Blue Jays: The next wave of pitching prospects are full of huge potential

TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: The Toronto Blue Jays logo painted on the field during batting practice before the Toronto Blue Jays home opener prior to the start of their MLB game against the New York Yankees on April 4, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 4: The Toronto Blue Jays logo painted on the field during batting practice before the Toronto Blue Jays home opener prior to the start of their MLB game against the New York Yankees on April 4, 2014 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
SURPRISE, AZ – NOVEMBER 03: Starting pitcher AFL West All-Star, Nate Pearson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a warm-up pitch during the Arizona Fall League All Star Game at Surprise Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

It’s widely expected that Nate Pearson will make his MLB debut sometime in 2020, but who are the arms that the Blue Jays have coming in the next wave of pitching prospects?

Whenever the Blue Jays’ rebuild gets talked about, one of the first discussion points usually surrounds the need for starting pitching. That definitely rings true for 2020 and likely the year after that, but the Blue Jays are actually in pretty decent shape when it comes to the state of their pitching prospect stables. It’s just that most of the help is at least a few years away.

Nate Pearson is undisputed top pitching prospect, and that’s with good reason after he dominated multiple levels in 2019, showing that he’s likely ready to pitch against big league hitters right now, even if he’s almost certainly destined to start the year in Triple-A. That’s mostly because he’ll need to build up his innings at a slower speed than the big leagues would allow, so starting the year in Buffalo makes sense, even if it would be fun to see him break camp with the Blue Jays.

For now, they’ll likely utilize a group that could include arms such as Trent Thornton, Ryan Borucki, Jacob Waguespack, Anthony Kay, T.J. Zeuch, and possibly others, and it’s also expected that Matt Shoemaker will return now that he’s recovered from a torn ACL. The Blue Jays are expected to pursue some help for the rotation through free agency and possibly in the trade market as well, so I’m sure they’ll cover 2020 one way or another, and hopefully with greater depth than they had this past season.

As far as the future is concerned, I’m actually quite optimistic about where the Blue Jays’ pitching staff could be in a few years. The game keeps getting younger all the time, and the Blue Jays have a lot of high-end pitching talent in the lower levels of their minor league system. Not all of those pitchers will turn into MLB stars, but don’t be surprised if the Blue Jays are using a talented homegrown rotation a few years from now.

Let’s have a look at who that could include.

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