Adam Kloffenstein made his debut with the Vancouver Canadians yesterday, and it was an impressive outing for the 18-year-old right-hander.
After the Blue Jays selected high school right-hander Adam Kloffenstein in the third-round last year and signed him to a deal worth roughly $1.8-million more than the recommended slot-value, he pitched just two innings in rookie ball.
The # 3 pitching prospect in the organization surpassed that total Friday night when he was handed the start in the Vancouver Canadians season opener, going three innings with the only two earned runs coming on a first inning home run.
Despite allowing four runs in total, Kloffenstein was sharp and had his full arsenal of pitches on display, striking out five and walking just one. The Texas native was showing why Toronto decided to meet his signing bonus demands, flashing an impressive four pitch-mix and the ability to throw strikes, also being able to reach back to 96 mph.
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Similarly to his two innings last year with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, Kloffenstein struck out four and fans can come to expect more of this from the 18-year-old as he settles into his first full season of pro baseball.
The 6-foot-5, 243-pound pitcher should only get stronger from here as he continues to find his rhythm pitching in what seems to be his first few meaningful games since he was playing at Magnolia High School last spring with the Jays’ 2018 first-round selection, shortstop Jordan Groshans.
Everyone in baseball knows the organization has an abundance of positional prospects who can eventually make an impact at the major league, level but three of their top six prospects actually toe the rubber.
Nate Pearson is at the top of the list, followed by Eric Pardinho who really impressed as a 17-year-old in 2018, followed by Kloffenstein whose career is essentially just getting started as well. With the addition of two more intriguing right-handers via the first two rounds of the draft, Alek Manoah and Kendall Williams, it will be an important year for the development of pitchers in the system.
It’s no secret the next few years the big league team will need some arms that can make an impact and whether they do so through player movement, at some point they will need some homegrown talent to step up and contribute.
Kloffenstein could very well be one of those guys and his ability to induce swings and misses early on in his career shows how high the ceiling is for him. The former TCU commit has only hurled five innings in professional baseball and how he adapts to a full workload and additional innings will be something to watch throughout the year.