Toronto Blue Jays’ top pitching prospect Nate Pearson made his Spring Training debut against the New York Yankees. Pearson, a 6’6″ right-hander, is currently experiencing his first big league taste down in Dunedin, Florida.
Pearson pitched one inning and threw ten pitches, striking out three batters. Of those pitches, he threw nine strikes and only one ball. This is a small sample for sure, but it is a taste of what is on the way.
Pearson made his second appearance against the Pirates. In two innings, he recorded three strikeouts and no walks.
Pearson hit 100 MPH in this outing.
Pearson’s most recent outing was against the Boston Red Sox on March 7. In this outing, he pitched two innings with two walks and three strikeouts.
Facing his first jam this spring, Pearson walked two in a row and had runners in scoring position. Pearson escaped the jam by getting Rusney Castillo to ground out to second.
Pearson’s History with the Jays
Selected as the 28th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Pearson’s overpowering fastball dominated hitters in the minor leagues. However, a forearm injury slowed his process. With this, his lack of innings has been a concern for the Blue Jays. Then, in 2019, Pearson proved he was more durable. Pearson totaled 101 2/3 innings through three levels of the minors. A majority of those innings came in Double-A New Hampshire. In Double-A New Hampshire, Pearson amassed an ERA of 2.59, a 0.99 WHIP, and held opponents to a .186 average In Double-A, he struck out 69 batters while having issued only 21 walks.
Where Will He Start this Season?
Pearson will not start the year with the big league club, despite his abilities. The Blue Jays organization has been criticized for manipulating service time over the past few years. Vladmir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are the most recent examples of this. On top of this, Pearson does not have a lot of innings in Triple-A to warrant an immediate push to the big leagues. Pearson does have big-league stuff. However, he has yet to throw 100 innings in a season.
This will not be the case for long, as Pearson was limited to between 2-5 innings per start in the minors. After a healthy offseason, Pearson should be headed for more innings in Triple-A.
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