The 2021 Blue Jays are going to be an exciting bunch. Already having the talents of Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Cavan Biggio, they further strengthened in the off-season with the additions of Marcus Semien and George Springer. This has people expecting them to do big things in 2021, but who else could stand out?
2021 Blue Jays: Pearson’s Electric Stuff
So why is he so good? Well, first of all, his heater averaged 97.5 mph last season, with the potential to touch triple digits. Secondly, his slider works perfectly with his fastball. It registers upper-80s, with two-plane action, making it a true swing-and-miss pitch. Finally, he has a changeup that flashes plus-potential, and a curveball that works as an effective fourth pitch.
He isn’t ranked as the top right-handed pitching prospect in the MLB for no reason. He should slide into the third starter role for the 2021 season, thus picking up around 23 starts.
There are high hopes for Pearson, and rightly so. With an off-season heavily focused on big-money signings, he could fly under the radar slightly, whilst also being a key man for the 2021 Blue Jays.
2021 Blue Jays: Merryweather Returns
In a tough, shortened 2020 season, there were minimal positives for most teams, however, the Blue Jays may have found themselves a gem in the shape of Julian Merryweather.
Drafted in 2014 by the Cleveland Indians, he made his big league debut at the age of 28, picking up 15 strikeouts in just 13 innings.
He had a big jump from High-A in 2019 to the Majors in 2020, but the right-handed pitcher shows the ability to be a bullpen arm and a starter. This could make him an extremely useful addition to the pitching side of the Jays for the upcoming season.
His fastball/changeup combo makes him a threat on the mound, with his fastball touching 99mph, and his changeup reaching 80mph. If he can bring this confidence into 2021, then he could see himself being heavily used as a dual-role pitcher.
2021 Blue Jays: Kirk Takes Catcher Role
Alejandro Kirk certainly made a big impression in 2020. He came up and slashed .375, including a homer to right field. He also became the youngest catcher since Joe Mauer (2004) to record a four-hit game.
With Danny Jansen struggling to really lay down a marker as the number-one catcher for the Blue Jays, Kirk is well within reach of making it his role come 2021. He possesses good plate discipline and controls the strike zone with his compact swing.
Defensively he is athletic, makes plays, and is quick behind the plate. All of this points in the right direction for Kirk to be a mainstay come 2021. He will need to work hard to earn that right, but don’t be surprised to see him take over after the first couple of months of the season.
This is an exciting Blue Jays team, so they will want to make the most of their extreme potential and mix experience with youth. These three guys certainly have the ability to make an impression in 2021, so keep an eye out for their progress.
Their foundation is built and they have some star players. Now it’s about integrating that together to make the Blue Jays a force to be reckoned with.
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