It is very likely that you’ve never heard of Toronto Blue Jays left-handed pitching prospect Tim Mayza. It’s understandable as he was drafted in the 12th round and has had an up and down minor league career thus far. However, you may want to start paying attention to this kid for the rest of spring training as he has opened some eyes.
Tim Mayza struggled mightily in A and AA starting in 2013. Over the course of those seasons, his numbers look as follows:
- 2013 with Bluefield: 22.0 IP, 6.95 K/9, 4.09 BB/9, 6.95 ERA, 4.57 FIP
- 2013 with Gulf Coast Blue Jays: 7.0 IP, 12.86 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, 10.29 ERA, 1.46 FIP
- 2014 with Bluefield: 6.2 IP, 4.05 K/9, 5.40 BB/9, 6.75 ERA, 4.92 FIP
- 2014 with Vancouver: 20.0 IP, 7.65 K/9, 5.40 BB/9, 6.75 ERA, 5.52 FIP
These are all quite small sample sizes, and Mayza was still filling out as a youngster growing up. Going into his past two seasons in the Blue Jays organization, he was much better:
- 2015 with Lansing: 55.2 IP, 10.02 K/9, 4.37 BB/9, 3.07 ERA, 2.62 FIP
- 2016 with Dunedin: 48.2 IP, 9.62 K/9, 4.91 BB/9, 6.14 ERA, 4.25 FIP
- 2016 with New Hampshire: 15.1 IP, 7.63 K/9, 8.80 BB/9, 4.11 ERA, 4.60 FIP
The first thing the Blue Jays have seen from Mayza in 2017 is his control. Even though he has only thrown 4.1 innings, he has only walked 1 batter and struck out 7. Manager John Gibbons and CEO & President Mark Shapiro have both been on Toronto radio lately stating how impressed they’ve been with the control Mayza has featured.
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He’s always had dominant and hard stuff. His fastball sits in between 95-98. His slider bites hard and Mayza has thrown his slider with good control through the spring thus far. His slider sits in the high 80’s. Deadly combination. The fact he is able to control his slider has made his fastball that much better and effective.
The Blue Jays sent both Chris Smith and lefty Ryan Borucki down to minor league camp yesterday. Mayza, a left-hander, as of now, seems to have the potential to hang around big league camp for the duration of the spring. There is still some debate as to whether or not the Blue Jays will carry a 2nd left-hander.
If the Blue Jays decide to carry a lefty, Mayza seems to be a strong candidate due to his spring performance but also the way the rest of the competition is faring.
- T.J. House – shut down to injury
- Jeff Beliveau – 3.86 ERA, 4.2 IP
- Chad Girodo – 3.86 ERA, 4.2 IP
- Matt Dermody – 0.00 ERA, 3.0 IP
- Aaron Loup – 2.70 ERA, 3.1 IP
If Mayza continues to impress, it does seem likely the Blue Jays could end up taking him north. His main competition now is Loup and Dermody. They could also consider having Mayza start the season in triple-A and be available for a call-up, although if he continues to throw the ball like he has, I think we will see this dark horse end up making the Blue Jays bullpen.