Ever since joining the Toronto Blue Jays organization back in 2019, Yosver Zulueta has been full of immense promise and has been a hyped prospect in the club's system. Unfortunately, things have not exactly gone smoothly for the hard-throwing righty.
A Tommy John surgery in 2020 and a torn ACL in his first outing back from TJS in 2021 has stunted his development in a huge way. As a matter of fact, he has only 59 outings under his belt since he was signed as an international free agent four years ago.
Finally at full health in the 2023 campaign, Zulueta has not seen the results that both him and the organization would've liked to have seen out of him. In 37 outings (seven starts), he has a 4.47 ERA with a whopping 41 walks in just over 52 innings of work. Sources tell Jays Journal that he was optioned down to the Florida Complex League a few weeks ago to get a closer look under the hood at what has been causing the lapse in results for the 25-year-old.
So often do we see flamethrowers who have troubles commanding their fastball, but Zulueta appears to have taken a significant step back in his development. He was added to the Blue Jays' 40-man roster this past offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft, but sources say that, "he has gone from way up on the organizational depth chart to the very bottom," and went as far as to say that his future with the club is, "very much up in the air."
Heading into the season, Zulueta was viewed throughout the organization as a prospect that would see time in the big leagues this season. Injuries aside, his overall development had been encouraging and all signs pointed to him being a contributor to the big league roster. His fall from grace is driven home even further now that he is on the bottom of the 40-man roster and is not even guaranteed to be a part of the organization in the immediate future.
Such a development is tough to see from a prospect who was supposed to turn into something special for the Blue Jays. Prior to the current season, Zulueta reached the No. 3 spot in the Jays' system per MLB.com's pre-season rankings. In their mid-season ones, he fell to No. 10, which is nothing to scoff at. To have someone who has consistently been seen as such a special prospect in the farm system runs into these many issues is not to be taken lightly; who knows what the future holds for him now.