Five reasons we love the Jays’ J.P. Arencibia

Five reasons we love the Jays’ J.P. Arencibia

We love J.P. (Image: Keith Allison) 

The Toronto Blue Jays catcher continued his power surge on Friday night, belting out the first grand slam of his young career—we bet it won’t be his last—while leading his team to an 8-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles. In his first full season behind the plate, Arencibia is quickly becoming one of the Jays’ biggest contributors, second on the squad with 30 RBI (only 10 behind teammate Jose Bautista). Even more impressive, however, is that 25-year-old is already among the elite power hitters in baseball’s most dangerous position: his nine home runs this season trail only the Texas Rangers’ Mike Napoli, who, at one point, was Arencibia’s competition. Sure, he’s not the total package quite yet, but he is a major piece of a young, rebuilding club that has Jays fans excited about the future. And Friday’s grand salami is only reason number one we love Arencibia—we have four more, after the jump.

2. August 7, 2010
Hitting a towering home run off of the first pitch you see as a major-leaguer is one thing, but hitting two in your big league debut—as Arencibia did last year—is unprecedented. Literally. No player had ever totalled two home runs and four hits (he went four-for-five with three RBIs) in his first MLB game.

3. A man of the people
By all accounts Arencibia is an everyman (well, as everyman as a pro athlete making nearly $500,000 a year can be). He’s active on Twitter, where his self-deprecating sense of humour is on display, proudly tweeting about the Bixi bike he rode to work or the flat tire a TorontoBaltimore cab got while he was riding in it.

4. He’s actually good
A list of names that’ll make any Blue Jays fan cringe: Kevin Cash, Guillermo Quiroz, Curtis Thigpen. All once touted as legitimate “catchers of the future” by former GM J.P. Ricciardi, and all pretty awful. In Arencibia, the Blue Jays faithful seem to finally have a catcher who lives up to the hype.

5. A J.P we don’t want to throw tomatoes at
His first name is J.P., but his last name is not Ricciardi. For that, we’re eternally grateful.