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Happy Birthday J.P. Arencibia

Former Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia turns 37 today.

Arencibia was a first-round draft found pick by the Jays in the 2004 draft, number 21 in all. He quickly became our top prospect and hit #43 on the Baseball America top 100 prospects list before the 2009 season.

And then he came up to the Jays and played his first MLB game on August 7th, 2010, and it couldn’t have gone better. He went 4 for 5, with 2 home runs and a double. We thought we had our catcher for the next ten years.

It didn’t work out that way. He had more troubles with the bat than we thought he would and he took those troubles with him behind the plate.

JP played four seasons with the Jays. He hit .212/.258/.408 in 380 games. Over the years we talked too much about his shortcomings, but he seemed like a good guy. He was great with fans and great with kids.

He came to Calgary with the Jays' winter tour several years ago, and I got to talk to him a little bit, and he was very nice. I didn’t notice how good-looking he was until later when I saw pictures that a friend of mine took for me, and I noticed how many pictures she took of JP.

From the Jays, he went to the Rays (and had a poor year) and then the Rangers (and hit well, .310, but in 73 PA). Then he played in the Phillies system and the Rays system but didn’t make it back to the majors.

Since then he’s worked as an analyst for Marlin games (I thought he was quite good in the role). And he married and divorced Kimberly Perry of the Band Perry (who wrote a song that wasn’t very complimentary about JP) and has married Fox broadcaster Tomi Lahren (who, to my knowledge, hasn’t written a song about him).

Happy Birthday. JP.

Nori Aoki turns 41 today.

Aoki was a Blue Jay for all of 12 games. He came to us, along with Teoscar Hernandez from the Astros in trade for Francisco Liriano. A trade that worked out very well for us.

Aoki played 6 seasons in the MLB, hitting .285/.350/.387 with 33 home runs in 758 games.

Happy Birthday, Nori.

Kevin Witt turns 47 today.

Witt was our first-round pick in the 1994 draft.

Like JP, he didn’t live up to the hype. He played 20 games for the Jays over two seasons. hitting .195/.233/.293.

He’d go on to play a few games for the Padres, some more for the Tigers and then a few for the Rays.

Career he hit .233/.267/.376 in 146 games, mostly as a DH.

Happy Birthday, Kevin.

AJ Cole turns 31 today.

Cole played in 30 games for us, in 2020 and 2021, at the end of a 7-year career, and I’m afraid I remember almost nothing about him.

In his 7 seasons, he pitched in 109 games, 19 starts with a 4.51 ERA.

Happy Birthday, AJ.