Blue Jays: Prospects that are at risk of being selected in the Rule 5 Draft
Yosver Zulueta – RHP
There are only two players in this article who I would consider to be absolute locks to receive a 40-man roster spot this offseason and Cuban-born Yosver Zulueta is one of them.
After a freak injury ended his 2021 season early, Zulueta returned healthy in 2022 and worked his way through almost every level of the Jays Minor League ladder, starting in Single-A and ending the year in AAA.
Overall, Zulueta authored a 3.72 ERA through 21 outings (12 starts) through 55.2 innings of work. He pitched to a 13.6 K/9 and was able to keep the ball in the yard, yielding only two home runs on the year, but was a bit wild at times, allowing 32 free passes to the tune of a 5.2 BB/9. The right-hander likely would have found more innings but spent roughly a month on the IL spanning August to early September, which saw Zulueta make only one more start before the season came to an end (it should be noted that he was making some relief appearances prior to the IL stint as well).
One of the highlights of his season was making the All-Star Futures Games alongside top prospect Ricky Tiedemann, earning the win after coming in relief during the second inning and getting a ground ball out.
Known for his plus fastball which can hit triple digits, Zulueta projects as a potential bullpen arm for the Blue Jays next season as long as he can stay healthy. Considering the Blue Jays could really benefit from a relief pitcher who can throw a hard fastball, #5 ranked Zulueta is one player I would consider a lock for the 40-man roster.