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2013 Predictions: J.P. Arencibia
J.P Arencibia enters 2013 with his status as the Blue Jays’ #1 catcher ensconced not only for this season, but for the foreseeable future, following the trade of top prospect Travis d’Arnaud. He will receive the lion’s share of playing time behind the plate, most likely sitting once every turn through the rotation when knuckleballer R.A. Dickey starts. Outside of a broken hand, which cost Arencibia six weeks playing time last year, his 2012 performance was largely a redux of his rookie season. In fact, there was almost no variance in his OBP, SLG or OPS from year-to-year.
Batting Stats (Past Three Seasons):
With two seasons under his belt we now have a pretty good idea what to expect from J.P. Arencibia. He doesn’t get on base a lot, but he hits for power, making him a decent bottom-of-the-lineup hitter. He’s still young enough that I expect we’ll see a slight improvement in his average and on base percentage, but otherwise I think we’ll see more of the same from our main catcher in 2013.
As much as I’d love to believe otherwise, I think we’ve seen enough of JPA to expect more of the same in 2013. If you look back at his performance in the minor leagues, he posted a .333 OBP over four seasons – a figure that was inflated by a second go-around of AAA in the hitter-friendly Las Vegas environment. He never once drew as many as 40 walks in a season. He is what he is: an all-or-nothing power hitter who unfortunately doesn’t seem to have much patience or strike zone judgement. He’s entering his age-27 season, often thought to be a hitter’s peak, so I forecast moderate, but not significant improvement.
We encourage you to use the comments section to post your own predictions.