Toronto Blue Jays 2023 Season Preview: RHP Yosver Zulueta

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The final installment in our 2023 season preview series is right-handed pitching prospect Yosver Zulueta.


Addison BargerAnthony BassChris BassittBrandon BeltJosé BerríosBo Bichette, Cavan BiggioMatt ChapmanAdam CimberHagen DannerSantiago EspinalMatt GageYimi GarcíaKevin Gausman, Chad GreenVladimir Guerrero Jr.Thomas HatchSpencer Horwitz, Danny Jansen, Leo Jimenez, Kevin Kiermaier, Yusei Kikuchi, Alejandro Kirk, Otto Lopez, Nathan Lukes, Alek Manoah, Orelvis Martinez, Tim Mayza, Whit Merrifield, Nate Pearson, Zach Pop, Trevor Richards, Jordan Romano, Hyun Jin Ryu, Erik Swanson, Zach Thompson, Trent Thornton, Daulton Varsho, Mitch White

Before we dive in, here's a quick refresher on which projection systems we're looking at, as well as what they're saying about Zulueta's 2023 season.

STEAMER: 3 G, 1-1 record, 4.74 ERA, 16 SO and 8 BB in 18 innings

ZiPS DC: 3 G, 1-1 record, 5.05 ERA, 13 SO and 6 BB in 13 innings

THE BAT: 4 G, 1-1 record, 4.59 ERA, 11 SO and 5 BB in 11 innings

2022 stats (Low-A, High-A, Double-A, Triple-A): 21 G (12 GS), 2-5 record, 3.72 ERA, 84 SO and 32 BB in 55.2 innings

Note: ZiPS DC projections are pro-rated for the playing time indicated by Roster Resource Depth Charts on FanGraphs.

Zulueta, now 25, is coming off a strong 2022 campaign in which he pitched at four levels, quickly moving from Low-A to Triple-A, with a detour to the All-Star Futures Game along the way.

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2020, followed by a torn ACL at the beginning of 2021, Zulueta has not had the chance to progress as both he and the organization would have liked.

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Jays' fifth overall prospect, Zulueta's scouting report gives his blistering plus-plus fastball a grade of 70, making it one of the best pitches in the organization.

The projection systems all give the 6-foot-1 righty a modest chance of making his big league debut out of the bullpen this season. If he does debut, ZiPS and THE BAT think we could see around a strikeout per inning from Zulueta. Steamer is a bit lower, with a 7.80 K/9 prediction.

Getting strikeouts wasn't a problem for Zulueta last season. Through his four stops, he had a combined 13.6 K/9, with fantastic strikeout rates through to Double-A.

An area of concern is his struggles with giving up too many walks when facing more advanced hitters. His BB% spiked to 19.2% in Double-A and remained high in his short stint in Triple-A.





















Currently on the 40-man roster, the young Cuban will start the season in Buffalo but is in the mix of pitchers that could get the call this season if injuries take their toll on the major league arms.

The Jays will want to see Zulueta cut down on the free passes before they bring him to Toronto. But if he can harness his incredible stuff, he could be striking out major-league hitters before the end of 2023.

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