Blue Jays pitching prospect Kelyn Jose one to watch in 2016

Blue Jays spring training sign in Dunedin, FLA. Mandatory Credit: Keegan Matheson
Blue Jays spring training sign in Dunedin, FLA. Mandatory Credit: Keegan Matheson /

Blue Jays left-handed pitching prospect Kelyn Jose can throw fire, and with some improved control could make a name for himself in 2016

One must turn over a few stones to find a high-upside left-hander in the Blue Jays farm system after the trade deadline deals of 2015.

The 20-year-old Kelyn Jose has an opportunity to jump into the conversation this coming season, and according to Chris King of Perfect Game, the flamethrower is looking much cleaner with his mechanics this spring.

Signed for $150,000 in 2013, the 6’4″ Dominican lefty spent 2014 in the Dominican Summer League before throwing 25.2 innings in the Gulf Coast League last season.

His 2015 statistics were encouraging enough from the small sample, earning a 3.51 ERA with 26 strikeouts and no home runs allowed.

The issue, as you may have already guessed about the high-power young arm who isn’t cracking any top-prospect lists, is Jose’s control.

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In his 43.2 innings over the past two seasons, Jose walked 35 batters. It’s a statistic that lines up with many reports of his erratic control up to this point.

Improved mechanics will be step one for Jose, and thankfully for him, the Blue Jays should have all the time in the world to bring along an arm such as his. Call him a lottery ticket if you will, but despite his status as a relative unknown to the average baseball fan, Jose has special arm talent. Now, it’s about fine-tuning and long-term development.

Toronto’s current organizational structure will not, and likely can’t, ask for much from their prospect pool in 2016. The wave of prospects currently at the Hi-A and double-A levels need a year to 18 months of maturation until they’re really knocking on the door, leaving players like Jose to fill their old seats in the lower minors by that point.

In terms of development, consider Jose a raw 18-year-old. Years away from being a name that you need to know, but with one very high-grade tool, Jose is worth getting to know a little early. Just in case.