Looking back at what transpired for Jays' top prospect Ricky Tiedemann in 2023, it certainly turned out to be a year of the unexpected. What was predicted to be the breakout year for the promising 21-year-old turned into a roller coaster instead. He began his year at Double-A New Hampshire where he had a sensational debut in which he struck out the side in each of the first three innings in his start. However, he would be met with adversity in the following games for the first time in his professional baseball career. Ultimately, things turned for the worst when he suffered a biceps injury that would put him out of action for over two months.
After coming back in late July, Tiedemann produced mixed results in his starts. Overall, the results were encouraging as his health appeared to be close to 100 percent. He also ended the season on a high note, as he was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo for his final start. In the game, he pitched four strong innings, giving up an unearned run along with 6 strikeouts and certainly looked like he belonged. More impressively had been his follow-up performance in the Arizona Fall League, in which his 2.50 ERA, 1.11 WHIP with 23 strikeouts in four starts earned him AFL Pitcher of the Year honours.
With Hyun Jin Ryu entering free agency, the uncertainty surrounding Alek Manoah and the departure of many starting pitchers from the Bisons’ 2023 roster, the Jays will have some important holes to fill in their pitching depth. As a result, unless the Jays sign or trade for a boatload of starting pitchers this offseason, Tiedemann will most likely start the upcoming season in Buffalo.
At the same time, there is a good chance he could potentially be even called up to the big leagues at some point during the year if he continues on his current trajectory. With his rapid growth and progression in the minors, Tiedemann is unanimously the next in line in terms of solid homegrown talent for the organization and could be on the fast-track to the majors if everything goes well.