Blue Jays: An update on catchers throughout the system

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Reese McGuire #70 and Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 3-2 at Yankee Stadium on September 16, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Reese McGuire #70 and Ken Giles #51 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees 3-2 at Yankee Stadium on September 16, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Blue Jays have a lot of talent in their catching ranks throughout their system. Let’s have a look at how they’ve been performing lately.

A few weeks ago we looked at the top ten most important catching prospects in the Blue Jays organization.  If you missed the article or want to read it again, here is a link:

After the last couple weeks, here is a look at how they have done more recently:

1.       Danny Jansen – Toronto Blue Jays – MLB
Jansen started the season very slowly in the hitting department, but has picked it up over the last 15 games as he is batting .250 with four home runs and 10 RBI.  Getting this type of offence from Jansen is huge considering he is a very good defensive catcher.  Jansen has thrown out 31% of the base runners (16 for 51) and has also picked off two runners off base, all the while allowing just three passed balls this year.

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2.       Gabriel Moreno – Lansing Lugnuts – A Ball
The 19-year old has split time most of the season with Ryan Gold behind the plate.  Moreno is also getting a lot of time at DH.  His bat has gone a little cold of late as he has batted just .211 over his last 10 games.  In a very strong pool of catching prospects Moreno has the highest ceiling and is ranked as 4th on the Jays non-pitching prospect list.

3.       Alejandro Kirk – Dunedin Blue Jays – High A Ball
Kirk ended the season in Bluefield (Rookie) ball last year, he started this season in Lansing (A Ball) and is going to finish the year in Dunedin (High A Ball this year).  His splits between the two levels this year are pretty even.  He just had an eight game streak snapped on Thursday night, and during that stretch he had a two home run game.

4.       Riley Adams – New Hampshire Fisher Cats – AA
Adams has struggled as of late, the 23-year old has a couple of good hitting games, but then has gone quiet again.  Over the last 10, he has just one home run and is batting .194.

5.       Reese McGuire – Toronto Blue Jays – MLB
It took Luke Maile getting injured for McGuire to get the call-up.  On July 27, McGuire was recalled and is making it hard for the Jays to send him down when Maile becomes healthy.  In nine games since being recalled, McGuire is hitting .233 with three home runs.  He hasn’t walked yet and needs to be able to push the runners a lot, but I think he is a huge upgrade on Maile.  He should be here to stay until one of the other prospects rises up to compete with him.

6.       Hagen Danner – Lansing Lugnuts – A Ball
After a lacklustre season where he has batted .171 with 96 strikeouts on just 269 at bats, Danner was sent down to Vancouver on August 9th.  He has yet to play in a game there and of all the catchers in the organization he has unfortunately seen his stock drop the most.  Danner is still just 20-years old, so he’ll have another shot with the organization next year.

7.       Ryan Sloniger – Bluefield Blue Jays – Low A
Sloniger fell into the numbers game in Vancouver and the recently drafted 38th round pick was sent down to Bluefield on July 5th.  All Sloniger has done is go down and hit.  He has hit .356 with Bluefield and .309 over his last ten games which includes two home runs and four multi-hit games.  He has struck out just 17 times over 90 at bats.

8.       Philip Clarke – Vancouver Canadians – Low A
The 2019-9th round pick pushed Sloniger down to Bluefield, but I have a feeling they’ll see a lot of each other in the next two years.  Clarke has had a consistent season at the plate as he is .275 on the season and .282 over his last ten games.  He has a good eye at the dish, as he has just 16 strikeouts and 13 walks in 102 at bats.

9.       Ryan Gold – Lansing Lugnuts – A Ball

Gold has been steady this year and will likely move up the chain next year to Dunedin.  He has thrown out just 24% of his base runners and has six errors.  Unless he improves on his bat he may drop on the list next season.  Interestingly, he pitched one inning this year, but he doesn’t look to have the make-up of a pitcher as he allowed two hits, two walks and three runs in one inning.

10.   Christopher Bec – Dunedin Blue Jays – High A
The now 23-year old struggled this season as he threw out just 18% of the base runners and made six errors behind the plate.  His bat hasn’t been great and is batting just .144 over his last ten games.  He is hardly used anymore as he is getting in the line-up just once every few games.

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For years the Blue Jays have been searching for a homegrown catcher to take the reigns of the pitching staff, and hopefully contribute a little on offence as well. Danny Jansen looks like he may finally be that piece of the puzzle, but if not, there is a lot more talent on the way as well.