the Life of a Catcher
Both Jansen and McGuire are among the top prospects in the Blue Jays’ organization. They rank as the sixth and the 14th best talents, respectively, according to MLB Pipeline.
Jansen, a former 16th round pick by the Blue Jays in 2013, made a sharp ascent through the minor league ranks last year before landing in Triple A with the Bisons at the tail end of the season. In 2017, he hit.328 and collected canada goose outlet sale 22 canada goose outlet parka hits, three home runs and 10 RBI in 21 games played with the Herd.
This season, in Canada Goose Coats On Sale addition to playing catcher, Jansen doubles as a designated hitter and bats in the heart of the order mostly in the cleanup spot. He has provided a steady bat in the lineup and has parlayed his strong finish from last year into this season. In 2018, Jansen leads the team in batting average at.304 and is tied for the team lead in hits with 52. Additionally, he has registered four home runs and 37 RBI (all stats as of June 16).
Jansen, a native of Appleton, Wis., began catching when he was right around Little League age.
“When I was nine years old,” Jansen said, “I was fortunate to have a batting cage in canada goose outlet online uk my backyard, and my dad was the Little League coach.”
Jansen followed in the footsteps of his father, who was once a catcher when he played baseball.
McGuire is a former canada goose uk black friday first round selection by the Pittsburgh canada goose outlet reviews Pirates back in 2013 and was acquired by the Blue Jays via a trade in 2016. He played the majority of the 2017 season in Double A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a season shortened by a knee injury he sustained last May.
In 34 games played with the Fisher Cats, McGuire put up solid numbers. He batted.278 with 32 hits, six home runs and 20 RBI. In 2018, he has 33 hits, three home runs and 15 RBI (as of June 16). McGuire is coming off a productive series at the plate against Lehigh Valley in which he recorded five hits including a two run home run on June 12.
McGuire hails from Covington, Wash., which is Canada Goose Outlet about a 40 minute cheap canada goose drive from Seattle. He also started to take up catching when he was young.
“Little League,” McGuire said. “I played canada goose outlet uk sale with my older brother Cash. He was a year older than official canada goose outlet me. We canada goose coats used to switch off catching whenever the other would pitch.”
As his brother got older and began to develop into a pitcher, McGuire found his calling behind the plate.
“I just stayed back there behind the dish and fell in love with the position and liked being in on every play,” McGuire said. “I ended up sticking with it through Little League. That’s one thing I loved about that position how much it demands canada goose outlet every canada goose store day.”
The two catchers offered different reasons for wanting to continue playing the position.
“A lot of it has to do with the love I got from my dad,” Jansen said on why he enjoys being a catcher. He explained that his father was a catcher for a long time and although he never played professionally, he takes to heart what his father once taught him about the game.
“I played shortstop a little bit in Little League as well and I liked that but something about putting the gear on and going back there, and stealing strikes, blocking canada goose outlet balls and throwing guys out. it’s a constant game back cheap canada goose uk there, so that’s what I love,” McGuire recollected.
Catchers wear a full ensemble of protective equipment to prevent the possible dangers of being in such close proximity to the batter let alone having a hard ball sent towards you at high speeds.
Sometimes, catchers can take a beating and Jansen recalls this when he first started playing the position. “[I] wore a couple balls off my arms and legs,” canada goose outlet canada he remembered.
The late Yogi Berra once said, “90 percent of the game is half mental.” This “yogism” rings true, especially for a catcher, which was Berra’s primary position in his playing days. For a catcher, the game is just as much mental as it is physical.
“It’s a tough game,” McGuire said. “So, if you’re 0 2, 0 3 heading into that seventh, eighth inning and you got a one run lead, you can’t be taking that last at bat back there behind the dish. You got to be able to put that past you and be able to separate that.”
Baseball players are often creatures of habit, and this is no exception for Jansen and McGuire who each have a unique routine when it comes to game preparation. Both catchers prepare for games doing a blocking drill of some kind.
Jansen likes to pair up with another catcher (usually Michael De La Cruz) and works on blocking before the game. “We have a little routine together and he’ll just throw some balls, I’ll be on my knees and just blocking and get a feel for the ball going off my chest,” he said.
“We kind of draw up a little pregame routine,” McGuire canada goose coats on sale said. “For the most part I go out there, I stretch, throw with the pitcher and then right before I get warmed up with him I do a couple canada goose outlet uk of dry blocks on my own.”
There is also a lot canada goose outlet new york city of preparation to be done to before the team begins a new series.
“Pre series all the pitchers get in a room [catchers included],” McGuire said. “We have the lineup card as well as their whole roster and we go over each guy [in the opposing team’s lineup]. We start with the leadoff guy and work our way down.”
The meetings go into great detail. “We talk canada goose outlet toronto factory about what kind of style hitter they are, if they are aggressive on the base paths, if they are swinging a https://www.zoetermeerinbeeld.nl lot, if they are chasing, stuff like that,” McGuire said.
A big responsibility that rests solely upon the catcher is calling a game determining the type and location of a pitch every time a pitcher comes to the plate.
McGuire said calling a game has a lot to do with utilizing a pitcher’s strengths.
“Sometimes, you know Canada Goose Online the attack plan will say, hey, this guy chases fastballs up with two strikes, but if we have a sinkerball guy like [Taylor] Gurrieri or [Chris] Rowley, guys like that [who] are more sinkers down in the zone, it will take away from their game to throw a fastball up.”.