J. P. Arencibia

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J. P. Arencibia
J. P. Arencibia on June 4, 2011.jpg
Texas Rangers – No. 7
Catcher
Born: (1986-01-05) January 5, 1986 (age 28)
Miami, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
August 7, 2010 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
(through April 18, 2014)
Batting average .209
Hits 277
Home runs 64
Runs batted in 196
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Jonathan Paul "J. P." Arencibia (born January 5, 1986) is a Cuban-American[1][2] professional baseball catcher for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball. He previously played four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

High school career[edit]

As a teenager, Arencibia attended Westminster Christian high school in Miami, Florida, which has produced other major-league players, most notably Alex Rodriguez and Doug Mientkiewicz. Arencibia also played football and basketball in high school, but excelled in baseball. He later played for the Under-18 Florida Bombers, alongside future major leaguers Mat Latos, Gaby Sánchez, Yonder Alonso, and Jon Jay.[3]

College career[edit]

Arencibia attended the University of Tennessee, and played college baseball for the Tennessee Volunteers.[4] Prior to the 2007 draft, questions were raised about Arencibia's defensive abilities as a catcher. After drafting him, however, the Blue Jays decided to keep him as a catcher, rather than convert him to another position, such as first base.[citation needed] While attending college, Arencibia played with Chase Headley, Luke Hochevar, and Julio Borbon. In the summer of 2006, Arencibia played baseball in Cuba with David Price, and would later be drafted 20 positions behind Price in 2007.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

2007–2010[edit]

Arencibia was drafted 21st overall by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft.[5] He was assigned to Toronto's Low A ball affiliate, the Auburn Doubledays of the New York–Penn League. Arencibia struggled during the early part of the season but hit well during the stretch and into the playoffs, helping the Doubledays win the NY-Penn League championship. He began the 2008 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Florida State League. By the FSL all-star break, he led the league or was near the top in many offensive categories, finishing the first half of the season batting .315 with 13 homers, 22 doubles and 62 RBI. He was named as the starting catcher for the Eastern Division in the FSL All-Star Game.

J.P. in 2008 while playing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

After the game, the Blue Jays promoted him to their Double-A team, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League. During the off-season of 2008, Arencibia took part in the Arizona Fall League as a member of the Phoenix Desert Dogs. For the 2009 season, Arencibia was promoted to the Las Vegas 51s, the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.[5]

Arencibia was promoted to the major leagues on August 4, 2010 to replace the injured John Buck, who had been placed on the 15-day disabled list for a right thumb laceration. At the time of his promotion, Arencibia was batting .303 with a PCL leading 31 home runs and 79 RBI[6] He started in his first major league game for the Toronto Blue Jays on August 7, 2010 against the Tampa Bay Rays. In his first at-bat, Arencibia hit a 2-run home run on the first pitch from James Shields, becoming the 28th player in history to hit a home run on his first major league pitch.[7] In his following plate appearances, he hit a double, a single and then a solo home run and received a curtain call from the fans at the Rogers Centre while finishing the game just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle. Arencibia is the fifth player ever to hit two home runs in his first game.[8] Arencibia also became the first person in the modern era with 4 hits and 2 home runs in a major league debut; he is also the first Blue Jay to have four hits in a debut, and the first Blue Jay since Junior Felix to hit a home run on his first at bat.[9]

On August 18, 2010, Arencibia was optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for the return of John Buck from the disabled list.[10] He was recalled from Las Vegas on September 1.[11]

2011[edit]

Arencibia was the starting catcher at the Blue Jays' 2011 home opener. He hit the team's first home run of the season, a 2-run homer to deep center. He finished the night with 2 home runs and a triple.[12] On May 7, he broke up Justin Verlander's perfect game, being walked after a 12 pitch at-bat.[13] On June 3 against the Baltimore Orioles, Arencibia hit his first career grand slam in an 8–4 victory. As of June 4, Arencibia led all major league rookies with 9 home runs, which is already a Blue Jays club record, surpassing the previous record of five, shared by Pat Borders (1988) and Greg Myers (1990).[14]

In a game against the Kansas City Royals on August 25, Arencibia hit his 20th home run of the season, tying the single season record for home runs by Blue Jays catchers (John Buck hit 20 in 2010).[15] While playing at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 29, Arencibia stole a base, his first career stolen base on his first attempt.

