Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen has been on quite a tear over the last month and a half. Since June 15, the 28-year-old has hit .269 (25-93) with nine home runs, 22 RBI, and a .940 OPS.
It’s been an uptick in production for the backstop since his return from the injured list in late May following a groin injury, but he’s been locked in all season. His 15 homers, 49 runs driven in, and .771 OPS place him among the leaders in MLB catchers.
In fact, over his last 162 games, Jansen is hitting .249 (124-497) with 34 home runs, 110 RBI, and a .831 OPS. Those gaudy numbers prove that D.J. is one of the most prolific power-hitting catchers in the league, but where does he rank among masked men in the majors?
Jansen is tied third in homers by catchers, his 49 RBI rank fourth, and a hearty .480 slugging percentage is fourth by those with at least 200 at-bats. The players in front of him are on those lists. Sean Murphy, Jonah Heim, and Salvador Perez, among others, have done their damage while playing significantly more games and in more plate appearances.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Jansen’s game is how often he hits the ball out of the park. His 15 jacks have come in just 223 ABs, a 6.2 homer percentage. Last year his HR% was 6.1; for context, the MLB average is 3.2 percent.
When the Jays made the big trade for Daulton Varsho, sending catcher Gabriel Moreno and outfielder Lourdes Gurrriel Jr. to the desert, the team dealt from a position of strength. Most assumed Alejandro Kirk would continue toward stardom after his All-Star breakout of 2022.
Instead, Kirk has regressed while Jansen has continued to mash. Together, they form one of the best catcher duos in the majors. Jansen may not have the reputation of J.T. Realmuto or Adley Rutschman, but he’s firmly in the top ten backstops in baseball and probably closer to the top five.
He’ll need to improve his caught-stealing rate (14%) and strive to get that number up to his career average of 23%. Even approaching throwing out base-stealers at a league-average rate is satisfactory for a player who is a threat to go deep every time he comes to bat.