Join Jays From the Couch as we review the highlights and lowlights of Toronto Blue Jays top prospect Danny Jansen 2017 season
MLB Pipeline had the former 16th round pick of the 2013 Draft ranked as the Blue Jays 22nd best prospect in the pre-season. The talented catcher had one hell of a season, moving up to number 17 on MLB Pipeline’s list.
Farm Director Gil Kim called him, “One of the most improved prospects in the system” (link).
For those fans which follow the farm system closely, Danny Jansen‘s development prior to 2017 was as fun as watching paint dry.
After impressive seasons to start his pro career in 2013 and 2014 as a member of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays and Bluefield Blue Jays, Baseball American ranked Jansen as Toronto’s #20 prospect. BA described Jansen as “a strong, physical and powerful presence.” They raved about his bat speed, his bat-to-ball ability, and knowledge of the strike zone. BA closes their scouting report by pointing out that Jansen sustained a minor knee injury late in the season (2014).
This knee injury was followed by a hand injury which limited him to just 46 games in 2015, followed by another hand injury with limited him to 57 games in 2016.
With the knee and hand injuries in the past and sporting glasses (see link provided above for more info), Danny Jansen started 2017 as a member of the Dunedin Blue Jays. This would be Jansen’s second attempt to conquer the Florida State League.
Jansen got off to a great start, collecting a pair of 3-hit games in game 1 and game 2 of the season. He never looked back, batting over .400 in April (20GP). Jansen received his first promotion on May 15th, joining the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
The Eastern League couldn’t cool off Danny Jansen. After almost 3 months in the EL, Jansen was on the move again, heading to Buffalo to join Toronto’s Triple-A affiliation where is domination at the plate continued.
Danny Jansen Career Stats
|A+ (||A+ (||A+ (||85||310||37||86||13||0||6||41||7||1||30||54||.277||.355||.377||.733|
|Rk (||Rk (||Rk (||84||268||45||70||15||0||6||40||2||1||40||34||.261||.372||.384||.756|
Sorry about the mess of a table. Not sure WTF happened.
Moving up three levels in 2017 made it very difficult for Danny Jansen to lead any team or league in any statistical category. He spent the most time with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, showed more dominance with the Dunedin Blue Jays, and surprised everyone by excelling with Triple-A Buffalo.
The 22-yr-old catcher produced 31 multi-hit games with four 4-hit games (3 with D-Jays and 1 with Bisons), seven 3-hit games (3 with D-Jays and 4 with NH), and nineteen 2-hit games (8 in Dunedin, 6 in NH, and 5 in Buffalo).
Jansen wasn’t just hitting singles. Jansen ISO’s of .172 (A+), .128 (AA), and .224 (AAA) which led to double-digit home total and close to 30 doubles. Jansen also finished with .300+ BABIP at every level and outstanding wOBA (.442/.358/.427) at all three levels.
Normally there is an adjustment period when a prospect is promoted. Some prospects strike out more, walk less, or their power goes into hibernation. Jansen’s walk rate actually improved with each promotion, going from 5.9 BB% all the way up to 14.1 BB%. He posted impressive 9.0 K% at AA and AAA.
The 3 most probable outcomes when the native of Elmhurst, Illinois stepped to the plate in 2017 were: single (82), groundout (82), or flyout (57).
In my opinion, Danny Jansen’s best game came as a member of the Buffalo Bisons on August 21st. Batting 6th, in a lineup that consisted of Dwight Smith Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and Rowdy Tellez, the talented Jansen went 4-for-4 with 2 runs scored, 2 runs batted in, a triple, and 2 home runs. He was also help guide Brett Oberholtzer, John Stilson, and Carlos Ramirez (1st AAA win) to victory, catching 141 pitches.
Behind the plate, Jansen committed just 4 errors and was charged with 4 passed balls. This is amazing when we consider that he needed to learn three different pitching staffs in a single season. Granted, he has some experience with many of these pitches during his time in the system.
While it is very difficult to find anything wrong with this young man’s meteoric rise in 2017, I’ll give it shot.
Much of Danny Jansen’s power is to the pull side, with just one HR to RF. MLBfarm.com shows Jansen will typically find hits in LF (73), SS (59), CF (54), and 3rd (47).
I would like to see Jansen get more loft on BABIP. Jansen hit 155 groundballs versus 83 flyballs in 2017. He produced 1.17 groundball outs per flyball out. Fans can grow very tired of seeing a guy ground out or hit into double plays when they’re struggling. That said, Danny Jansen only hit into 9 double plays in 2017.
The former 16th round pick does a decent job controlling the run game. His possesses an average arm, allowing 82 stolen bases and throwing out 26 baserunners. While throwing out 24% of stolen base attempts ain’t bad (it’s better than Miguel Montero), it could be better.
That’s all I’ve got for lowlights.
Danny Jansen finds himself on the Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster. He will be given a long look over by the Blue Jays major league coaches this Spring Training but will ultimately head to Buffalo.
In Buffalo Jansen will split time behind the plate with Reese McGuire. When not behind the plate, I expect that Jansen will DH.
It is my opinion that Danny Jansen will only make his MLB debut in 2018 (pre-September) if Russell Martin suffers an injury; otherwise, I feel the call will go to Reese McGuire.
As for the kind of number we can expect from Danny Jansen as a member of the Herd. I don’t think that Danny Jansen will hit over .300 in Triple. More like in the .270 range. I think that facing more veteran pitchers will test his ability to maintain his 1:1 BB:K rate that he had in ’17, but I think he will come out on top in that regard.
This spring, I think that we will hear a lot of “Best shape of my life” quotes come from Jansen’s lips. The Blue Jays Strength and Conditioning and Performance team will have a plan in place this offseason to ensure that Jansen is actually in the best shape of his life entering 2018.
We should expect big things from Jansen in 2018.
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