Former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia has taken a job as bench coach for the Syracuse Mets, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets. He announced his new job via his Instagram account this afternoon, donning a Mets sweater and rocking the blue and orange for the first time.
Arencibia was drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2007 MLB Draft. From his first full professional season on, Arencibia exhibited all signs of an impact prospect in the Jays system. An athletic catcher capable of controlling a game from behind the plate, he was also a force with the bat. He dominated all levels of the minor leagues, and capped off his development with a 32 homer, .986 OPS season over 104 Triple-A games while playing for Las Vegas in 2010.
Arencibia made his MLB debut that same season, homering on the first pitch he saw off of James Shields. He would tally three other hits that game, including a second homer. J.P. would never be able to continue that success however. Arencibia’s career was inconsistent and strikeout heavy, but the potential for Arencibia to provide significant impact was always there. The former catcher would routinely hit tape-measure shots into the stands at Rogers Centre, but with a lot of strikeouts and little walks in between. Arencibia and the Blue Jays found themselves at a crossroads following the 2013 season. He was non-tendered by the club, and would retire a few seasons later after the 2016 season.
J.P. would bounce around from 2014 to 2016, spending time with the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies organizations before eventually hanging up the cleats.
Since retiring from playing, Arencibia was most recently employed by Bally Sports Florida, as a broadcaster of the Miami Marlins. A Miami native, he served as an analyst for their crew during their pregame shows on a nightly basis.
This new gig for Arencibia comes as a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one for sure. The former Jay will get a chance to showcase his leadership abilities and possibly pave the way towards a big league coaching career. At 37 years young, he has plenty of time to learn his new role, and I’m sure excel in due time.