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Blue Jays have a catch puzzle to solve – MLB Sports

If your organization can have too many players playing the same role, it’s usually a more annoying problem than a serious one. It’s never a bad thing to have more Major League Baseball players than your roster can hold, and problems can often be solved by slipping players into the defensive spectrum. It may be inconvenient to move Nakano to outfielder and corner outfielder to first base, but if the bats deserve it, it’s worth it.

However, extra care should be taken if the overcrowded area is behind the plate. A lifelong catcher rarely has the athletic ability needed to move to another mid-position, usually hitting enough to clear the aggressive bar needed at a corner spot. can not. It’s very difficult to find a lasting play time for more than one catcher during the season, but the lack of talented catchers around the majors makes it almost impossible for the team to worry about it. ..

The Blue Jays are facing that very predicament.If you look at us Depth chart, You can see that it is ranked 4th in the major of Catcher WAR scheduled for next season. This can be a surprise to many baseball fans, as none of the backstops are common names. But three of them— Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk And Reese McGuire — According to, it ranks in the top 30 baseball catchers. 2021 Zips forecast.. In addition, all three catchers are in a similar stage of development. Each is young and there is little room for proof as a minor, but it has not yet occurred in Major League Baseball. All you have to learn is how to handle the majors. This creates the challenge for Toronto to decide how best to divide the opportunity among the three.

The leading candidate for the first job behind the plate is Janssen, who has done that job for many of the last two seasons. His big league experience (181 games) makes him a little outlier compared to McGuire and Kirk (72 games total), but because his MLB career isn’t very similar to his youth era. Janssen is still a mystery.

Danny Jansen Projection

Career / projection PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Fld war
Career 626 .208 .297 .370 .291 22.8 2.62.6
ZiPS 2021 395 .232 .315 .384 .301 0.8 1.4
Steamer 2021 364 .240 .326 .413 .317 0.3 2.3

When Janssen was a prospect, he was considered a bat-first player with average gloves. Having selected 16 high schools in 2013, he recorded strong offensive numbers in the first two seasons of the rookie ball, but occurred in 2017 and wRC + number 184 in the top three levels of minors. , 121, 172 were recorded. The following year, 88 Triple A games resulted in 146 wRC +.He finished 2018 with a .247 / .347 / .432 slash line in 95 at-bats in his first stint in the majors and solidified his position as the top 50. Prospect In baseball entering 2019.

Since then, the script has been flipped over. Janssen flopped on the plate in his first full big league season and hit .207 / .279 / .360 at 68 wRC + in 2019. He improved it somewhat last year, but not so much. 89. Fortunately for Janssen, his bat was debilitated, but his gloves were excellent. In the last two seasons, he has been ranked 10th among all catchers. Framing execution 7th overall Defensive value.. If Janssen’s defenses are legitimate and he begins to swing the bat like a minor, he could be the top five catcher in baseball. But if the bat does not recover and the defense is a mirage, he will have a hard time continuing to work.

Jansen’s Baseball Savant page can hardly solve the problem. His average exit speed dropped nearly four miles per hour last year, dropping to the fifth percentile of all batters. His 71st percentile xwOBA looks great with a 14.3% pedestrian rate, up more than 6 points from the previous season, but isn’t airtight as he chases more pitches and whips more often than ever before. .. Statcast is also pessimistic about Jansen’s framing. This was above average in 2019, but dropped to the 26th percentile in 2020. Up until this point in his career, there were no numbers comparable to his talent, and next season is an important one to fix it.

Janssen is trying to prove that his short MLB experience doesn’t show a player he can move forward, but the opposite is true for McGuire.

Reese McGuire Projection

Career / projection PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Fld war
Career 183 .243 .281 .444 .305 6.4 0.9
ZiPS 2021 365 .235 .298 .379 .289 3.7 1.2
Steamer 2021 141 .229 .290 .366 .281 2.7 2.7 0.4

The same year the Blue Jays drafted Janssen, Pirates chose McGuire on the 14th pick, one of the best used by high school catchers in recent memory. However, his bat wasn’t very well developed early in his professional career, but the team traded him to Toronto in 2016. Francisco Liriano And Drew Hutchison.. McGuire broke into the majors with Janssen’s opposition: he had great defensive catcher skills, but wasn’t expected to make much of a stick. He then produced 146w RC + with 33 PA coffee in 2018 and 128 wRC + with a longer 105 PA stint in 2019. McGuire’s reputation may have changed with three consecutive years of good hits, but instead he smashed into Earth, scoring 45 home runs last season and one home run without a walk.

