Blue Jays Top-30 Prospects: Honorable mentions, part one

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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

LHP Travis Bergen
22 years old  –  6’1″, 205 pounds
Draft: Round 7, 2015

Bergen represents another lefty arm remaining in the Blue Jays system, and was drafted out of Kennesaw State after a successful career there as a starting pitcher. Similar to Shane Dawson, he’s got an opportunity to put up quality numbers and creep up the rankings in an under-the-radar fashion.

You’ll either see him listed as 6’0″ or 6’1″, which isn’t damning for a pitcher by any means, but his unique arm angle and release point can limit his downhill plane and flatten his hard pitches. It does, of course, provide him with a little deception. Take a look at his mechanics coming from the left side: had the following to say about Bergen ahead of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, where they ranked him 150th overall: “Bergen’s breaking ball varies between a fringy slider in the lower 80s and a promising cutter in the upper 80s, and he may want to focus on the cutter in pro ball. His changeup has some sink and is an effective third pitch. He throws enough strikes to remain a starter, though his lack of a true plus pitch gives him little margin for error.”

Perhaps there is some bullpen intrigue if the starting route doesn’t work, but that’s far, far down the road. Coming in to 2016 fresh he’ll have an opportunity to roll full-time as a starter, and given his experience at the college level, should move quickly if his numbers allow. If he can work his cutter and continue to pound away with sinking action on his fastball, there may be some groundball potential there.

In his very brief debut with the Vancouver Canadians last summer, Bergen struck out 11 batter in just 5.1 innings, allowing only one walk and two hits.