Jays From the Couch had the opportunity to sit down with Blue Jays young catching star, Danny Jansen as he closed the 2017 season in Buffalo
Danny Jansen is a bit of an anomaly. The 16th round 2013 draft pick was on fire this season, moving up three levels, ending up with the Buffalo Bisons, the Blue Jays Triple A affiliate. A feat not usually seen with catchers, Blue Jays fans are getting excited to see what is coming up through the system, giving hope that this season, the season that wasn’t, is in itself an anomaly and won’t be repeated next year.
Ryan Mueller at JFtC wrote about Jansen’s assent as he landed in Buffalo mid August, covering the impressive numbers the Blue Jays organization were seeing. With his numbers, having Danny Jansen continue his upswing to land behind the plate at the dome is one way to plug the gaping hole Russell Martin left when he went on the DL. A solid option to give Martin a break now and again is a needed piece of the puzzle. There is no question that Blue Jays fans everywhere will agree that having great depth behind the plate will help win games…enter Danny Jansen.
At the last home game of the Buffalo Bisons’ 30th season celebration, Jays From the Couch sat down with Jansen to talk about where he’s been and where he’s going.
JFtC : When you think about this season, what stands out in your mind?
DJ: I guess it’s just improvements, offensively and defensively. I strive to become the best defensive catcher I can possibly become and I guess having help with the defensive part of it, it was just clear in my mind…and competing. The improvements and strides I made this year is the biggest part (of this season).
JFtC: Where were you when you got the call to come up to Buffalo?
DJ: I was home in New Hampshire after a game and it caught me by surprise. I had no idea. The manager and coaching staff called me in and they gave me the news and it was amazing.
JFtC: So pretty exciting, was it different than when you got the call to go to New Hampshire? Going up three levels in a season for a catcher is not what we normally see.
DJ: It was different because in high A when I got the call it was an off day, so I was at home, just lounging around on the bed taking a nap and I got the call there. So it was definitely different being able to share with your team mates.
JFtC: Has there been any talk about your development plan? Do they let you know what they see happening for you next season?
DJ: No, they just give me stuff to work on and challenge me. I’m looking forward to coming back and being better and being stronger.
JFtC: When do you think we’ll be able to see you up with the Blue Jays considering the troubles they’ve been having behind the plate as of late?
DJ: I have no idea (laughs) I guess whenever the team decides they need me I will come up there and give it my best shot and compete and give it my all.
JFtC: How important do you think the catcher/pitcher relationship is, and how do you work on that?
DJ: The biggest, the biggest. It’s really important. You’ve got to trust, it’s a trust thing. He’s got to trust me, I’ve got to trust him and I guess the way to gain that trust starts when you first meet him, you want to be able to go talk to him, go out of your way, ask about his family. You want to get that trust factor so you can get on a page and have that relationship because it’s so huge.
JFtC: Now it’s been three teams this season, how long does it usually take you to acclimate to that?
DJ: Luckily I know a lot of these guys from spring, from spring training, so when I came up here, I mean I never really caught any of them in a game, but I knew what they like to throw, I knew what they had and I had a relationship with most of them already, so now it’s just polishing it and getting to know what they like to do on the mound. A lot of guys in double A and high A I’ve had with me my whole career, I’ve played with a bunch so it was an easy transition there.
JFtC: What are the offseason plans for you then?
DJ: I’m going home, relaxing. First time I’ve had 100 or something games so I just want to take my rest and then as soon as November hits or Octoberish then I’m going to start working out, try to get stronger and more flexible, get my ankle mobility better and just working on my craft and just getting on the grind.
JFtC: Is there anyone that you emulate when you do your workout schedule? When we talked to Conner Greene earlier in the year he was talking about following Aaron Sanchez‘s protocol and getting help from him. Is there anyone you’ve been following in that way?
DJ: Nobody with the workouts and things like that. Luckily there’s a couple guys in my hometown, or hometownish that have played pro ball and they have that experience so we’ll do baseball related stuff together but as far as in the system here there’s no one. I just follow the program and try to do it that way.
JFtC: OK, a couple of easy questions. Colour – blue, white, grey or red?
JFtC: Finish this sentence, “When I leave the ballpark I’m usually wearing…..”
DJ: A collared shirt..
JFtC: Thanks so much for your time
There has been a focus as of late, on the farm system and what is coming in the future for the Blue Jays. With the likes of Bo Bichette, Vladdy Guerrero Jr, and Danny Jansen showing what they are already capable of, the worry about sinking into another 22 year drought is pretty unfathomable. The future of Blue Jays baseball is looking quite bright and for Blue Jays fans, Danny Jansen is worth keeping an eye on.
*Featured Image Credit: R Widrig- JFtC
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.