Monday, April 20, 2009

Jays prospect watch: catcher J.P. Arencibia

Much has been hyped upon the next Blue Jays "catcher of the future" in J.P. Arencibia after he was selected with the 21st pick in the first round of the 2007 draft. After failed experiments in both Robinzon Diaz and Curtis Thigpen as the "next big thing" at catcher, the Jays hope that Arencibia can fulfill the expectations heaped upon him after his collegiate career at Tennessee.

The book about the 6 foot Arencibia is that he has a good bat, but below average skills behind the plate. The early word in the 2009 campaign, however, is that his defense is improving, but his bat has been lagging behind. In 28 at bats over 8 contests, he has an average of only .214, with 3 doubles and 3 RBI (just 1 in his past 7 games.) Arencibia has struck out 5 times, so there is not a huge concern over his ability to make contact, as it will take some time to get adjusted in his first tour of AAA. After catcher Michael Barrett went down with a shoulder injury, the Jays opted to call up veteran Raul Chavez instead of Arencibia. Don't be surprised, with more seasoning, to see the prized prospect called up as the season wears on.

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