The Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen is a good example of why MLB teams like guys with tools.
Jansen is a big (6’6″ and 220 pound) 22-year-old right-hander from Curacao (Andruw Jones’ birthplace) who just got called up to take Justin Miller’s place on the Dodgers’ major league roster.
Jansen started his professional career as a catcher, but after more than 1,000 plate appearances at or below the Class A+ level, Jansen proved he just can’t hit (.647 career minor league OPS).
Live arm: the Dodgers converted Jansen into a pitcher this year, and after only 22 appearances at the AA level (1.67 ERA and 50 Ks in a mere 27 IP), the Bums decided he is major league ready.
Actually, I don’t think Jansen is major league ready just yet. His command is suspect—17 walks in those 27 AA innings pitched—although he clearly has electric stuff.
If I were the Dodgers’ GM, I would have promoted Jansen to AAA Albuquerque. With 65 games left to play, the Dodgers are six games back of the NL West lead and only only 2.5 games off the wild card. Too early to promote projects.
Albuquerque is a tough place to pitch, and it would be a good place for Jansen to learn that he has to attack the zone to keep those extra runs from scoring.
(I contend that Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux won and won again in hitters’ parks in large part—they did had great stuff—because they attacked the zone.)
Meanwhile, Justin Miller once again gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop. His 4.44 ERA isn’t Dodger Stadium worthy, but his other numbers are good (24.1 IP, 22 hits, eight walks and 30 Ks—his four gopher balls killed him).
Justin Miller is either highly unappreciated, or he has a problematic personality that hasn’t been adequately reported since he’s a bottom-of-the-bullpen pitcher.
Another possibility is that teams (the Marlins, Giants and Dodgers) just don’t think his stuff matches his results.
However, Miller’s results over the last three and a half seasons are such the teams should look only at the results.
Like Kiko Calero, who was recently cut from AAA Albuquerque despite a 3.00 ERA after 15 appearances, the Giants might want to consider Miller for a minor league contract.
P.S. They play professional baseball in Holland. Like Italy, the pro league plays a 42-game schedule each year (what does that prove?).
About half of the players in Holland’s pro league come from Holland’s Caribbean possessions, mainly Aruba and Curacao.
Baseball is as popular there as the Latin American Caribbean nations: Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico.
Baseball is also popular (and major league ballplayers have come out of) the English-speaking Virgin Islands.