Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Prospects recap during the first week of Spring

TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Toronto Blue Jays players stand in the dugout prior to the game against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 28, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Toronto Blue Jays players stand in the dugout prior to the game against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 28, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Mar 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (75) throws a pitch in the third inning against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Alek Manoah (75) throws a pitch in the third inning against the New York Yankees during a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Pitchers

Simeon Woods-Richardson – RHP

In his first spring training camp as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Simeon Woods-Richardson comes with significant hype given his age and potential to be a prominent figure iin the Blue Jays starting rotation in the near future. In two years of MiLB action, Woods-Richardson sports a 3.48 ERA with 152 strikeouts and a 1.121 WHIP over 124.0 innings. He currently ranks as the Blue Jays #4 prospect.

In his first and only outing so far this spring, SWR started against the top of the New York Yankees lineup and was able to keep them out of the hit column during his two innings of work, striking out Giancarlo Stanton in the process. He was able to get D.J. LeMahieu to fly out to left field and got both Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge to line out as well. Facing the heart of the Yankees lineup is no easy task, and SWR did a very good job at limiting the Yankees to just a walk over two frames.

Alek Manoah – RHP

The Blue Jays first round selection in 2019, Alek Manoah hasn’t pitched above A ball in his early career and spent last season in the Blue Jays alternate training site. In one season with the Vancouver Canadians, Manoah made six starts and would pitch to a 2.65 ERA with 27 strikeouts and a 1.059 WHIP.

Manoah would follow Woods-Richardson against the New York Yankees, giving up one hit and striking out four batters. The right-hander would get LeMahieu to ground into a double play to end the third inning and struck out Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres in the fourth inning, hitting Aaron Judge to start the frame. Manoah did have a few wild pitches in the inning, but overall, his stuff looked pretty impressive. He faced some very prominent MLB players and was able to get himself out of a few jams in the process.

Joey Murray – RHP

The Blue Jays 28th ranked prospect, Joey Murray found himself promoted to AA at the end of the 2019 season and entering his first spring training at the major league camp in 2021. For his career, the right-hander has a 2.60 ERA in 40 appearances (31 starts) and has 208 strikeouts with a 1.123 WHIP over 163.0 innings.

So far this spring, Murray has had one good appearance and one not so pleasant appearance to his resume. In his first outing, the right-hander pitched a clean inning against the Yankees striking out one batter in the process. His next outing against the Detroit Tigers would be a different story, allowing three earned runs over one inning with three walks and no strikeouts, earning the loss in the process. A starter in his own right, Murray will most likely rejoin AA after spring training ends and a strong year could see a promotion to AAA or possibly the MLB bullpen by years end.

Yosver Zulueta – RHP

Cuban born Yosver Zulueta may not have been on Blue Jays fan’s radar prior to spring training, but the young right-hander is certainly earning praises from fans and scouts alike this spring. After pitching his way through Cuban National Series prior to signing with the Blue Jays (after defecting), Zulueta would undergo Tommy John surgery and has returned back to health. A starting pitcher, the righty can hit the high 90’s with his fastball and is turning heads early this spring.

In his outing against the Tigers, Zulueta struggled a bit with his command, finishing his inning with two walks and two earned runs off of one hit while striking out one batter. Considering this is his first spring training and he hasn’t pitched outside of the Dominican Summer League, the ceiling is very high for the Cuban born prospect who will look to move up the Blue Jays farm system this season if he moves stateside to play rookie league ball.

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