Even if McGuire never hits above average in the full season, his gloves have lived up to his reputation.Baseball Prospectus makes him Top 20% Despite the fact that he played only one-sixth of the season, it will run in 2019 among all framing run catchers. Powerful receive skills make it easy for McGuire to secure a backup role in Toronto without a third catcher competing for big league time.

Alejandro Kirk Projection

Career / projection PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA Fld war
Career twenty five .375 .400 .583 .418 -0.6 0.2
ZiPS 2021 364 .247 .332 .398 .315 0.1 1.7 1.7
Steamer 2021 426 .289 .355 .476 .350 -8.3 1.6

Kirk (listed at £ 5ft £ 9 and £ 265) has his share of skeptics questioning the number of games that can reasonably be expected to catch in the majors. Again, athletes of this size are not expected to reach the Big League at all. This is exactly the same as when I played nine games at the age of 21 last summer. The Blue Jays could no longer keep the bat away. ..

Kirk, who signed out of Mexico in 2017, played the first real season of Proball in 2018, significantly reducing .354 / .443 / .558 in 58 rookie balls. The following year, he split the time between the two levels of the A-ball, hitting a total of .290 / .403 / .465. Throughout his professional career, he hit 18 home runs in 160 games and recorded 90 walks against 64 strikeouts. He is very fun to watch.

Kirk has only played nine games beyond Advanced-A, so it’s not surprising to see a minor defending behind the plate in 2021. But if Jaze is fighting while Kirk is raked in Triple A, it can be difficult to resist returning the bat to the lineup. At the beginning of the year, it becomes difficult to justify demoting one of Janssen. Or McGuire means finding a way to get enough opportunities for all three.

The easiest way to do this is to use Kirk as a designated hitter and rotate Janssen and McGuire behind the plate. The problem with that is that Toronto is already using DH spots to assist with other location log jams. Vladimir Guerrero Junior I started playing after I left third base.with him Rowdy Tellez Much of the 2020 season alternated between the first and the DH, both of which are important to the 21st Blue Jays. Teres hit .283 / .346 / .540 last season, but Vlad Jr. is Vlad Jr. .. Moving Kirk to the DH spot also means he has to aggressively clear the horizontal bar. It’s not an impossible task, but expectations for him change dramatically.

None of this may be a problem. Teres was able to hit a lot and return to a one-dimensional power hitter that didn’t force his way into the lineup. Maybe Kirk gets off to a late start as a minor, or McGuire looks terrible again, relieving the pressure of having either on the MLB roster. Someone may be injured. Hell, everyone can get hurt. However, the number of people fighting for time behind the plate in Toronto is not declining immediately. In fact, it can grow. Riley AdamsThe 2017 24-year-old former third-round pick could only hit a minor and start with a triple A in 2021. Gabriel MorenoMeanwhile, he’s only 20 years old, but he’s also found to be close to minors next season as he soars the Blue Jays prospectlist thanks to his strong offensive performance and good defensive predictions. .. Moreno is unlikely to hit the big league door in 2021, but Adams may.

The Blue Jays are an ascendant team that outperformed their expectations and played off last year, but there’s still a lot to learn about the players who will shape the next wave of competition. When it comes to their catchers, it would be difficult to learn about them if all the big league personnel given to one were the ones taken from the rest. None of them have yet proved to be the team’s long-term answer, and each provides optimistic reasons. Toronto’s future catcher is far from sticking to stones. Anyone who appeared in that role would have won the fierce competition to win it.

– MLB Sports

Blue Jays have a catch puzzle to solve

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-blue-jays-have-a-catching-puzzle-to-solve/ Blue Jays have a catch puzzle to solve

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