17-year-old Eric Pardinho, the top ranked international free agent Pitcher last July 2nd, made his first start as a professional last night, and it was everything Blue Jays fans had hoped for.
Hitting 97 with his fastball, Pardinho allowed a run on two hits, walked a pair and fanned five over four innings. The other 7 outs were recorded by ground outs. Pardinho missed a number of bats on the evening, getting 10 swinging strikes. One of his strikeout victims was Nolan Gorman, the Cardinals 1st round pick.
The 2nd inning presented the only difficulty for Pardinho on the evening. A one out single by RF Sanel Rosendo was followed by a Wild Pitch. Gorman’s ground out moved Rosendo to 3rd, where he was cashed in by 2B Donivan Williams’ RBI single. Pardinho retired the side in order in the 1st and 3rd. He threw 65 pitches on the night, 39 for strikes.
Pardinho displays excellent athleticism with a polished delivery, and a good feel for pitching as evidenced by his ability to sequence his mix of pitches. The Blue Jays challenged him with a first assignment to the Appalachian League, as they did with top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr two years ago.
Bluefield was unable to muster any run support for Pardinho and the relievers who followed him, as the Blue Jays went down to Johnson City 2-0, tagging him with his first pro loss.