Blue Jays 2024 Season Preview: Catchers

With pitchers and catchers set to report on Feb. 15, we take a look at the Toronto Blue Jays catchers, including Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Danny Jansen

As Kirk took a step back with his bat in 2023, Danny Jansen made up for the dip in form of his teammate. In fact, to the point he had one of his best offensive seasons to date in the Majors.

When it was all said and done, Jansen had set single-season personal bests of 17 home runs, 53 RBI and 15 doubles. In addition, his .474 slugging percentage, .786 OPS and 115 OPS+ were all the second-best of his six years in the Majors.

However, this all comes with a couple of caveats, the first being that even the 28-year-old's offensive production arguably also represented a step back from what he achieved a year earlier. In particular, setting single-season highs with a .260 batting average, .516 slugging percentage, .855 OPS and 142 OPS+.

Regardless of how you summarise Jansen's respective offensive impact during the past two seasons, this takes us to the second caveat, or more to the point issue. The guy just continues to be unable to remain healthy.

Last season saw the 2013 16th-round draft pick play the second-most games of his Major League career, but with just 86 appearances. He dealt with various injuries, including missing the final month of the season with a fractured finger.

Jansen has at times been labelled a streaky hitter, but this isn't exactly surprising when you're constantly dealing with various ailments. Along these lines ZiPS have him projected to play 88 games in 2024, albeit still with decent production including 15 homers, 47 RBI, a .244/.327/.473 slash line and .800 OPS.

The Elmhurst, Illinois native is renowned for having a high baseball IQ, which can be extremely helpful behind the plate. While his upside is not as high as Kirk, his two Catcher Framing Runs and 47.5 percent Strike Rate were ranked tied 24th and tied 25th respectively among 63 qualifying catchers.

Ultimately, Jansen's ongoing durability issues will likely stop him from ever being able to become the full-time starting catcher. At the same time though, he helps give the Blue Jays one of the better one-two combos behind the plate in the Majors.

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