Blue Jays: What Ricky Tiedemann's Spring Training invite means for his future
The Blue Jays announced on Monday morning that 16 players would receive an invite to Spring Training and among those names was the organization's top prospect, Ricky Tiedemann.
The 20-year-old third-round pick of the 2021 MLB Draft has skyrocketed up top prospect lists. He was only just recently ranked as the 32nd-best prospect in baseball and the second-best left-handed pitching prospect.
Tiedemann was dominant at three levels of baseball in 2022, which included finishing off the season with Double-A New Hampshire where he was five and a half years younger than the average player at that level. His final numbers for the season saw him throw 78.2 innings, averaging 13.4 strike outs per nine innings with a 2.17 ERA and 0.864 WHIP.
The invite does not mean he’ll crack the Opening Day roster and there's about a 99 percent chance he will not be making the trip to Toronto when Spring Training ends.
What this provides for Tiedemann is a chance to work with the club’s elite level pitchers and gain valuable experience. For the Blue Jays management - including John Schneider - it gets them a chance to get some one-on-one time with the California-born pitcher and observe first hand at what his skillset is.
Finally, for fans, they get to watch Tiedemann in some Grape Fruit League games and start the discussion of, “when will Tiedemann get called up?”.
When you compare Tiedemann to some of the other young pitchers that came up through the Blue Jays system in recent years: Alek Manoah was nearly three years older when he made his debut, Marcus Stroman was a few months younger than Manoah and Aaron Sanchez was the closest in age, but was still a year and a half older than what Tiedemann is now.
It's not out of the question that Tiedemann makes his MLB debut at some point this season, as long as he does not have a huge drop off.
All signs are pointing to Yusei Kikuchi getting the first chance at the fifth starter and if he fails, Mitch White should be next in line. However, if they both falter and Tiedemann continues his progression, you may see him in early July as long as the team does not go out and add a starter at that point. If either Kikuchi or White are able to establish themselves as the fifth starter, we will likely have to wait until September to see Tiedemann make his first Blue Jays appearance.