Photo courtesy of Towson University

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

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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.

-JM

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