Player Spotlight: Danny Jansen
I’m going to be spotlighting a couple players per position that I find especially interesting each week. These are going to be more of a stat based, analytical deep dive on a specific player. The projections next to the player names are an average of THE BAT, ATC, Steamer, and ZIPS projection systems found on Fangraphs. NFBC ADP data is from the date range 1/01/2019-02/03/2019. Let’s see what rookie Danny Jansen could bring to your fantasy team in 2019.
Danny Jansen, TOR (ADP 216): 419 PA, 50 R, 12 HR, 48 RBI, 3 SB, .252/.334/.409/.744
Danny Jansen is the shiny new toy among catchers this draft season and I’ll admit, I’m falling for it too. The bar to get me excited about a young, offense first catcher is currently so low that the modest projection above has me giddy. Jansen had an impressive 31 game debut in 2018 slashing .247/.347/.432/.779. You’ll find a common theme among most players that I end up falling for in fantasy baseball: OBP. Like Brad Pitt said in Moneyball, “get on base.” Jansen listened to Brad’s advice to the tune of 10.5%, 14.1%, and 12.2% walk rates in his last 3 stops in the minors. He kept that going in his big-league debut (9.5%). So, while he didn’t have a sparkling batting average last season, his OBP, low strikeout rates, and minor league averages (.275 in AAA, .310 in AA) point towards improvement in that category. Scouting reports have his power as average and he should be able to post HR totals in the high teens throughout his career, especially when adding the MLB ball into the equation.
With all this said, Jansen is going to continue to climb up draft boards. On New Year’s Day, the 24-year-old was going off the board at pick 253. Since then his ADP is 216. I expect that to continue to climb as draft season progresses, as he could become a sub 200 pick. If that’s the case, I’m not sure I can justify taking a rookie catcher that high. Pitchers will adjust to him and he’ll have to manage his own pitching staff. That’s a lot to put on a rookie’s plate. Jansen is one of the more intriguing rookie catchers in quite a while and he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on if he slips in your draft.