Jays Sign LHP Jairo Labour


The Blue Jays continue to be aggressive in acquiring international talent under Alex Anthopoulos, as they signed16-year old left-handed pitcher Jairo Labour. He hails from the Dominican Republic , is already 6’4″ 185 lbs at only 16, and apparently has a good feel for breaking balls.In order to sign this big Latin lefty, the Jays had to part with $350,000.

Labour did not make the top 33 list of international FA bonuses predicted by Baseball America in 2010, which is available here. It’s apparent that he worked his way to becoming a signed prospect this off season by improving on his stuff, particularly his velocity which has increased to a reported 92 MPH. When combined with an advanced feel for breaking stuff at his age, it leads to an attractive package of tools.

Hopefully, Baseball America and others will expand on his arsenal at some point in 2011. For now, we’ll have to wait and see how well he does while likely suiting up for the DSL Blue Jays this summer.

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  • FenixL

    Not really excited for the prospect, as we know almost nothing about him. Im more excited/happy seeing our team under AA continue to dip into the international market

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  • ScottM

    First off, great website, I check for updates daily.
    Just curious, but doesn’t pitching breaking balls at such a young age lead to a drastically increased chance of serious arm injury?

  • Andrew

    @ScottM – There is much debate to be had about that topic. I didn’t know of many elite level ball players my age throwing breaking balls before 16 for that reason, but apparently it is much more commonplace in Asia to do this as well as throw 150-200 pitches an outing. Baseball is weird this way, there’s no set date or year for anything.

    • Mat Germain

      Agreed, the debates will always be ongoing on this topic. From what I understand, Latin American pitchers are pretty well willing to throw whatever it will take to get them noticed and signed to a contract. After that, health will be the ball club who signs them’s responsibility anyhow. The majority of the data and opinion that I’ve read seems to lean towards allowing young pitchers to develop a curve ball, but staying away from a slider. I believe it has something to do with more pressure being place on weaker parts of the arm at a younger age. Having said that, any young pitcher can throw breaking balls, they just are usually very limited in the number of these they can use in any given game by their coaching staff in North America when compared to other areas of the world. I’m not sure who’s better off from it, but I’m sure there must be some research done on the subject and available on the web, so I’ll take a look around to see what I can find!

      Glad you’re enjoying the site!