With 12 home runs, a .382 on-base percentage and nearly as many walks as strikeouts, Danny Jansen has posted some impressive numbers at triple-A this year.
That production has earned Jansen consideration for a late-season call-up to the Toronto Blue Jays, but it’s just part of the reason that he now ranks among the top catching prospects in baseball. As the 23-year-old points out, those numbers wouldn’t be possible unless frustrating injuries had given way to a two-year run of good health.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Jansen said on At the Letters Wednesday. “I’ll tell you what, after that year last year when I caught 104 (games), I was so relieved. I guess I actually can play a full season without getting hurt. I’ve had a tough go at it with a couple freak injuries.
“After the last year, I took a deep breath because I actually can get through it. This year so far I’ve been healthy and feeling really good. That’s my main goal every year is staying healthy and so far, so good.”
Jansen appeared in his 86th game of the season Wednesday night, putting him in position to eclipse the career high of 104 he established last year.
Before that, he dealt with a series of injuries dating back to his draft year. He took a foul tip off his wrist in 2013, battled ACL and meniscus injuries in his left knee in 2014, dealt with a broken left hand in 2015 and had surgery on that hand in 2016. Then he got glasses ahead of the 2017 season and broke out with a .323/.400/.484 batting line across three levels.
Now in his first full season at triple-A, Jansen’s more accustomed to the physical demands of his position.
“You get used to it, you really do,” he said. “You have to take care of your body in the weight room and also in the training room. If you need to go and get stretched out with a trainer, you have to do that. If you need to hop in the hot tub for a little bit, you’ve got to do that, too.”
Manager John Gibbons said last month that he “would expect” to see Jansen called up when rosters expand in September. That possibility’s not lost on Jansen, but he said he prefers to keep his focus on the task at hand.
“Obviously you think about it,” Jansen said, “but I have full faith in the organization, so I can’t control anything. All I can do is try to get better, so if I ever do get that opportunity then I’ll be prepared. The last thing I want to do is not be prepared for it. I try to just block it all out, whatever people are saying, I just want to worry about what I can control and try to get better and better every single day.”
Listen to the full episode below for analysis of the Blue Jays’ roster plus Jansen’s thoughts on fellow prospects Sean Reid-Foley and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.