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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TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 2: Mark Shapiro speaks to the media as he is introduced as president of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on November 2, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA – NOVEMBER 2: Mark Shapiro speaks to the media as he is introduced as president of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on November 2, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Kendall Williams

The Blue Jays added some pretty significant pitching talent to their minor league system this season, and Kendall Williams could end up being a great one that’s flown under the radar so far.

Like Pardinho and Kloffenstein, Williams is very young at just 19 years old, but his talent was already on display briefly in 2019. The Blue Jays made him their second-round pick after Manoah in this year’s draft, and he ended up throwing 16 innings in Rookie-ball with the GCL Blue Jays. Things went well for him as well, as he posted an ERA of 1.13 and a WHIP of 0.813 in his limited showing. Another imposing 6’6 figure on the mound, Williams fanned 19 batters against seven walks as well.

Williams is going to need some time to develop, and chances are we’ll see him start with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts in 2020. If he performs well he could certainly move up, but like Kloffenstein I suspect that he’ll spend the entire season in A-ball, as he’ll need to build up his stamina and innings count. He was drafted out of high school this past season, so it’ll be a while before his arm is ready for the rigours of a full professional season.

That said, I can see Williams moving along in the system with the likes of Kloffenstein and Pardinho, and they could form a pretty lethal group coming up together. I imagine it’ll be at least 2022 before we see Williams challenging for a big league spot, but he has the tools to eventually become a solid big league starter.

A lot could change by the time he’s ready to make that leap, but one of his biggest challenges could be earning a rotation spot among his talented peers. Especially because I’m not quite done with my list for today.

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