Danny Jansen’s bat is coming around
It feels like we’ve been talking about which Blue Jays’ catcher is going to get traded for at least a year, and finally one of their big league trio was dealt just before the regular season began. Reese McGuire ended up being the one to go, as he was moved to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for another catcher in Zach Collins. The new Blue Jays receiver has minor league options, which would have been the primary motivation for the deal from Toronto’s end of things.
That leaves a big league tandem of Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk, which should give the Blue Jays a strong pair to work with their pitching staff. Kirk is more of a bat-first player who will also see time as the designated hitter, but improvement with the glove could see him receive more opportunities behind the plate. As for Jansen, if he keeps hitting the way he has been since he returned from injury late last season, it might not matter what Kirk does.
Jansen badly struggled as a hitter to begin last season, and that’s been a pretty common theme throughout his big league career so far. That said, he thrived as a hitter as a minor leaguer, and it’s always felt like he had more to offer on offence. We started to see those signs after he returned from injury in 2021, as he slashed .323/.380/.785 with seven home runs, nine doubles, and 19 RBI over 23 games that covered 65 at-bats. It was a small sample size, but there were a lot of encouraging signs.
Fast forward to this weekend and Jansen is the early leader on the team in home runs with a pair of bombs hit against the Rangers. He also hit an opposite field double on Sunday as well, and he’s looking as comfortable in the box as we’ve ever seen him in the big leagues.
It’s taken a while for his bat to come around, but if Jansen can sustain his production as an above-average hitting catcher, the Blue Jays’ embarrassment off riches just keeps getting better. In this case, it looks like patience for Jansen’s offence is really starting to pay off.