One hyped Blue Jays prospect at every minor league level that may disappoint in 2023
By Edward Eng
Triple-A Buffalo Bisons – Hayden Juenger
Hayden Juenger was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 6th round of the 2021 Amateur Draft. He advanced through the Jays’ minor league system at a rapid rate and was predicted to make his MLB debut some time during 2022 already. Ranked in the Blue Jays’ top ten prospects for the past couple of years, Juenger utilizes a plus fastball to go along with a slider that helps induce swing-and-misses, together with a changeup to help him develop into a primarily bulk relief role potentially for his career. In 2022, he pitched effectively to a 3.76 ERA with a WHIP of 1.128 with 100 strikeouts over 88.2 innings. His main weaknesses are being able to execute his pitches more consistently, and making mistakes that make his unhittable pitches vulnerable, as he had also given up 18 home runs despite being dominant. For this year, he started again at Buffalo to hone his craft and thus far, has given up four runs over 9.1 innings with 15 strikeouts and a WHIP of about 1.4.
Juenger’s overall development may not be that disappointing thus far, but to Jays’ fans, they’ll be disappointed not to see him yet in the big leagues as he is still behind a few others such as Nate Pearson and Yosver Zulueta and others in line to be called up. So he may find himself spending a little more time at Triple-A than needed, and at the same time, must demonstrate that he has stabilized his control and command of his pitches consistently to become a premium MLB reliever.