The most important job on the field has to be the catcher. They talk to the pitcher and make suggestions on how to approach every situation that may go on defensively. In that case, they are the biggest decision-makers on the team and that needs great leadership to pull off.
Danny Jansen hasn’t been completely active with the team this year. He suffered a groin issue early in the season and had been healing for a couple of months. At that time, it had to be some of the worst games the Blue Jays had played. Soon enough when he came back the team started to look like the prime, 2022 team they showed early in the season.
What makes Danny Jansen such a great leader?
It’s tough to look at Danny Jansen from such a far angle and determine that he is the reason the team has stepped up in the last couple of weeks. There is no stat that could measure how he can impact other players on the team with what he does on and off the field.
However, there have been a lot of actions that you could see that show he is the leader of the team and that his actions improve them. One clear example was when Nate Pearson was pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Pearson had struggled in his first inning out as he walked a player and then had two balls. While the Blue Jays were leading the game it was still possible for the Diamondbacks to come back in the game and with how Pearson was pitching it looked like more of a possibility.
Danny Jansen took Pearson aside and talked to him on the mound. What was said is still not known but after the conversation with him, Pearson was able to strike out the next three at bat and not allow anyone in. Again, what was said on the mound will only be known to Pearson and Jansen but it’s obvious that whatever Jansen said really pulled Pearson out of the early funk he was feeling when he started the inning.
There are other examples of Danny Jansen’s leadership. Most will probably never come to the light of day, but another huge example is Chris Bassitt stop calling his own pitches.
Bassitt has called his own pitches this year. It’s nothing out of the ordinary, although rare compared to the catcher calling the pitches. But going further into the season he decided to allow the pitcher to call the shots. At the same time, Jansen was returning back to the team from his groin injury. While the two events could be unrelated, the fact that Bassitt still trusts the catcher shows the type of leadership that comes from Jansen.
But it isn’t just his leadership off the pitch that makes Danny Jansen great. Despite all that, he has been an offensive leader on a strong offensive team. He would usually take the eighth position in the batting order and while he doesn’t have the stats like Bo Bichette or other young players on the team that are on the up-and-coming, he has made some great plays to get points for the team.
It’s really easy to just look at Jansen as a good catcher and a great hitter. But he is so much more than that. He is a player that has taken leadership o
Opportunities with the team and had drilled it throughout the team. It may not be just a coincidence that since he came back, the Blue Jays’ record has improved to the point they are in a playoff spot again.
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