In a game against the Boston Red Sox on September 7, Arencibia hit his 21st home run of the season, breaking a tie with John Buck for most home runs by a Blue Jays' catcher in a single season.

He led all major league catchers in passed balls in 2011, with 12.[16]

2012[edit]

On Opening Day 2012, Arencibia hit a game-winning 3-run home run in the 16th inning against the Cleveland Indians, the longest game in Opening Day history in terms of innings.[17]

On May 16, 2012, Arencibia reached 100 RBI for his career in a 4-1 win against the New York Yankees. The following day, in a game against the New York Mets, Arencibia set a career high for RBI in a game with 6, in a 14-5 win. Arencibia also hit 2 home runs, giving him the first 3-game home run streak of his career.[18] Arencibia was named AL Player of the Week for May 14–20, hitting .360 with 4 home runs, 10 RBI, 7 runs scored an a slugging percentage of .920. He is the first catcher in Blue Jays history to win the award.[19] On July 25, in a game against the Oakland Athletics, Arencibia was hit on the right hand by a pitch while catching. Arencibia finished the inning, but left the game for precautionary reasons. X-rays came back positive for a fracture, and he was expected to miss 6 weeks.[20] Arencibia began a rehab assignment with the Class-A Dunedin Blue Jays on September 2.[21] He finished the season with a .233 batting average, 18 home runs, and 56 RBI.

2013[edit]

On May 6, 2013, Arencibia hit a two-run home run to give the Blue Jays an 8–7 lead against the Tampa Bay Rays, in a game where they had been down 7–0 after the third inning. The comeback victory was the largest by the Blue Jays since a 12-11 win in 2007, also against Tampa Bay.[22] It was to be a rare 2013 highlight for Arencibia, who was a consistent target of criticism from both the fans and the press for his poor statistical performance that year.

"It's unfortunate to see how words are twisted to make false stories. I give way too much of myself to have others try and make me out to something/someone I'm not. Solution. I make myself very accessible with constant charitable events, and opening up to social media for the fans. I will no longer be on twitter. Thanks to all the fans who support and praying for the others that hate. God Bless."

Arencibia's final tweets before closing his Twitter account.[23][24][25]

Arencibia was a guest on "Brady & Lang", a radio program broadcast on Sportsnet 590, on July 4, 2013. When asked for his opinion of Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst, two commentators (and former Blue Jays players) employed by Rogers Sportsnet who had criticized Arencibia's performance in recent broadcasts, Arencibia stated that "...speaking for myself and the team, there's not one person in our clubhouse that respects those guys". Arencibia stated that Hayhurst was a "below average player" during their time together in Triple-A, and also made mention of Zaun's link to the Mitchell Report, which named several players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs during their careers.[26] After setting off a firestorm of comments from fans, some defending his position, others against it, on July 23, Arencibia shut down his Twitter account. (It was later reopened by a fan group called "Team JP" on August 15.)[27]

Arencibia finished the 2013 season batting below the Mendoza line, hitting just .194, although he did hit 21 home runs, placing him second amongst MLB catchers to Matt Wieters, and 55 RBIs.[28] However, his extremely low batting average, coupled with drawing only 18 walks over the course of the entire season, led to an historically low OPS for Arencibia: with a .592 OPS, he became the first player in major league history to reach 20 homers in a season and still post a sub-.600 OPS. (The next lowest OPS for a 20-homer season was .649 by Cleveland’s Willie Kirkland in 1962.)[29]

Arencibia was non-tendered on December 2, 2013, making him a free agent for the first time in his career.[30]

Texas Rangers[edit]

