Back on Canada Day, a full 64 games and 244 plate appearances into his 2019 season, Toronto Blue Jays infielder Brandon Drury had a .602 OPS. He was batting .207/.254/.348 with 19 extra-base hits. He was in and out of Charlie Montoyo’s lineups, seldom playing on back-to-back days and sometimes riding the bench for two consecutive games.
But as Canadian summer unofficially began, something clicked. And over 27 games since July 3, Drury’s OPS is .929. He’s batting .301/.327/.602 with 12 extra-base hits. He’s brought a strikeout rate that was once well over 30 per cent all the way down to 26. He’s playing so well that Montoyo is hesitating to sit him for one day, let alone two.
“He’s got the tools to be a really good big-league hitter,” Montoyo said. “He deserved [playing time] because he was playing great defence the whole time and I knew that hitting was going to come. And he’s doing it now.”
On Monday the club’s general manager, Ross Atkins, even cited Drury as one of the intended beneficiaries of the club’s decision to waive infielder Freddy Galvis, which will open up more opportunity for the soon-to-be 27-year-old. And Drury was quick to reward his manager and GM for their faith, going 2-for-5 Monday with his first career grand slam in a 19-3 Blue Jays molly-whopping of the Texas Rangers.