Getting to know pitcher Alan Carter and his journey from the World Baseball Classic to the Blue Jays
1 month ago
Yesterday, the Toronto Blue Jays made a move on the free agent front, signing Alan Zhang Carter to a Minor League deal as reported by Bob Nightengale at USA Today and confirmed by his agency at Gaeta Sports Management.
A product of Columbus State, Lee University, and the MLB Draft League, Carter joins the Toronto Blue Jays after spending six years in post-secondary baseball going undrafted and spending part of the 2023 season with the Los Angeles Angels organization.
“I really couldn’t be more excited to join an organization like the Blue Jays,” Carter said, speaking to Blue Jays Nation. “I have had conversations with guys in the organization already, and they have all come back to me with positive feedback, which I am extremely excited to experience myself. I visited Toronto back in 2015 with my family and I remember how nice the stadium (Rogers Centre) was when we went to see the Jays play and how cool the CN Tower looked from inside the stadium. Josh Donaldson was one of my favourite players at the time and seeing him hit a home run that day is a moment I will never forget.”
Getting to know Blue Jays prospect Alan Carter
For Carter, the right-hander produced a 3.94 ERA across 42 outings spread out amongst his collegiate-level experience, striking out batters at a 13.6 K/9 rate while working to a 1.324 WHIP. With the Angels, he split his time between class-A and double-A, pitching to a 4.40 ERA through 28 2/3 innings. Carter has also worked extensively with Tread Athletics, which the pitcher credits with helping him get signed by both the Angels and the Blue Jays.
“After playing six years of college ball and not getting drafted, Tread has gotten me signed not once but twice now,” Carter said. “They have literally made my dreams come true of playing baseball at a professional level I can thank Ben Brewster and my coach, Hunter Townsend, for identifying what pitches work best for my profile and understanding what I am doing well when I am at my best.”
Located in North Carolina, Carter is one of the many success stories coming out of Tread, as their pro-day exhibitions bring in teams from across the league to see some of the talented athletes work for a professional opportunity. On the mound, Carter is sitting in the mid-90s with his fastball and features both a slider and a splitter to compliment his fastball offering, which features 22.0 inches of vertical movement with his 6-foot-1 frame. The 26-year old has a repeatable delivery with the ability to throw for strikes and able to generate swing and miss, although he can be a bit wild at times (5.7 BB/9 with the Angels farm system last year).
Ben Brewster on X: “Here’s Alan Carter doing Alan Carter things, sitting 94-96 with outlier cut-ride. He was among the first off the board in last year’s pro day. 8/ https://t.co/5WxuCU300e” / X (twitter.com)
Carter, whose mother was born in Xi’an, China before moving to the United States, meant the right-hander was eligible to play for Team China at the World Baseball Classic. Shortly after signing with the Angels last year, Carter received a very important phone call.
“I used to Google the requirements for playing on a World Baseball Classic team back in high school and was thinking that I could possibly pitch for Team China one day,” said Carter. “Roughly 48 hours after I signed with Los Angeles, Ray Chang from Team China woke me up with a phone call and asked me to play for the team. This took me to Tokyo for the tournament and I was very impressed with the culture and cuisine in Japan as well as getting to pitch at the Tokyo Dome, it had an aura to it that I had never felt before in any of my previous outings. Putting on the China jersey made me extremely proud of my heritage since my mother was born in China and moved to the USA to create the best possible life for me. I felt like it was a small way of me being able to repay her for all the sacrifices she made for me.”
At the tournament, Carter made one start for the team as well as one relief appearance while leading the entire pitching staff in innings pitched (4 1/3). He struck out five batters while allowing five hits and four earned runs while facing the Czech Republic and South Korea (the game he started).
Looking ahead, the newest Blue Jays prospect is excited to get on the mound and showcase what he can do and take the things he learned at Tread into game situations within the organization.
“My biggest goals for this past offseason was to gain a few MPH consistently on my fastball and develop a new slider. With my fastball profile, I found that a gyro slider would suit me better compared to a sweeping slider. That, combined with hammering down my routines throughout the week before and after throwing to make sure I recover properly and avoid injury, were my biggest goals. I am really looking forward to learning the in’s and outs of a winning franchise like the Blue Jays and getting to develop great relationships with my teammates and helping win a championship at whatever affiliate I pitch at as the Blue Jays go for the 2024 World Series.”
Recent articles from Tyson Shushkewich