Eric Pardinho, the Toronto Blue Jays #14th ranked prospect, has started to throw again after undergoing Tommy John surgery this past February.
Last season was a bit of a struggle for starting pitcher Eric Pardinho, as the Brazilian native was having difficulty staying off of the injured list for most of the 2019 season. A strained ligament in his right elbow kept him out of the rotation to start the season, but he would eventually return to the Toronto Blue Jays Class A league and pitch in eight games before finishing the year back on the IL due to a lower back injury.
To make matters worse, Pardinho underwent Tommy John surgery this past February, which will keep him sidelined for all of the 2020 season and possibly the beginning of the 2021 campaign. This injury saw his internal ranking within the Blue Jays organization take a tumble, with Pardinho beginning the 2019 season at 5th overall on their prospects list, and slowly sliding down the rankings to 14th, where he stands right now.
As we approach the end of August, Pardinho posted to his personal Twitter account a few days ago a video of him throwing down at the Blue Jays training facility in Dunedin, Florida. He has posted some previous videos of him working out in the gym roughly three to four months ago, but to see him throwing once again, even if it is just a short distance and not on a mound, is super positive to see.
The reason Pardinho is a prospect to keep an eye on goes back to his experience and mentality towards the game of baseball.
At just 19 years old, Pardinho is well known for his repeatable delivery, his plus fastball, and his curveball. He is roughly 2-3 years younger than most of the other players in Class A ball, but in his eight games last season, he pitched an impressive 2.67 ERA, 1.248 WHIP, and 30 strikeouts in just 33.2 innings pitched. The right-hander is mature beyond his years, representing the Brazilian national team at just 15 years old in 2016 and performing well against players with a few more years of pro ball experience for most of his professional baseball career.
While he does not have a significant amount of professional experience yet, it is tough not to get excited about the potential in this young pitcher. To see him perform well in the two years he has been with the Blue Jays is an encouraging sign, with this recent surgery hopefully only being a minor setback on his true potential to be a mid-rotation arm on a major league roster.
Although Tommy John surgery is an obvious setback on a Pardinho’s progress through the minor league ladder, I would encourage Blue Jays fans to keep a close eye on the 5’10 right-hander. While you most likely won’t see him on the Blue Jays roster anytime soon, if Pardinho can find a way to get back to his old form when he does return the mound, the Blue Jays might just have a pretty impressive mid-rotation arm on their hands in 2-3 years.