Blue Jays’ Danny Jansen already endearing himself to the fans
We’ve only had the pleasure of watching him for a couple days, but the first impression that Danny Jansen has left on Blue Jays fans couldn’t be much better.
Every minor leaguer dreams of the day that they’re called up, and hopes that things go well in their first taste of the big leagues. For new Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, it’s been a storybook start to his MLB career.
Jansen was called up to join the Blue Jays on Sunday and made his first big league start behind the plate on Monday night, catching his Buffalo Bisons teammate, Sean Reid-Foley, who was also making his debut. It was a special evening for the pair, but especially for Jansen, as he collected two hits, including a single in his first MLB at bat. The Blue Jays would lose the game 3-1 with Reid-Foley taking the loss, but it was a positive introduction to the team for both players.
Reid-Foley will have to wait a few days before he can get back on the mound for his next start, but Jansen was back behind the plate on Tuesday night, and he wasn’t done impressing his new fanbase. He threw out his second baserunner in as many nights, showing off his strong arm behind the dish. He also did this:
The blast was his first big league home run, after hitting 12 in Triple-A Buffalo this year. He’s not projected to be a huge power hitter by any means, but the skill continues to develop as has progressed through the system, and he definitely punished the offering on Tuesday night. He frequented the cleanup position while he was still with the Bisons, and has become a better hitter with each season as a professional.
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It’s not just the performance on the field that’s making Jansen so likeable though. In a season that’s brought a lot of frustration for Blue Jays fans, you can see the genuine excitement and appreciation on the young catcher’s face. He’s been well spoken and kind in interviews with the media, and has been walking around with his eyes and ears wide open since arriving with the Blue Jays. That doesn’t mean he’s not prepared for the task at hand, but he definitely appreciates the road that it’s taken to get him here, and is thankful for the opportunity.
After hitting his home run on Tuesday night, Jansen looked up to the stands as he crossed home plate and pointed at his parents. It was a special moment not just for the player, but obviously for the rest of his supportive family, who couldn’t have looked more thrilled or proud of their son. As anyone who has ever been involved in competitive baseball knows, it takes a tremendous amount of family support in order to transform a young man into an MLB player, and it was heartwarming to see Jansen acknowledge his parents in his biggest moment as a pro thus far.
It’s far too early to tell, but it looks like Jansen has the stuff to stick with the Blue Jays, and maybe even become the homegrown franchise catcher we’ve been waiting for. At this stage we know that he’s talented, humble, and very much looks ready for the challenge of playing at the highest level.
For anyone who caught his interview with Sportsnet, he commented saying, “Maybe I do belong” after his first game. It’s only been a couple of games, but so far I’d have to say that the answer is a resounding yes.