3- Danny Jansen
The Blue Jays have been looking for a franchise catcher for what feels like forever, and I believe that Danny Jansen can and will be the one they’ve been looking for.
He entered last night’s game with a .204/.277/.359 slash line with 12 home runs, 12 doubles, and 42 RBI in 101 games. While that slash line isn’t exactly pretty, Jansen has shown some improvement at the plate throughout his first full big league season, which has been one that he’s had to focus on defence first. I’m confident that his offensive numbers will continue to improve next season.
Where he’s brought more value as a rookie has been on the defensive end, and that’s how he’s rated as a 1.0 bWAR player according to baseball reference, and 1.4 fWAR. He’s shown an ability to control the run game at an above-average clip, and has been a pretty solid pitcher framer. And when you consider that he’s had a revolving door of a pitching staff to work with, Jansen’s defensive efforts should be appreciated even more.
All that said, he will have to continue to improve in order to hold off Reese McGuire, as his fellow Blue Jay catcher has shown that he deserves to not only play in the big leagues, but also that he should be in the lineup at a fairly regularly clip. Having two good catchers to share duties in duties MLB isn’t a bad thing, especially because it’ll likely bring the best out in both of the young receivers.
It’s easy to get focused on some of the bigger names in Toronto when it comes to the next generation of this team, but Danny Jansen’s development is almost as important as anyone’s. Fortunately he’s moving in the right direction.