On December 5, 2013, it was reported that Arencibia and the Texas Rangers were in discussions for a possible contract. The following day, Ken Rosenthal reported that Arencibia had agreed to a one-year contract worth $1.8 million with Texas, pending the completion of a physical examination.[31] The deal was made official on December 10.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Arencibia's grandparents are originally from Cuba, and immigrated to the United States when his mother was two years old. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee in the off-season. In 2013, Arencibia was reported to be dating Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry.[33] On September 30, 2013, Arencibia and Perry became engaged.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Griffin, Richard (February 26, 2012). "Griffin: Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia stickhandles question about beloved Maple Leafs". TheStar.com. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Randel, Steve (December 31, 2012). "Latin Link: Blue Jays' J.P. Arencibia flying high with confidence". Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Brown, Tim (March 8, 2011). "Arencibia's climb was mom approved". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ "MLB.com 2007 Draft Tracker". Mlb.mlb.com. January 1, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Greene, Ryan (April 21, 2009). "Jays’ top catching prospect Arencibia looks to continue rapid rise". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Jays' Buck heads to DL, Arencibia coming up". Sportsnet.ca. August 4, 2010. Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ Justin Piercy (August 7, 2010). "Jays' Arencibia debuts to rave reviews". CBC Sports. Retrieved August 7, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Curtain call". Rogers Sportsnet. August 7, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010. 
  9. ^ "J.P. Arencibia sparks Blue Jays' homer parade with 2 in first MLB game". ESPN. August 7, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Blue Jays send Arencibia down to Triple-A Las Vegas". Tsn.ca. August 18, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Blue Jays recall Arencibia; activate Purcey from DL". Tsn.ca. January 9, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Blue Jays whips Twins on Opening Night". Tsn.ca. February 4, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ Zwelling, Arden. "MLB.com Gameday | bluejays.com". Toronto.bluejays.mlb.com. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ Miller, Doug (May 23, 2011). "MLB.com Gameday | bluejays.com". Toronto.bluejays.mlb.com. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  15. ^ Day, Gavin (August 26, 2011). "Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays – August 25, 2011". Toronto.bluejays.mlb.com. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  16. ^ "2011 Regular Season MLB Baseball C Fielding Statistics". Espn.go.com. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  17. ^ Chisholm, Greg (April 5, 2012). "Arencibia's homer in 16th wins historic opener". mlb.com. Retrieved April 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ Blue Jays clout 5 homers, blow out Mets
  19. ^ Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia named AL Player of the Week
  20. ^ "Arenibia breaks hand; A's hand Jays franchise-worst SO loss". TSN.ca. 
  21. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (September 3, 2012). "Arencibia getting closer to making return". MLB.com. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Arencibia homer in ninth caps big Jays rally for win over Rays". TSN.ca. May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  23. ^ Arencibia, J. P. (July 23, 2013). "J. P. Arencibia on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ Arencibia, J. P. (July 23, 2013). "J. P. Arencibia on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ Arencibia, J. P. (July 23, 2013). "J. P. Arencibia on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  26. ^ Rush, Curtis (July 4, 2013). "J.P. Arencibia fires back at Blue Jays TV analysts Dirk Hayhurst, Gregg Zaun". TheStar.com. Retrieved July 4, 2013. 
  27. ^ "J. P. Arencibia on Twitter". Twitter. August 15, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  28. ^ "J.P. Arencibia Statistics and History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/texas-rangers/headlines/20131220-texas-rangers-2014-roster-analysis-better-plate-discipline-key-to-j.p.-arencibia-s-improvement.ece?nclick_check=1
  30. ^ "Blue Jays on Twitter". Twitter. December 2, 2013. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  31. ^ Adams, Steve (December 6, 2013). "Rangers To Sign J.P. Arencibia". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved December 6, 2013. 
  32. ^ "C JP Arencibia, Rangers complete $1.8M contract". Associated Press. December 10, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  33. ^ Whitzman, April (June 20, 2013). "J.P. Arencibia on Intentional Talk". MLB.com. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  34. ^ Maloney, Tom (October 1, 2013). "J.P. Arencibia puts difficult season behind him with a marriage proposal". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 

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