Giving the Blue Jays' best hitter in 2024 some love

Jansen has been on fire to start his 2024 campaign, and fans can't take this for granted
Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

No vision of hope is clearer than the one through the glasses of the man perched behind the dish…at least in Toronto. Danny Jansen, who's had a customary late start to the season after recovering from a hit by pitch that occurred during Spring Training, has looked like one of the lone beams of hope on a lineup that is sorely lacking.

Fans have been deeply concerned about the Toronto Blue Jays' lineup, following a year that had everyone worried but not fully engulfed in a state of trepidation. It is now happening, and standing at 16-20 with a -46 run differential is leaving the front office with major issues to address if the club is unable to find its footing.

Enter Jansen. The 29-year-old backstop has already amassed a 0.7 bWAR in just 14 games played. In those 14 games, he's also slashing .325/.426/.700 with three home runs. His approach looks wonderful to start the season, and it's reflecting in all of his numbers across the board. He isn't just hitting for power, but his on-base abilities are off to a rocking start.

Danny Jansen has been a fantastic part of the 2024 Blue Jays

The 14.9 walk rate he's put on display is the highest of his career, and he's actually walking more than striking out. Is this subject to change? Of course it is and will, but the early numbers suggest that Jansen was putting in extra work on his eye over the winter, and it's been working.

Something crazier is his unreal 50% hard-hit rate (which is only 5% higher than his rate in 2021 and 2022). Again, this is a result of a smaller sample size, but it shows that his ability to knock the cover off the ball might be getting even better.

It's something that was perhaps hard to grasp a few years ago, but there is a case for Jansen to be the best offensive catcher in baseball. The likes of Will Smith, William Contreras, Jonah Heim, Sean Murphy are all good arguments for the subjective title, but Jansen is firmly in that conversation, and the numbers back it up.

Blue Jays fans should continue to be loud for Jansen, given he's been a scarce beacon of hope in a lineup that's seeing its stars fall from orbit.

It's easy to be caught up in the frustration of watching the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette struggle so much, but when the stars shine bright, it's important to not take them for granted. The long-time Toronto catcher deserves his flowers, and it's better to give them now before he might become a piece of the club's history.