Nate Pearson has pitched so well this year he was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. In his debut on Tuesday, he was absolutely sensational.
Now that Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and more are big leaguers, as Blue Jays fans we are going to inevitably get excited about the next prospect that will join them and form the next core of this team.
The budding star that fits that description in the Blue Jays’ minor league system would be Nate Pearson, and fortunately he happens to be a pitcher. The 23-year-old started in High-A Dunedin, but he’s been so dominant that he’s already been promoted twice, and he debuted in Triple-A last night.
And the right-hander absolutely dominated in his first appearance at his final minor league stop.
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He introduced himself to the International League and the Rochester Redwings by throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and no walks. He threw just 88 pitches in what happened to be his longest outing of the year, throwing 55 for strikes and hitting triple digits on the radar gun.
With Bichette now in the big leagues, Pearson would rank as the organization’s top prospect (although technically Bichette hasn’t lost his prospect status just yet), and his talent more than justifies that kind of hype. Since he was drafted in 2017, he’s been consistently dominant on the mound, although he unfortunately lost most of last season because of a broken arm sustained on a come-backer in his first 2018 start. However, he later made up for some lost time by impressing in the Arizona Fall League, and even earning an All-Star appearance while he was there.
Thankfully he’s been healthy throughout this season, and that has allowed Pearson to show what he can do on the mound, dominating at two levels and starting out on the best possible foot at the third. As much as Blue Jays fans would like to see him debut at the highest level sooner than later, he’ll legitimately need some time to build up his arm before he’s ready for the next level, even if his talent may be able to carry him already.
Pearson posted an ERA of 0.86 in six starts while in High-A, striking out 35 batters against just three walks in 21 innings. He followed that up with a 2.59 ERA in 16 starts in Double-A, striking out 69 in 62.2 innings. At the moment his ERA reads 0.00 in Triple-A, and while he likely won’t be able to keep runs off the board forever, it’s a great sign to see him flourish in his first start at the next level up the ladder.
While I don’t think we’ll see Pearson break camp with the Blue Jays in 2019, I do think that he’ll force his way to the big leagues at some point next season. So far he’s thrived since turning pro, and there’s no reason to think that’s going to stop any time soon.