Blue Jays: Jays catchers rank first in FanGraphs' positional power rankings

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / G Fiume/GettyImages

With preseason projections complete, FanGraphs is now releasing their annual Positional Power Rankings, and the Toronto Blue Jays' catchers rank first in the league.

Dan Szymborski, author of the catcher rankings, explains that teams are ranked based on the projected WAR (Wins Above Replacement) from FanGraphs' Depth Charts. These charts take into account all of the players who could realistically see time at the position.

With 5.7 WAR, the Blue Jays rank first, just ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, led by the emerging star of Adley Rutschman, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, anchored by the power-hitting Will Smith.

The Blue Jays catching depth chart includes the power duo of Alejandro Kirk and Danny Jansen but also considers the projected contributions of veteran Rob Brantly and "break glass in case of emergency" backup Daulton Varsho.




Danny Jansen



Alejandro Kirk



Rob Brantly



Daulton Varsho






It's important to note that the numbers only reflect the projected time playing as a catcher and don't capture the players' overall contribution to the team. FanGraphs actually projects Jansen for 447 plate appearances and Kirk for 475. Those extra at-bats would come as the DH, so they're not included in the rankings.

Szymborski insists that the catcher position should be considered more of a tandem position than ever before, pointing to the two Blue Jays as a leading example.

He also points out, and rightly so, that individually neither Toronto backstop is an enticing first choice at the position, but together they are the ultimate tag team.

"If you broke up all the teams and re-drafted, it’s unlikely that you would take Jansen or Kirk first, but the combination is enough for Toronto to take the top spot in our projections."

Dan Szymborski, FanGraphs

With the contributions to the league-leading 5.7 WAR primarily split between Jansen and Kirk, the Blue Jays will need both catchers to perform this season for the position to be a pillar of strength for the team.

Next. Reds could trade Joey Votto to Blue Jays at the deadline. dark