the way.
Edwin Encarnacion: 127 RBI in 2016
It’s hard to be more consistent than Edwin Encarnacion was between 2012 and 2016 for the Blue Jays. He never hit fewer than 34 homers in a season and failed to register 100 RBI just once. The one time he didn’t? Encarnacion finished with 98 in 2014. This period of time was sandwiched by a pair of 42-homer efforts, as well.
The 127 RBI he produced in 2016 was both a single-season career-high mark and a league-leading number. As a middle-of-the-order bat, it’s not surprising that if Encarnacion produced, Toronto won. In victories, the right-handed slugger slashed .314/.401/.648 with 30 homers and 94 RBI. In losses, those numbers dipped down to .198/.300/.376, 12, and 33, respectively.
Jose Bautista: 124 RBI in 2010
Jose Bautista‘s 2010 RBI output coincided with his power breakout, which resulted in a franchise record 54 dingers. As eye-popping as Joey Bats’ numbers were at all points of the year, it’s notable how he picked things up in fewer opportunities after the All-Star break.
Through 366 first-half plate appearances, he posted a .904 OPS with 24 homers and 56 RBI. But when he came back from the midsummer respite, Bautista slugged 30 dingers with 68 RBI and a 1.099 OPS in only 317 plate appearances. Who knows where his season-long numbers would’ve ended up had he not slumped in June (.693 OPS with four homers and nine RBI in 25 games played).
Shawn Green: 123 RBI in 1999
Shawn Green is one of those elite sluggers who can fly under the radar because he doesn’t pass the initial eyeball test. But that dude could freakin’ mash. The outfielder placed ninth in AL MVP Award voting that year, adding 42 homers, 45 doubles, and 134 runs scored to his offensive ledger. Green also took home his only career Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards in 1999.
The left-handed hitter’s production was quite even regardless of how many outs there were, but he was at his best with two down. With no outs, he slugged 12 homers with 39 RBI. Those numbers settled in at nine and 40, respectively, with one out before jumping up to 21 homers and 44 RBI with two outs. Green also posted a .938 OPS with runners on base.
Josh Donaldson: 123 RBI in 2015
En route to winning the 2015 AL MVP Award, Josh Donaldson led the league in RBI (123) and runs scored (122) while adding 41 doubles and 41 homers with a .939 OPS. It was his first of three straight 3o-homer seasons, but it still remains the only time he got over 40 in the homer department. This is also the only time he’s surpassed the century mark in the RBI department.
It was what Donaldson did in July and August that put him on his MVP track. Across those two months, he combined to hit 18 homers with 59 RBI. He posted double-digit RBI against four different teams that year. However, the team in which he racked up the most was the Baltimore Orioles. Donaldson accumulated 13 RBI against them in 17 games played (78 plate appearances).
Single-Season Blue Jays RBI Leaders: The Rest
As mentioned earlier, there have been a total of 46 single-season performances where a Blue Jays player has registered at least 100 RBI. Here is the remainder of those occurrences:
- Joe Carter, 1993: 121 RBI
- Joe Carter, 1992: 119
- Kelly Gruber, 1990: 118
- Vernon Wells, 2003: 117
- Teoscar Hernandez, 2021: 116
- Carlos Delgado, 1998: 115
- Tony Batista, 2000: 114
- Adam Lind, 2009: 114
- Jose Bautista, 2015: 114
- Paul Molitor, 1993: 111
- Edin Encarnacion, 2015: 111
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 2021: 111
- Edwin Encarnacion, 2012: 110
- Jesse Barfield, 1986: 108
- George Bell, 1986: 108
- Joe Carter, 1991: 108
- Dave Winfield, 1992: 108
- Carlos Delgado, 2002: 108
- Aaron Hill, 2009: 108
- John Olerud, 1993: 107
- Joe Carter, 1996: 107
- Jose Canseco, 1998: 107
- Vernon Wells, 2006: 106
- Willie Upshaw, 1983: 104
- George Bell, 1989: 104
- Brad Fullmer, 2000: 104
- Troy Glaus, 2006: 104
- Edwin Encarnacion, 2013: 104
- Joe Carter, 1994: 103
- Jose Bautista, 2011 and 2014: 103
- Joe Carter, 1997: 102
- Carlos Delgado, 2001: 102
- Marcus Semien, 2021: 102
- Bo Bichette, 2021: 102
- Ed Sprague, 1996: 101
- Shawn Green, 1998: 100
- Vernon Wells, 2002: 100
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