It was a tumultuous season, but in the end, Ricky Tiedemann is reminding everyone why he's such a highly touted prospect.
With another strong outing for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Saturday, the Toronto Blue Jays No. 1 prospect is finishing his Double-A campaign on a high note. The dynamic lefty struck out six Bowie Baysox in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed two unearned runs on three hits while issuing one walk.
In fact, Tiedemann has only allowed one earned run over his last three starts, pitching to a 0.79 ERA and striking out 22 batters in 11 1/3 innings. He has been striking out overmatched hitters at a 47.8 percent rate, a ridiculously high mark.
The 2023 season hasn't been all fun and games for the just-turned-21-year-old. With two separate trips to the IL, Tiedemann hasn't been able to build up the innings and make progress like he and the organization came into the season expecting. He's up to 38 innings, well off last season's 78 2/3 frames.
Fully rehabbed from biceps inflammation, Tiedemann's August 11 return to the Double-A mound didn't exactly go smoothly. He surrendered three runs on four hits and struck out just one, lasting only 2/3 of an inning.
Not that anyone seemed particularly concerned about the jarring start. He had just made Complex and Single-A batters look silly in his three rehab outings, dominating with 18 strikeouts in eight innings while only giving up one hit across the two levels.
Since that rough return to Double-A, he has been back on form, with a 2.70 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings across five starts with New Hampshire.
So, what's next for one of baseball's top rising arms?
Tiedemann is in line to make one more start for the Fisher Cats as the Double-A season winds down. The Blue Jays likely want to get their top prospect as much work as possible before the winter, so there's a good chance Tiedemann could find himself with at least one start in Triple-A — maybe two if they promote him before the weekend.
Barring that, Tiedemann could get an invite to the Arizona Fall League, where teams like to send their top prospects and rising stars to compete against the best the minors have to offer.
Being added to the Surprise Saguaros roster for the month-long competition would let him continue pitching through October into November and could help his star rise even higher after a rough year of development.
More importantly, it would give the organization a look at how he handles more advanced competition in preparation for 2024. A season that, fingers crossed, will see him make his major league debut.