Join Jays From the Couch as we review the highlights and lowlights of Toronto Blue Jays top prospect Hagen Danner’s 2017 season
The 19-yr-old Hagen Danner received high praise from scouts both for his ability to pitch and his ability to catch/hit. It was rumored Danner wanted the chance to catch; therefore, any team that drafted should do so with the intention of using the Huntington Beach, CA native behind the plate.
That’s exactly what the Toronto Blue Jays intended to do. Which is why Toronto selected Hagen Danner in 2nd round selection of the 2017 Draft.
MLB Pipeline has Hagen Danner ranked as Toronto’s 9th best prospect, despite posting uninspiring stats in his rookie season. Not only does MLB Pipeline ranked Danner as Toronto’s 9th best prospect, they’ve ranked him as the 9th best catching prospect in all of baseball.
That’s some high praise.
Hagen Danner Career Stats
Danner made his professional debut on June 28th after signing for a $1.5M bonus not to attend UCLA.
That’s where the highlights for Danner end.
Not really but pretty close.
The 6-foot-2 catcher did a good job of hitting the ball in the air with a 47.5 FB% and a 17.5 LD%.
He started 27 games behind the plate and received positive reviews for arm strength and his ability to receive the ball. While he still needs to work on his footwork/blocking and game calling (which catcher doesn’t at 19-yrs-old), Danner currently grades out as above average for his work behind the plate.
When you bat .160 and strikeout in 26.5 % of your at-bats, there’s bound to be a few lowlights.
Danner was a little too pull-happy in 2017 with a 65.5 Pull% and a .088 ISO for a guy with plus power potential is disappointing.
Toronto’s newest catching prospect hit poorly against both LHP (.138 BA) and RHP (.167 BA).
Hagen Danner struggled to close out the season batting just .102 with 2 doubles, and 5 RBI. This after hitting .211 with 3 doubles, a home run, and 10 RBI in July.
Despite all his struggles, manager, Luis Hurtado, continued to pencil Danner’s name in the 5th spot in the lineup.
Behind the plate, Danner threw out 7 out of 34 would be base stealers and finished with a .973 fielding percentage. He allowed 6 passed balls and committed 7 errors in 30 games.
I don’t typically put too much stock in rookie seasons, so Danner is getting a pass on 2017. New draftees typically have already played an entire slate of games and struggle with playing every day, increased level of competition, and not being the top dawg in the level or even on their team.
MLB Pipeline has an ETA of 2021 which sounds right. Catchers have so much more to learn than any other position; therefore, tend to take a little longer to develop. We can expect Hagen Danner to start the 2018 season with Bluefield or Vancouver (a stretch).
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