Photo courtesy of Towson University

Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #44 Drew Permison

With the first six selections of our Top 50 countdown now in the books, next up on our list at #44 is…

#44: Drew L. Permison

Pitcher / 21 years old / 5′10″ 170 lbs

Born: February 24th, 1989 in Columbia, Maryland, USA

Bats: Right    Throws: Right

High School Team: Oakland Mills Scorpions

College: Towson University

Drafted by: The Toronto Blue Jays in the 42nd round (1,266th overall) in the 2010 First-Year-Player Draft

Jersey Number: #5 for the Auburn Doubledays

Quick Facts:

  • Played in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League
  • Had his final year of school paid for by the Blue Jays
  • Was initially a starter through his sophomore year in college until ultimately being converted into a closer in 2010
  • Was in school as a psychology major
  • Led the Towson Tigers in 2010 with a 3.35 ERA
  • His favorite player is former Blue Jay Roger Clemens
  • His favorite actor is Adam Sandler, and he enjoys playing golf when away from the diamond
Year Age Level W L ERA G GF SV IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP H/9 BB/9 K/9
2010 21 A- 1 1 2.31 27 16 7 39.0 23 10 0 19 59 1.077 5.3 4.4 13.6

Auburn Doubledays Team Stats Ranking for Drew Permison:

  • 1st in appearances with 27
  • 5th in ERA, but out of pitchers appearing in at least 4 games he ranked 2nd
  • 2nd in saves
  • 6th in innings pitched, 1st out of all relievers
  • 2nd in strikeouts, only 1 off the team leader
  • 1st in games finished
  • 8th in WHIP, but out of pitchers appearing in at least 6 games he ranked 4th

Interviews: N/A

Extra Information and previous experience:

  • College biography can be found here.

Having been constantly criticized growing up and told that he was too small to ever be a pitcher, it was bittersweet for Drew Permison when he was selected by the Blue Jays in the 42nd round of this year’s draft.

It was a dream come true for Permison, whose lifelong goal was to play professional baseball.

He is strikingly similar to Tim Collins, a former Blue Jays prospect who had to overcome obstacles because of his height. They are both power pitchers, with almost exactly a 1.5:1 ratio of strikeouts to innings pitched, and they both have battled control issues at times with a BB/9 in the neighborhood of 4.0.

Collins, who was only 5-foot-7”, was traded by the Blue Jays to the Atlanta Braves this year in the Alex Gonzalez for Yunel Escobar trade, and then eventually sent to Kansas City by the Braves when they acquired Rick Ankiel from the Royals.

His stats? A 2.02 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and 13.6 K/9 in 71.1 innings this season between Double-A and Triple-A. If Permison can replicate those numbers, it’s hard to see the Blue Jays complaining.

Armed with a fastball that hits 91-94 mph, Permison is convinced that that’s the only reason scouts overlooked his height and drafted him. He boasts a very good curveball, as well as a slider and changeup that could use some fine tuning. He needs to develop better command of his pitches, but there could be great things in store for him if he continues his positive work ethic.

He signed with the Blue Jays quickly and reported to the Auburn Doubledays of the New York-Penn League right away. His debut, where he pitched one inning and gave up one hit and struck out two, was definitely a sign of things to come from the right-hander.

He finished the year 1-1 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.077 WHIP in 39 innings, along with 19 walks and 59 strikeouts (13.6 K/9). He quickly became the most used reliever on the Doubledays roster, giving up just 23 hits all season, and avoided giving up a single home run all year.

He credits his college coach, Mike Gottlieb, for giving him the chance to succeed in the bullpen.

“Once he moved me to the closing role, I learned to not hold back and just let everything go,” Permison said. “I like being in the bullpen.”

Permison feels that making a full-season Minor League team out of Spring Training is a realistic goal, and he offered his take on his professional career so far:

“I finished up pretty well. I didn’t give up any earned runs in August. I just relaxed out there. My stuff has been pretty good. I finally found myself a point where I could relax and just pitch after that. I realized I could pitch to those guys. I realized my stuff is there. I just have to be mentally prepared for the next level. I hope to do well at the next level.”

Expected 2011 Team: Vancouver Canadians (Low-A)

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: Closer

Permison finished the year particularly strong, only giving up 5 hits in his final 16 innings of work and did not give up any earned runs in his final 10 games.

If he does not initially make the Lansing Lugnuts roster out of Spring Training and starts 2011 at Low-A, it’s a safe bet that if he puts up the kind of numbers he did this season, he’ll be in Lansing at some point in 2011.


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Tags: Auburn DoubleDays Drew Permison Toronto Blue Jays

  • Mylegacy

    Did you get Drew’s Permison to do this article on him? Groan.

    Lower level relief pitchers can be deceiving – we’ve had quite a few over the years you killed in the low minors but not in AA or AAA. Bubbie Buzachero comes to mind – that kid was fantastic in the low minors as a closer – but never made it. Guys like Drew will have to prove themselves at every level. Alan Farina is a guy who Drew may turn into – still Alan still has to finish conquering AA and show what he can do at AAA – but so far – so (very) good.

    JM – Another excellent piece of work.

  • stump

    Low A ball for someone turning 22 in Feb is not a good sign. Drew would definitely have to step it up this season and advance to at least High A and dominate as a closer. Otherwise, he will most likely never make it out of the minor league system.

  • FenixL

    You guys have to realize that he was only drafted this year, its not like he was drafted in 2008 and is still in the low minors. If the Jays are high enough on him i could see him starting in Lansing, with a good season i wouldnt be suprised to see him in Dunedin by the end of the season.

  • Jared Macdonald

    @Mylegacy – I actually laughed when I read the Drew’s Permison joke, awesome.

    I agree with FenixL on this one that it’s important to note that he was only drafted this year, so Permison has done about all he can do so far.

    It’s likely if he puts up numbers like he did in 2010 that he’d be fast tracked from Vancouver to Lansing to Dunedin all in the 2011 season, like David Cooper was in 2008.

    Minor League relievers are the hardest to gauge overall though, and until they get to Triple-A their stats can be deceiving. Even at the Triple-A level their stats can be deceiving!

  • Mat Germain

    Always love the chatter guys!

    Agree with FenixL and Jared, MLB relievers come from somewhere….right? And most have rocky roads to the majors, so don’t discount Drew for 1 second. If he’s put into a situation where the pitching coaches trust him enough to close at higher levels, you never know what can happen. Besides, a minor league reliever can jump from the draft to MLB in some instances (as Chris Sale did), so it’s not a stretch to say that some Jays relievers from as low as HiA could make it to the Jays pen in 2011. That puts Drew right in the zone. The reason relievers can move so quicly is because the manager decides when to put him in, and when to take him out. He can put him in there and use his strengths to his advantage.

    Having said that, the unlikeliness of every RP with great looking stats making it to the show is something we know all too well. That’s why Drew is #44, and not in the top 30. We agree with Mylegacy and stump in that there are so many RPs who wind up looking defeated when they reach AAA or The Show that they wind up back in AAA…for what seems to be forever! Just ask Jesse Carlson!

    With this top 50, we’re highlighting the best the Jays have to offer, and since Drew is what we believe to be one of the top 5 relievers in the Jays system, we slid him in there. Hopefully he makes us look good in 2011 and beyond!

  • BG

    Drew is definitely a good pickup for any MLB team. The reason he got drafted at 21 is because he went to school. His stats are getting better every year, and so is he!. Check his career through college and you’ll be impressed. BTW I played in HS with him. Kids a monster.

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