Just checking in on this rainy Thursday with the daily dose of optimism. Today's post's title comes from the great Old 97s song "The New Kid" and perhaps cautions Big Rod Barajas not to get too settled in behind the plate.
But Rod's reason for job insecurity is a Jays' fan's gain, as we check in with Baseball America's report on young Jays' backstop J.P. Arencibia, who had an impressive season in the minors (27 home runs and a .298/.322/.527 line across Dunedin and New Hampshire), propelling himself into 3rd place on the Bluebird Banter Top Jays prospects list. This is a very welcome development for Jays fans, who have been hurting for a star catcher for what feels like forever and who have been treated to a series of competent, if uninspiring, veterans on short-term deals, coupled with weak-batted backups.
Baseball America's story documents how Arencibia's great season has continued into the Arizona Fall League, where he is hitting .282/.310/.538. The story has kind words for his hitting, for his defense (welcome words for some Jays' fans who initially feared that back and defensive concerns might push Arencibia from behind the plate), and for his makeup. I'd like to see Arencibia work on his plate discipline in spring training, where I think the Jays will give him a decent look, but it's very encouraging to read about how far along his other skills are.