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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 21: Yosver Zulueta

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Photo credit:Blue Jays PR
Brennan Delaney
18 days ago
It’s hard to give up on a triple-digit fastball
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 Yosver Zulueta.

Getting to know Yosver Zulueta…

Position: Bulk Reliever
Throws: Right
Born: January 23, 1998
Acquired: 2019 International Free Agency
2023 Team: Triple-A Buffalo Bisons
Previous Ranking: 20
The Blue Jays signed Yosver Zulueta in 2019 knowing full well that he required Tommy John surgery. Of course, he missed 2020 not just because of surgery but due to the pandemic that shutdown the minor league season. Zulueta was ready to go and even impressed the organization in 2021 Spring Training, but he tore his ACL before he completed his first inning in Single-A.
Zulueta was ready for the 2022 season, the year that he made his mark in the organization. Between Single-A, High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A, Zulueta had a 3.72 ERA and a 3.33 FIP in 55.2 innings pitched. He had a 33.9 K%, the fifth-highest in the organization with 50 or more innings pitched, but had a rather high 12.9 BB% as well. The higher the level, the higher the BB% rose, while his K% dropped to 22.7% in 4.2 innings with the Buffalo Bisons.
The 26-year-old started the 2023 season with the Buffalo Bisons, pitching 64 innings with a 4.08 ERA and a 4.07 FIP. His 25.4 K% was a lot lower than the season prior, while his BB% remained high at 15.7%. Zulueta started the first six games he appeared in and had a 3.79 ERA and 4.03 FIP in 19 innings pitched, but once again struggled with walks.
Although he has touched triple-digits in the past, Zulueta’s fastball sat at 95.5 mph and was seen as a sinker by Baseball Savant. On top of the fastball, Zulueta threw a changeup, curveball, four-seam fastball, slider, and sweeper according to Savant data.
Zulueta ranks as Fangraphs’ eighth-best Blue Jays prospect, Scott Mitchell’s 35th-best prospect, and Baseball America’s 12th-best Blue Jays prospect.
Mitchell notes that Zulueta will more than likely reside as a reliever for the rest of his career as his command just hasn’t been good enough in the two seasons of pitching, but doesn’t note he can be a high-leverage reliever.
Fangraphs note that his slider is great (graded as a 70), but once again, harped on his command and control. It’s also worth mentioning that the slider itself is inconsistent, hence why Baseball Savant categorized 169 of his sliders as sweepers.
Still, it’s hard to give up on heat, and Zulueta’s sometimes triple-digit fastball and sharp slider give him a good chance to be an important part of the bullpen. Sadly, it doesn’t look like he’ll be starting games like he did in 2022, but who knows, maybe if he can command his pitches better, he’ll be stretched out.

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. 31: Connor O’Halloran
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 30: Brennan Orf
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 29: Adrian Pinto
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 28: Franklin Rojas
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 27: Gabriel Martinez
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 26: Rafael Lantigua
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 25: Kendry Rojas
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 24: Connor Cooke
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 23: CJ Van Eyk
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 22: Josh Kasevich

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

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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