A.J. Jimenez

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Antonio Jamil Jiménez

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Biographical Information[edit]

A.J. Jimenez is a long-time minor league catcher who made his major league debut in 2017.

Jimenez was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 9th round of the 2008 amateur draft, one round after they taken Evan Crawford and one round before Danny Farquhar. He signed for a $150,000 bonus. He was 9 for 47 with 3 walks, 2 doubles and 16 strikeouts for the GCL Blue Jays that summer. In 2009, he hit .263/.280/.356 with 7 walks for the Lansing Lugnuts. He played in the Arizona Fall League that year as well. The next summer, he appeared for Lansing (.305/.347/.635, 54 RBI in 70 G) and the Dunedin Blue Jays (1 for 9, HR, 5 BB).

A.J. batted .303/.353/.417 with 29 doubles and 11 steals in 13 tries for Dunedin in 2011. He fielded .992 and threw out 44% of attempted base-stealers. He finished 9th in the Florida State League in average, between Tyler Bortnick and Scooter Gennett. He and Sebastián Valle were named the FSL All-Star catchers and he was named team MVP. Baseball America named him the best defensive catcher in the FSL and the 10th-best prospect, between Jarred Cosart and Zack Cox.

Jimenez split the catching duties for the 2011-2012 Criollos de Caguas with Omir Santos; he hit .245/.280/.287. He was batting .257/.295/.371 in 27 games for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before Tommy John surgery ended his season. He started 2013 back down with Dunedin but was promoted after 9 games (12 for 28, 3 2B, HR, BB, 9 RBI) to New Hampshire. He started at catcher and hit 9th for the World team in the 2013 Futures Game. He grounded out against Archie Bradley in the third and drew a fifth-inning walk from Jesse Biddle. The only runner who tried to steal, Kolten Wong, was successful. Christian Bethancourt replaced him in the 6th.

He is the brother of Joe Jimenez and son of José (Papo) Jiménez.


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