The Toronto Blue Jays take on the Kansas City Royals in a must watch game for Blue Jays fans tonight. The team may be 53-64 and 30.5 game behind the division leading Boston Red Sox, but there are two very good reasons to watch tonight. Danny Jansen will set up behind the plate to catch his AAA teammate Sean Reid-Foley as the pair make their Major League debuts. According to MLB Pipeline, Jansen is the #3 Jays prospect with Reid-Foley sitting at #10. Tonight’s game will provide a glimpse into the not so distant future of an organization desperately in need of a boost.
Jansen has enjoyed a great season with the AAA Buffalo Bisons. His slash line of .275/.390/.473 offers an insight into the type of hitter he is. A contact hitter with sneaky power, his K:BB ratio sits at 49:44 on the season. His 12 home runs are a career high. He pulls the ball over half of the time, but is capable of spraying hits to all fields. A solid defender, Jansen projects to be the Blue Jays catcher of the future. The Blue Jays called him up during the Bisons game on Saturday. Jansen was in the hole when the dugout phone rang. He started hugging his teammates and was told by manager Bobby Meacham, “Kid, you’re going to the big leagues, I don’t want to see you again.” I previously wrote about Jansen earlier this season, saying that he deserved a chance to play. He’s going to get that shot now.
Reid-Foley began the season with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats where he made 8 starts before earning a promotion to Buffalo. With the Bisons, he has a 3.50 ERA/3.04 FIP/3.30 xFIP in 15 starts. He is striking out 10.28/9, walking 2.95/9 while only giving up 0.55 HR/9. He has only given up more than 3 runs twice in AAA and has lowered his opponents BABIP to .299 after having it over .340 at one point.
Jansen is expected to be on the 2019 Opening Day roster with Reid-Foley seen as an outside contender for a rotation spot. With #12 prospect Ryan Borucki already in the rotation, the youth movement has begun in earnest for the Blue Jays. As Jays fans search for reasons to watch a losing team, these kids are showing off their skills and providing hope for the future.
Stats from FanGraphs.
Photo from USA Today.