After conquering Advanced-A and Double-A, Blue Jays catching prospect Danny Jansen has gotten off to a hot start with Triple-A Buffalo Bisons
After a season of injury and disappointment in 2016, no one would have blamed you for doubting the validity of catcher Danny Jansen‘s April numbers. Between April and mid-May, the hard luck catcher played 31 games for the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League and posted eye popping numbers.
Many wondered when the Blue Jays would challenge the 22-yr-old with a promotion to Double-A. (By many, I mean me)
It didn’t take long. After batting a healthy .369 with 6 doubles, 5 HR with the D-Jays, Jansen got the call to New Hampshire on May 15th to fill in for the injured Reese McGuire and newly acquired Patrick Cantwell.
The 2013 16th round draft pick quickly showed his Advanced-A success was no fluke. He collected hits in each of his first 6 games, with three multi-hit games during the first week (plus one day). Danny Jansen had a .333 average through ten May games as a member of the Fisher Cats.
When Reese McGuire returned to New Hampshire on August 4th. I thought the pair would platoon for the rest of the season, boy was I wrong. Instead of keeping Jansen in Double-A, the young man received another promotion. We have seen this type of ascent in the past with pitchers and outfielders, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a catcher move up three levels in a season.
Inside the Numbers
From Advanced-A to Double-A, Jansen saw his power numbers dip from 5 HR in 31 GP to 2 HR in 52 GP. As a member of the Fisher Cats, Jansen saw his ISO decrease to .128 from .172 and his BABIP went from .385 to .311. However, he showed more patience at the plate with 10.5 BB% and 9.0 K% in Double-A versus 5.9 BB% and 10.3 K% in Advanced-A.
The biggest drop between Dunedin and New Hampshire appeared in his OPS which fell to .797 from .963. Despite seeing a decline in certain offensive categories, Jansen was still producing well above league average with a .358 wOBA at Double-A.
The 6-foot-2 native of Illinois continues to excel with each challenge. In his first week as a member of the Buffalo Bisons, Jansen has collected at least one base hit. He’s already had three 2-hit games…..all in a row.
Danny Jansen carries a .476 batting with 2 doubles, 3RBI, 6BB and just one K in 7 Triple-A games.
Danny Jansen Stats
At present, Jansen is not on the 40-man roster. Considering his success in 2017 and that he will be Rule 5 eligible again this offseason, he will be added to the 40-man roster at some point between now and the deadline to finalize rosters prior to the Rule 5 Draft… or the Blue Jays risk losing him in the draft.
With the loss of Russell Martin, the Toronto Blue Jays will have Raffy Lopez (having a breakout season of his own) and Mike Ohlman playing behind the plate. This pair should remain intact until Miguel Montero returns from injury, which shouldn’t be too much longer.
With Lopez, Ohlman, and Montero (soon), Toronto has depth behind the dish to allow Jansen to continue getting regular reps at Triple-A. Another benefit to keeping Jansen at Triple-A is allowing him a chance to work with veteran pitchers like T.J. House, Brett Oberholtzer, and Mike Bolsinger. This trio can provide invaluable insight into game calling and other nuances of the game that the emerging catching star has yet to be educated on.
When rosters expand in September the Blue Jays front office could give Jansen a solid ‘atta boy’ pat on the back and send him home for the offseason. Or, the front office will need to DFA someone off the 40-man roster to make room Danny Jansen if the decision is to get him a taste of the Major Leagues.
Danny Jansen has accomplished so much in 2017, rushing him to Toronto makes zero sense. He will be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason and should get his share of at-bats during Spring Training. Unless Russell Martin suffers a long-term injury at some point in 2018, I see no point having Danny Jansen on Toronto’s roster. He is not a backup catcher and would be wasted if not getting regular playing time which he would get in Buffalo.
*Featured Image Credit:- C Stem JFtC
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