Blue Jays prospect Devereaux Harrison dominates in first career start

Mar 6, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; A detailed view of the Toronto Blue Jays logo on a building at
Mar 6, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; A detailed view of the Toronto Blue Jays logo on a building at / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When the Vancouver Canadians needed a spot start this past weekend, an unlikely hero emerged from the bullpen. Devereaux Harrison, a relief pitcher who had never made a professional start, stepped up in a big way for the Toronto Blue Jays High-A affiliate.

Harrison, 22, took the ball on Sunday and delivered an outstanding performance against the Tri-City Dust Devils, helping the Canadians earn their 19th win of the season. The righty went five strong innings and faced the minimum of 15 batters, giving up only one hit and striking out six without issuing a walk.

For his efforts, which also included two scoreless innings earlier in the week, Harrison was named the Northwest League Pitcher of the Week.

As a career-long reliever, Harrison was drafted by the Blue Jays in the ninth round (278th overall) of the 2022 draft out of Long Beach State, where he served as the team's closer. He was named the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year after a sparkling 2021 campaign with the Dirtbags in which he had 42 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .175 average.

Coming out of college, Harrison's fastball sat in the low-90s, hitting 94-95 mph with plenty of ride, according to the Prospects Live pre-draft scouting report. He also features a high-70s curveball and mid-80s changeup.

He began his time in the Blue Jays system in 2022 in Low-A ball, where he pitched seven innings with a 2.57 ERA and 11.57 K/9. After a quick promotion to Vancouver at the end of last season, he struggled to a 6.23 ERA and only a 6.23 K/9 through 4 1/3 frames.

This season has gone much better for the young reliever. With his five innings on Sunday, Harrison has thrown 18 1/3 innings for the Canadians with a 2.45 ERA. He has only given up runs in two of his 11 outings and has kept opposing hitters off the scoresheet in his other eight relief appearances. He has also shown off his swing-and-miss stuff with 22 strikeouts, recording at least one punch out in all but one outing.