Blue Jays: All-Time Drafted and Developed Relievers

David Corcoran
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Billy Koch (R) celebrates with catcher Darrin Fletcher (L) after striking out New York Yankees DH Jorge Posada to end the game 21 July, 2001 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. The Blue Jays scored twice in the ninth inning to beat the Yankees 5-3. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo by MATT CAMPBELL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Billy Koch (R) celebrates with catcher Darrin Fletcher (L) after striking out New York Yankees DH Jorge Posada to end the game 21 July, 2001 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. The Blue Jays scored twice in the ninth inning to beat the Yankees 5-3. AFP PHOTO/Matt CAMPBELL (Photo by MATT CAMPBELL / AFP) (Photo credit should read MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

#3 Brett Cecil

There is two different stories for Brett Cecil, one being the average big league starter that had a 28-26 record with 4.77 ERA, as well as an All-Star relief pitcher who had a 3.05 ERA out of the bullpen.

In 2007, the Blue Jays used their compensation pick in the supplemental round for losing Justin Speier on Brett Cecil.  Cecil was coming off two seasons pitching at the University of Maryland, as well as playing a season in the Cal Ripkin Collegiate Baseball League where he threw the only complete game no hitter in the league history.

After being drafted, Cecil reported to Auburn for Short-Season A baseball and he performed quite well.  He pitched just shy of 50 innings over 13 starts and held a minuscule 1.26 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  In 2008, Cecil played his first full professional season and climbed the ranks from Dunedin, all the way to AAA Syracuse.

In 2009, less than two years after being drafted, Cecil started his first career game on May 5 where he pitched six innings, allowing just one earned run on six strikeouts. Cecil would have an up and down career over the next few seasons as a starting pitcher winning 15 games in 2010, but eventually found himself back in the minors by 2012 after posting a 5.72 ERA over nine starts and 32 innings.  Cecil was converted to a relief pitcher and recalled in September.  He would struggle during his first stint in the Blue Jays bullpen posting an identical 5.72 ERA in September.

Cecil’s career would turn around the following season when he broke camp as a full-time relief pitcher in 2013.  Cecil would pick up five wins out of the bullpen and it would be the first of three consecutive seasons of sub 3.00 ERA and over 60 appearances; which also saw him get selected to the 2013 All-Star Game.

Cecil was able to been identified as one of the most reliable left handed pitchers out of the bullpen in the major leagues and cashed in on his success.  After eight years on the Blue Jays, Cecil signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals on a four year deal worth $30.5 million.

Cecil finished his Blue Jays career with 44 wins, 12 saves and a 4.29 ERA.

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