Due to the lack of viable catchers in fantasy this year, especially in two-catcher formats, Danny Jansen will be a popular upside target in many drafts and auctions. Although he’s growing into his power, Jansen’s career 36.7 on-base percentage in the minor leagues provides hope for this season. During his 31 games in 2018, Jansen accrued 81 at-bats with 12 runs, three home runs, eight RBI and a .247/.347/.432 slash line. Also, he racked up six doubles and the three homers among his 20 hits with nine walks against 17 strikeouts.

Compared to his peers in the second half with at least 90 plate appearances, Jansen finished seventh in isolated power (.185), tied for 10th in on-base percentage and 14th in walk rate (9.5 percent). Tempering expectations will be pivotal for Jansen in redraft formats, but there’s signs he could build on last year.

Across three levels in 2017, Jansen recorded more walks (41) than strikeouts (40) hitting a combined .323/.400/.484 with 25 doubles and 10 home runs. Last year, Jansen appeared in 88 games at Triple-A with 45 runs, 12 home runs, 58 RBI, five stolen bases and a .275/.390/.473 slash. He also finished with a 12.2 walk percentage, 13.6 strikeout rate and .198 isolated power.

It’s also important to note, Jansen’s batted ball events tend to be line drives or fly balls. According to Statcast, his 65 events resulted in a 21.1-degree average launch angle. Also, here’s how his fly ball and line drive percentages looked at the top two levels of the minors:

  • Fly Ball Percentages: 2017 Double-A (37.7 percent), 2017 Triple-A (35.1 percent); 2018 Triple-A (41.9 percent)
  • Line Drive Percentages: 2017 Double-A (21.4 percent), Triple-A (17.5 percent); 2018 Triple-A (24.2 percent)

For the visual learners, myself included, here’s Jansen’s heat map and spray charts from the last two years at Double-A and higher courtesy of MLBfarm.com:

Jansen does well when he pulls the ball with all of his home runs except one to left and left-center field. As he adjusts to the majors, more power could emerge to the opposite field, but it will be a work in progress. Jansen also did well according to xSTATS with four expected home runs, one higher than his actual total, and a .249/.349/.457 expected slash. Understanding his already advanced plate discipline, Jansen also finished with a .350 expected on-base average.

Again, it’s a small sample but, Jansen owned a 6.8 swinging strike percentage during his debut last year with 84.4 percent contact and only a 27 percent chase rate. While his average may not jump due to this being his first full year in the majors, there’s room for growth as evidenced in his projections:

With the trade of Russell Martin to the Dodgers, the Blue Jays cleared a path for Danny Jansen this year. Heed his on-base tendencies, advanced discipline and fly ball lean when justifying taking him this year. Jansen’s popularity will not go unnoticed with his average draft position creeping up in NFBC drafts. Overpaying for a rookie can be a mistake, but Jansen will be solid this year with a chance to reach the ATC projection above, which would result in a top-10 season at his position. Not too shabby.


Statistical Credits:






THE BAT courtesy of Derek Carty

ATC courtesy of Ariel Cohen

ZiPS courtesy of Dan Szymborski