Drew Hutchison: Blue Jays Year in Review


Drew Hutchison is a name that Blue Jays fans often forget to include when discussing Toronto’s exciting young arms of the future.  After turning 24 this past August, Hutchison seems like he has been around the league for years, due to his injury-shortened debut in 2012 and veteran presence on the mound.

A 15th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2009, Drew Hutchison shot through the Minor League system, and started 11 games for the Blue Jays in 2012 before he was required to undergo Tommy John surgery.  This procedure knocked Hutchison out of action until late 2013, where he would make a handful of Minor League appearances in an effort to build towards this season.  Through the many ups and downs of 2014 for Drew Hutchison, he proved to Blue Jays fans and management that he will be a critical part of the starting rotation moving forward.

The Good

Drew Hutchison will strike you out.  The righty ranked 8th in the American League in both K’s and K/9.  He continued to feature a fastball which is very good and still improving, while his change up and slider continued to show increasing polish and promise.

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Perhaps the most encouraging sign from Hutchison this season, though, was that he remained healthy.  A young arm coming off of Tommy John surgery is a very delicate thing, and rushing back in to a large workload can sometimes have crippling consequences for a young player’s career.  Hutchison was able to make 32 starts, throwing a combined 184.2 innings.  Assuming Hutchison is able to move comfortably through offseason workouts and Spring Training, he could have the ability to give the Blue Jays close to 200 innings in 2015.

The Bad

Hutchison did have a considerable slump during the Summer this season, stretching from mid-June all the way through July.  Beginning with his start on June 19th, Hutchison had an 8-game stretch where he recorded a 2-5 record with a 6.63 ERA.  Opposing hitters batted .301 over that time.

Keep in mind, again, that Hutchison is a young pitcher, and these inconsistencies are bound to occur.  There will be more of them, but there will also be greater highs.  Hutchison, however, will need to focus on righting the ship quicker when he does lose his way.

Another issue that the Blue Jays would like to see Hutchison iron out is the home run ball.  He was near the top of the AL, with 23 big flies allowed in 2014.  This comes with the territory of being a strikeout pitcher, in some cases, but Hutchison will need to work on keeping the ball in the yard while playing at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre.

The Future

Drew Hutchison is here to stay, and barring further injury setbacks, he is poised to be a member of the Blue Jays starting rotation for many years to come.  With Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and Daniel Norris by his side, this rotation will have every opportunity to grow into one of the best in baseball.