ANAHEIM—As the baseball world awaits the arrival of top prospect Gabriel Moreno, Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen is in the process of making a statement: The future might be bright, but the present is pretty darn good, too.
Jansen, the once light-hitting backstop, has finally started tapping into the power that just a few years ago made him one of the rising stars of the organization. Glove-first defender no more, the 27-year-old is proving he can be an asset with the bat as well.
The sample size is microscopic because Jansen missed more than a month with an oblique injury, yet despite the lack of playing time he’s tied for second among MLB catchers with six homers. The only player in franchise history with more over his first 12 games of a season, at any position, was Carlos Delgado with seven in 1994.
A stretch that short doesn’t mean much of anything — even the league’s worst player can get hot for a couple weeks before crashing back to reality — but Jansen’s turnaround dates back a lot longer than that. It began midway through last season, going largely unnoticed because of his previously poor numbers, his health and the Jays’ elite-level production elsewhere in the lineup.
Since last year’s all-star break, Jansen’s 1.190 on-base plus slugging percentage is second among all MLB hitters with at least 100 plate appearances, trailing only Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward (1.224). Jansen’s…