With Nate Pearson and Alek Manoah graduating to the majors this season, competition among starting pitches in the Blue Jays organization was wide open. The quality perhaps drops off after those two fireballers, but Toronto is building some impressive depth at this position just the same.
LHP Zach Logue
The knock against Logue as he has moved up through the system is that he lacked a true put-away pitch, and didn’t miss enough bats. That perception is starting to change.
Because Pearson and Manoah both started at Buffalo, Logue began the year at AA, where hitters were no match for him, and his season stats are somewhat skewed as a result. Just the same, a velo bump to the mid-90s, along with Logue’s usual command of all four pitches in his arsenal, allowed him to post at 13% SwStr rate on the season. He did give up more contact at AAA, but was a lock in Buffalo’s rotation, and struck out just over a batter per inning.
Logue certainly doesn’t get a lot of prospect love – ok, he doesn’t get any – but he’s one of those crafty lefties who could get through an order twice at the back of some big league rotation.
By the numbers:
K/9 for Logue at two levels this season.
Honourable mention: Naswell Paulino
RHP: Trent Palmer
The Blue Jays played things conservatively with Palmer’s workload this season, but the wraps came off late in the season, and the 2020 3rd rounder responded with a pair of seven inning no-hitters in less than a month.
Palmer throws four pitches, with his bowling ball slider and sinker his best offerings. With that mix, he tends to miss barrels more than he misses bats; in his first no-no, he had more groundouts (6) than K’s (3). He may have been a little too advanced for Low A, but Palmer gave plenty of reasons to keep an eye on him as he moves up the ladder.
By the numbers:
Palmer’s Flyball rate. Working well down in the zone meant Palmer was tough for Low A hitters to square up and elevate.
Honourable mentions: Sem Robberse, Maximo Castillo, Luis Quiñones.