Fans will get most excited about the positional players and the starting rotation, but part of drafting is completing an entire team. In this article I’ll take a look at the top drafted and developed Blue Jays to come out of the bullpen.
It seems that bullpen arms have become more of a journeymen type pitcher, and rarely perform for a while for the teams that drafted them. In the Blue Jays history, they have managed to develop a couple solid closers, converted some starters into relievers, and just had some straight up middle relief arms.
If you missed the top drafted and developed players and starting pitchers click on the links below.
#5 Aaron Loup
Would it shock you if you I told that the bullpen pitcher with one of the Blue Jays best career ERAs for a player that was drafted by the team was Aaron Loup? Well, it is true.
Toronto selected Loup in the ninth round of the 2009 MLB Draft from Tulane University after playing two seasons there with a 5.12 ERA. Throughout the system, Loup was never a thought of as a top end prospect, but he continued to progress year after year. After being drafted, Loup reported to the teams Gulf Coast Rookie team where he finished the season pitching 16.1 IP with 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio and 3.86 ERA.
Over the next couple of years, Loup continued to climb; he would spend a full season at each level playing in Lansing, Dunedin and finally New Hampshire in 2012. Outside of five starts he had in Class A Lansing, Loup was always a reliever. In 2012, after throwing 45.1 IP to a 2.78 ERA and a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio he was called up to the Blue Jays skipping AAA baseball.
On July 14, 2012, Loup would make his debut and retired all six batters he faced to help the Blue Jays defeat the Cleveland Indians. Loup would remain on the Blue Jays roster for the remainder of the season and allow runs in only five of his 33 appearances, including failing to allow a run in his final 11 appearances of the season. Loup finished the campaign with a 2.64 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and had 21 strikeouts to 2 walks over 30.2 IP.
Outside of a couple rehab appearances in the minors, Loup would remain in the big leagues for the remainder of his tenure with the Blue Jays. He would twice reach the 70 game appearance mark (2014 and 2017) and collected a total of six saves over his tenure. Loup’s Blue Jay career total is a 12-20 record with a 3.47 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
During the 2018 Trade Deadline he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jacob Waguespack. Due to injuries, Loup had been able to pitch just 7.1 innings since being traded out of Toronto.