The Jays have so many pitchers doing well in the minors that it’s hard to select which ones to post information about at this point. The two that I will cover today have recently earned themselves promotions to new levels, one from the GCL to the Appalachian League, and one from the Appalachian League to A-Ball in Vancouver. Respectively, I am speaking of Deivy Estrada and David Rollins, two young pitchers making some great headway this season in short-season play.
At 5’11” 178 lbs, this 18-year old Venezuelan isn’t exactly intimidating on the mound, but he continues to get results. After getting a 2.25 ERA over his first 3 starts in the GCL this season, his second year at the level, the Jays decided they had seen enough and decided to provide him with a new challenge in the Appy League. He had walked only 3 batters while striking out 18 in 16 innings of work, and really didn’t have much left to learn at that level, so it’s nice to see him get challenged. He joins highly touted arms in the very impressive Bluefield rotation that include Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Mitchell Taylor, and Ajay Meyer. That has to be one of the more talented rotations in the lower end of the minors across MLB.
His first start in the Appy League was nothing short of spectacular, as Deivy worked 5 shutout innings, allowing 5 hits but no walks, and striking out 3. It’s a very nice way to start his progression at another rookie level and he’s continuing to build on his already impressive progression.
Selected in the 24th rd of the 2011 draft, about the same size as Kyle Drabek at 6’1″ 195 lbs, and signed very quickly post draft, Rollins is proving exactly why it’s so much better for draft picks to sign early than to wait it out for a few bucks. He has taken his opportunity, possibly only available to him due to the non-signings among this year’s class, and has turned himself into a real contender as a prospect. You can never discount a LHP who is effective, so his 3 ER allowed in 21.2 innings of work forced the Jays to promote him from the Appy League to Vancouver, where he will be tested by much better hitting. He had only allowed 12 hits over those 21.2 IP, had given up a meager 2 walks to go with 18 strike outs, and was definitely as dominant as can be.
Even if he doesn’t wind up making it all of the way up the chain as a LHP starter, his 5 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 0 BB and 5 Ks versus LHB definitely point to his potential as a siuational LHP in the pen.
At 21 years old, he was definitely “old for the level”, but the truth of it all is that his dominance to begin his 2011 season will likely feed into his performances in Vancouver for the remainder of 2011. If he can make it to Lansing at some point, he’ll have had a very successful first season after being drafted, and it would make him a sure steal as the 739th pick overall by the Jays.
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