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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 11: Juaron Watts-Brown

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Photo credit:okstate.com
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
The prospect we’ll look at today is the last pitcher who was selected in the 2023 draft.
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Juaron Watts-Brown.

Getting to know Juaron Watts-Brown…

Position: Starting pitcher
Throws: Right
Born: February 23, 2002
Acquired: 3rd-round, 2023 draft (Blue Jays)
2023 Team: N/A
Previous Ranking: 11
Similar to Landen Maroudis, who we looked at in the last article, Juaron Watts-Brown has pitched professionally yet. He did, however, spend two seasons pitching for California State University, Long Beach, as well as Oklahoma State University.
In his age 20 season with Long Beach State, Watts-Brown posted a 3.69 ERA in 73.1 innings pitched, along with a 37.4 K% and a 9.8 BB%, registering 11 strikeouts in total. After transferring to Oklahoma State, the 21-year-old had a 5.03 ERA in 82.1 innings pitched, along with a 33 K% and a 12.8 BB%.
Watts-Brown ranks on all three lists we’ve been looking at during this series. Fangraphs ranks the 21-year-old as the 12th-best Blue Jays prospect. TSN’s Scott Mitchell ranks the righty as his 18th-best prospect, while Baseball America ranks Watts-Brown as their 17th-best prospect.
Both Fangraphs and Mitchell point to his off-speed pitches as being his best. The former mentions that his slider has a ton of late break, while the curveball has “big time depth”. They do, however, note that his other two pitches – fastball and a changeup – are below average for the time being. Fangraphs believe that Oklahoma State University isn’t great at developing pitches, so there’s still room for Watts-Brown to improve.
Mitchell points out that the Jays sent him to the wonderful complex “for some research work”, but it’s believed that when he debuts, his slider will get a ton of swings and misses. It’s also worth mentioning that Mitchell believes Watts-Brown will start his season in Single-A Dunedin and has a ceiling of a backend starter.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Jays can get some more velocity out of him, but his debut season is going to be a fun one to watch!

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 21: Yosver Zulueta
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 20: Chad Dallas
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 19: Cade Doughty
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 18: Adam Macko
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 17: Jace Bohrofen
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 16: Alex De Jesus
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 15: Dahian Santos
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 14: Enmanuel Bonilla
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 13: Tucker Toman
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 12: Landen Maroudis

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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