Blue Jays: Nate Pearson should be a starter next year
Nate Pearson is currently one of the Toronto Blue Jays top prospect pitchers, and with some MLB starts under his belt this past season, the flamethrower from Florida will hopefully be let loose to wreak havoc on opposing batters next year.
There is no question that Nate Pearson is one of the best pitching prospects to come out of the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the past few years.
Drafted in the 1st round of the 2017 amateur draft, Pearson spent the past few seasons carving up the minor leagues, posting a 2.19 ERA across three seasons in the minor leagues with 146 strikeouts and 32 walks. He would start 34 games across 5 different teams in the Blue Jays farm system, as well as 6 games in the Arizona Fall League. While the 100mph flamethrower may seem like a future ace in the making, Pearson only pitched in 123.1 innings before being called up to the Blue Jays roster in 2020.
This past season would be Pearson’s first stint in the major leagues, where he strategically did not crack the opening day roster and would make his debut on July 29th against the Washington Nationals. He would start 4 games and have 1 relief appearance for the Blue Jays, crafting a 6.00 ERA with 16 strikeouts, 13 walks, 12 earned runs while giving up 5 home runs. He would end up on the injured list for roughly one month with a flexor strain in his pitching arm but would return to appear in one postseason game against the Tampa Bay Rays, pitching 2.0 innings and striking out 5 batters.
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What makes Nate Pearson so exciting is not just his electric fastball, which can and has reached 102 mph, but also his spectacular off-speed pitches he features in his arsenal. His curveball and his slider are excellent complements to his high-velocity fastball, with his large frame and downward trajectory keeping hitters on their toes and bat’s swinging past the ball.
I can personally say that I am very excited to see what Pearson is truly capable of next season. He now has some MLB starts under his belt, and I am hoping the Blue Jays let Pearson loose, fighting and pitching for the role of ‘ace’ that fans have been dreaming about before the arrival of Hyun-Jin Ryu. Pearson has the potential to be one of the most electric and game-changing pitchers on the Blue Jays roster through the next five to seven years, which bodes well with a young roster full of talented players fighting for October baseball.
While Pearson will and should be considered a starter next year, there is a possibility that the righty will be on a specific innings/pitch count for the year. MLB teams across the league are very cautious with their prized prospects in this day and age, and I just can’t see the Blue Jays taking a different route given Pearson’s injury history. My colleague David Corcoran wrote a great article also outlining possible scenarios regarding Pearson and his role for next year.
I understand that given his injury history that the organization will want to be cautious with his development, but part of me just wants the Blue Jays to let Pearson start the year in the rotation and keep him there unless he runs out of gas or starts to falter. He has been developing to become a starting pitcher and he has the tools to be a great pitcher for the Blue Jays, so let him go out and prove it. If he falters or starts to struggle, then manager Charlie Montoyo adjusts accordingly.
Are you excited yet?
With Hyun Jin Ryu and Nate Pearson potentially leading the charge for the foreseeable future in the Blue Jays organization, as well as a slew of young talented pitchers and players still in the farm system, fans have a lot to be excited about next season and beyond when it comes to the starting rotation.