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Blue Jays mid-term report card: Grade Danny Jansen’s first half

Detroit Tigers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

We are closing in on the halfway point of the Blue Jays season, so I thought we’d do mid-term report cards.

Let’s start with Danny Jansen.

I think it is fair to say that Danny isn’t hitting the way we hoped he would. At the moment he has a .168/.253/.237 line. Pecota figured him to hit .235/.332/.394, so he’s going to have a great second half to get there. I keep hoping for signs of improvement, but his June numbers are .182/.280/.227. He has 2 home runs, 19 walks and 46 strikeouts. I think we were hoping for better than a 35 OPS+ (this was written before today’s game, he had 3 hits, a homer and a walk today).

I guess there are some good signs. His hard contact rate is 40.2%, last year in limited at bats, his hard contact rate was 20.0%. And he’s not hitting many popups, 10.6% infield fly rate. And his soft contact rate is 15.9% down from 27.7% last year. He is striking out a fair bit more than last year, 23.2% up from 17.9 last year.

Maybe there has been some bad luck, he has a .217 BABIP. I’m hoping he could get the

I don’t have any complaints with his defense. He’s thrown out 33% of base steals. The rest of his game seems fine. he looks athletic behind the plate. I guess we could argue game calling stuff, since most of the pitching staff aren’t really performing well, but I wouldn’t put that on Danny. If it means much to you, the pitchers ERA with Danny catching is 4.08 and with Maile catching it is 6.15. I wouldn’t read much into that, but it doesn’t suggest that Danny’s pitch calling is a problem.

His defense has been good enough that his fWAR is 0.1.

I’ve seen people on Twitter asking ‘When is he being sent down?’. I’m feeling that he should play the season, no matter what. If he’s the catcher of the future you need to give him time to figure it out. I’m pretty ok with giving catchers a mulligan for their rookie season, as long as their defense looks good. Sometimes I think that give up too quickly on young players.

I do agree that, as a catcher, he has a lot of other things on his min and a lot of stuff to deal with, that working on his hitting should take a back seat. But, at some point he’s gotta hit better than this.


For the first half, I’d give Danny Jansen an

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