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Danny Jansen - 2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen had a .275/.390/.473 slash line in 88 games with Triple-A Buffalo in 2018, enough for him to earn a call up to the bigs. In his 31 games with the Blue Jays, he slashed .247/.347/.432, walking nine times and striking out 17 in 95 plate appearances. This came after a 2017 season where Jansen had a .322/.400/.484 slash line that included him walking (41) more times than he struck out (40).

While it is nice that Jansen demonstrated average and patience, he demonstrated more power in both 2017 and 2018. His 12 home runs in the minors last season represented the best mark of his career and he had nine extra base hits in his 20 hits in the majors. When you combine his minor league and major league numbers, Jansen had 43 extra-base hits.

With patience and power, can Jansen be a top-10 catcher this season?

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Why Should We Be Watching This Top Prospect?

After being called up from the minors, Jansen made the most of his time in the big leagues right away, posting a .333/.419/.556 slash line in 43 plate appearances in August. He tallied a home run and five doubles in his first month in the big leagues, knocking in three and scoring six times. His numbers faded in Sept/Oct to a .178/.288/.333 slash line, but his August performance was enough to show that he can be a good offensive catcher.

If you have been reading this article, it will not be a shock that Jansen had a BB rate of at least 10% at each minor league stop. He followed that up with a 9.5% BB rate in his cameo in the majors and, while his K% was inflated at 17.9%, Jansen's patience at the plate opens up his entire offensive game.

Posting a 20+% line drive rate and 50%+ pull rate over the last two seasons in the minors, Jansen had a line drive rate of 20% and pull rate of 52.3% in the big leagues. His hard hit ball rate was only 20% in the big leagues (and his soft hit ball rate was 27.7%), but he was still able to maintain an 84.4% contact rate and 91.9% zone contact rate.

Jansen's ability to command the strike zone and put the bat on the ball is something that makes him a solid player leading into 2019.


Can Jansen Be A Top Catcher This Season?

When evaluating Jansen (or any catcher), you need to remember that catcher is the most offensively scarce position. In fact, there were only seven catchers that had more than 300 plate appearances last season and topped a .775 OPS. Furthermore, only five catchers had more than the 42 extra base hits that Jansen complied in the minors and majors last season and only eight catchers had more than 150 plate appearances and hit at least .275.

At an ADP of 237, Jansen can be grabbed in the later rounds of drafts. Catcher is still a position that needs to be filled in a majority of leagues and it is a good thing to take a player like Jansen late rather than a SP5 or RP dart throw. A great value as the 13th catcher off of the board, Jansen has top-10 (or even top-five) upside at catcher.

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