Blue Jays prospect Adam Macko reflects on his first season with the organization
Photo credit:Mark Steffens/Fotoguy
1 month ago
This time last year, southpaw Adam Macko was a member of the Seattle Mariners, having spent the year in High-A before a trip to the Arizona Fall League to cap off the campaign.
Born in Slovakia but growing up in Ireland and Canada, injuries had limited him that season to just 38 1/2 innings in Everett, hence the additional reps in Arizona. A seventh-round pick back in 2019 out of Vauxhall Academy, a top Canadian baseball program, Macko had finished his fourth season with the organization (including the cancelled 2020 season).
That all changed on November 16th, as Macko was informed that he had been included in the Erik Swanson/Teoscar Hernández deal and was now joining the Toronto Blue Jays.
Blue Jays prospect Adam Macko discusses his first season with the organization since being traded
“I was definitely caught by surprise, nobody usually sees themselves getting traded,” said Macko, speaking to Blue Jays Nation. “I loved every minute with the Mariners and I am grateful for the opportunity with the organization and getting drafted back in 2019. I really learned a lot over the years and I can’t thank them enough.”
While the deal caught Macko off guard, the Blue Jays were an organization the left-hander knew well growing up North of the border, “Once I learned that it was the Blue Jays I was going to be joining, I was immediately stoked. It was nerve-wracking initially with all the change going on but after going down to Florida, meeting the staff and undergoing the physicals and meeting some players, I really zoned in and was ready to work.”
Following Spring Training, Macko was sent to Vancouver to join the Canadians in High-A, which is where the starting pitcher would spend the entire campaign. On the year, Macko would make a team-leading 20 starts and throw a career-high 86 innings with a 4.81 ERA. The 22-year-old pitched to a 1.349 WHIP with an 11.1 K/9, leading the Canadians’ qualified starters. The Blue Jays prospect boasts a fastball in the mid-90s and a plus curveball, which he pairs with a slider that keeps opposing hitters off balance.
Looking at the stat column, Macko routinely limited the damage to three earned runs or fewer, doing so 17 out of 20 starts but had three starts where he allowed five or more, which unfortunately raised his ERA. By the end of July, the left-hander was dealing through most of his outings, posting a 2.51 ERA through his last seven games while striking out 50 batters and allowing just one home run through that span, limiting batters to a .485 OPS. This stretch also included his best start of the year, a five-inning outing against Spokane where he allowed just two hits to the tune of zero earned runs while striking out 11, which included 19 swings and misses, seven of which were accredited to his strikeouts.
The Canadians ended up qualifying for the playoffs and Macko was given the ball in game #1 of the championships against the Everett AquaSox, the same team he had spent the entire 2021 season with prior to the trade. He rose to the challenge at Funko Field, going five innings while allowing just one hit, four walks, and zero runs on 85 pitches while striking out five, securing the win. Vancouver would eventually win the series, becoming the 2023 Northwest League Champions.
“Playing in Vancouver is such a great experience, the fans, Nat Bailey Stadium, it really is just an incredible environment and something that I will remember for a really long time,” said Macko. “Meeting lots of fans and making great connections with the staff and my teammates, it was a great first year with the Blue Jays organization.”
As the tide shifts to the offseason, Macko is poised to be in promotion talks, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the left-hander starts the year in Double-A New Hampshire next season. With a high ceiling given his current trajectory, the Blue Jays #22 ranked prospect heads into the offseason continually trying to get better both on and off the field.
“With some of the struggles I had this past year, I have really learned a lot; from what I believe I am doing well and what I need to improve. With this mindset, I believe I can give myself the best chance to succeed on the field and that starts with being mindful and knowing that every throw, regardless if it is during warmup or on the mound, has a purpose.”
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