Blue Jays: Looking at the catching ranks throughout the system

David Corcoran
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides across home plate to score a run on a fielders choice groundout in the second inning during MLB game action as Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays waits for the throw at Rogers Centre on September 4, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 4: Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays slides across home plate to score a run on a fielders choice groundout in the second inning during MLB game action as Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays waits for the throw at Rogers Centre on September 4, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO – OCTOBER 21: Pat Borders #10 hits an Atlanta Braves pitch during game 4 of the World Series at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on October 21, 1992. The Blue Jays won 2-1. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
TORONTO – OCTOBER 21: Pat Borders #10 hits an Atlanta Braves pitch during game 4 of the World Series at the SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on October 21, 1992. The Blue Jays won 2-1. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /

6.       Hagen Danner – Lansing Lugnuts – A Ball

The 2017 second round pick signed for well above slot with the Blue Jays and came out of the gates flat on his face.

Danner batting just .160 and his strikeout to walk rate was 7:1, while throwing out just 21% of the runners.  He showed that was just a small 34 game sample, as in 2018 in Rookie Ball he batted .279 and his strikeout to walk rate dropped to 1.5:1.

There were lots of expectations coming into 2019 when he started the season with Lansing.  His catching has improved a bit, but he is now splitting time between behind the plate and first base.  Danner has added some power as he has his 12 home runs this year which triples his combined stats from the two years previous, but his average has dropped to a .179.  My expectation is that he will move to first to try and work more on his bat.

7.       Ryan Sloniger – Bluefield – Rookie

One of my favorite prospects so far, and I’m not sure how you cannot love what he brings after 20 games in the Blue Jays organization.  Sloniger was taken in the 38th round in this past draft and signed a very low signing bonus, but got to work right away.

Of the 20 games he has started 14 of them at catcher and has thrown out just one of 15 base runners.  But, and that is a big but, his hitting has been outstanding, which leads me to believe the 5’11” catcher may end up seeing middle infield time, likely at second base.  Sloniger is batting .337 between Vancouver and Bluefield with five homeruns.

8.       Philip Clarke – Vancouver – Low A

Taken in the same draft as Sloniger the two are now teammates playing together in Vancovuer.  Clarke will likely see more of the time behind the plate and his bat has been just as good as Sloniger.  Clarke is batting .306 in 12 games with four extra base hits and his walk to strikeout rate through those games is 1:1.  It will be interesting to see how these two progress together, both are left handed bats, both stand 5’11” and just shy of 200 lbs, both styles are pretty similar.  Let the best man win.

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