Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Young, The Bad, And The Ugly - A Quick Look at Pitching Prospects

So young. But at 6'6", 245lbs and 100MPH heat, Nate provides some hope for pitching-thirsty Jays fans,
I'll admit it. I'm into porn. PROSPECT porn you pervs! While our Jays toil away in a long, joyless season, I find myself (way too) often perusing the pipeline and trying to catch some kinda glimpse into a hopeful future. Sure, we got VJ and Bo, but taking a look at the 2017 Jays Prospect Rankings , there's not a lot of Stromans and Sanchezs or, please forgive me, Noah Syndergaards to be seen...

Let me save you some time and quickly recap the official TBJ's prospect pitching situation (AKA copy/paste from

#6 TJ Zeuch: The development of Zeuch's secondary pitches, especially his changeup, will determine whether or not he reaches his ceiling of a No. 3 starter, and some scouts would like to see him establish more separation between his breaking balls. Should that not work out, the right-hander has undeniable upside as a high-leverage reliever.

#7 Sean Reid-Foley: Much of Reid-Foley's success in 2016 can be attributed to his improvement as a strike-thrower, as he trimmed his walks-per-nine rate to 3.0 from 6.3 in his full-season debut. The Blue Jays love his competitive and overall mound presence and believe the physicality, stuff and feel for pitching will give him a chance to be a mid-rotation starter.

#8 Nate Pearson:  Some debate over whether his future lies in the rotation or out of the bullpen, where his stuff would play up, but the Blue Jays feel that Pearson has all the ingredients needed to become an impact starter.

#12 Connor Greene: Struggles to both get ahead of and put away hitters in 2016, often picking at corners rather than trusting his stuff and attacking hitters. He's continued to post solid ground-ball rates and keep the ball in the park, and his athletic delivery and high three-quarters slot leaves room for improved control and command. If it all clicks, Greene could develop into a No. 3 starter, though a late-inning bullpen role may be a more realistic option for the right-hander.

#14 Ryan Borucki: Had just 68 2/3 career innings to his name before the 2016 season, but he answered questions about his durability by pitching 135 2/3 frames and making 26 starts. He's on pace to surpass that total in 2017 as he continues to show the ingredients needed to develop into a back-end starter.

#15 Justin Maese: Maese's athleticism is special, and it's easy to envision the young righty growing into his projectable frame in the coming years. His outstanding sinker gives Maese upside as either a starter or reliever, though he'll need to refine his secondary pitches and develop better command to stick in the rotation.

I could go on. I won't. Our pitching prospects are thin. Especially among potential starters. Outside of Nate Pearson there are no potential aces in the system. We could use a solid starter long term behind Stroman and (if he can avoid blisters) Sanchez. Hopefully the Jays braintrust can use some of that extra Bautista money to to land a solid starter long-term. Good pitching wins baseball games, or so I've heard from Buck Martinez.

As always I'd love to hear your two cents. Who's your lottery pick?