#46: Brian Christopher Jeroloman
Catcher / 25 years old / 6′0″ 200 lbs
Born: May 10th, 1985 in Suffern, New York, USA
Bats: Left Throws: Right
High School Team: Wellington Wolverines
College: University of Florida
Drafted: By the Toronto Blue Jays in the 6th round (180th overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft
Jersey Number: #8 for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats
- Recently named to the 2010 USA Pan American Qualifying Team roster
- Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star in 2008, 2009, and 2010
- 2007 Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star
- Had the opportunity to play college ball with his older brother at Auburn, but ultimately chose Florida
- Chose University of Florida because growing up he was a Florida Gators fan and his older brother was a rival Florida State fan
- Played three years on the same Florida team as Texas Rangers reliever Darren O’Day and Cleveland Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta
- Was out golfing when the Blue Jays drafted him
- Was a member of the USA National Baseball Team in 2005
New Hampshire Fisher Cats Stats Ranking for Brian Jeroloman:
- Led the team in OBP and finished 2nd in walks
- Finished 4th in OPS
- 6th in home runs and 7th in total bases
- Tied for 8th in doubles and RBI
- Tied for 9th in hits
Extra Information and previous experience:
- Full 2004-2006 college statistics (and more) can be found here
Recently added to the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster last month before the Rule 5 Draft, Brian Jeroloman is sometimes forgotten among the bevy of quality catching prospects the Blue Jays possess.
After tearing up college pitching for the University of Florida with a combined .305/.432/.411 line in 2004-2005, virtually all of Jeroloman’s offensive statistics dipped in his final year before being drafted. His .242/.381/.374 line in his final year of college is very similar to what the Blue Jays have seen from Jeroloman throughout his professional career in the Minor Leagues so far.
Touted as the top defensive catcher in the 2006 draft class, Jeroloman was considered a work in progress at the plate, but a sure thing defensively. He had initially been predicted to be selected in the first few rounds of the draft, but he fell to the 6th round and the Jays scooped him up.
While it’s unfortunate that Jeroloman models his game after former Blue Jay Gregg Zaun and would “love to pick his brain a little” if he ever met Zaun, former Jays Scouting Director Jon Lalonde had this to say about Jeroloman’s offensive potential shortly after he was drafted:
“When you put his swing up on the video board you see a perfect motion. You never would have thought he batted as low as he did.”
He has above average receiving skills, a good ability to block balls in the dirt , and he really enjoys developing a positive rapport with his pitchers, who like throwing to him. He also has a good arm behind the plate, and might not hit for a high average but getting on base through taking pitches has always been his strength.
In a 2008 interview, Jeroloman had interesting words to say when describing his approach at the plate:
“I am a very patient hitter. When I am facing a very talented pitcher I am the type of guy who wants him out of the game. I am willing to go 0-3 with three strikeouts as long as he throws 25 pitches against me in those three at-bats.
My goal is to get him out of that game as quickly as I can, especially if you are facing a pitcher like David Price or someone like that. To me I like walking, I don’t mind it at all, it gets a guy on base and if we get a double or a home run and we can get two runs in.”
Jeroloman signed quickly and reported to Auburn of the New York Penn League, where his performance satisfied the Jays enough to have him skip Class-A Lansing entirely and report straight to HiA Dunedin in 2007.
That year, Jeroloman led the entire Blue Jays organization (including the Major League club) with 85 walks. His .421 OBP with Dunedin earned him yet another promotion, where he started off the 2008 season with Double-A New Hampshire.
Jeroloman continued his type of game with New Hampshire in 2008: mediocre average, high on base percentage, and moderate power numbers. Having to deal with being called the “catcher of the future” by then-Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, Jeroloman was fast tracked to Triple-A Syracuse midway through the 2008 season.
He struggled at the Triple-A level, hitting just .200/.302/.227 in 25 games with the Chiefs. Jeroloman would then spend all of 2009 back at Double-A New Hampshire continuing to figure out his game, having been passed on the Blue Jays depth chart by J.P. Arencibia. He focused a lot more on the defensive side of the game that season, where he threw out 43% of stolen base threats.
Playing with Double-A New Hampshire for yet another season in 2010, Jeroloman’s .429 OBP earned him a promotion late in the season to Triple-A Las Vegas. In 7 games with Vegas, Jeroloman went 6-for-19 (.316) with 2 home runs and 5 RBI, good for a 1.308 OPS.
Expected 2011 Team: Triple-A Las Vegas
Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: Backup catcher
With J.P. Arencibia having nothing left to prove in the Minor Leagues and virtually a lock to be the Blue Jays’ Opening Day catcher, the everyday catching job at Triple-A Las Vegas opened up for Jeroloman.
Overall, Jeroloman’s .265/.436/.439 line, 19 doubles, 9 home runs, and 38 RBI almost all represented career-highs in 2010, so hopefully he can continue that success going forward and give the Blue Jays something to think about in 2011.