While the bats have not picked up, the pitching has been something special.
This is a statement that works for the big league club, but it also applies to the rest of the organization at all levels.
There were some great performances from starting pitching prospects since the start of the minor league week. Let’s look at them.
On the day that Orelvis Martinez went deep for his 11th home run of the season, the 24-year-old righty Nick Fraze had quite an impressive game. Below is his line from Tuesday’s game.
4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Yes, three earned runs in only four and a third doesn’t seem that impressive, but look at his strikeouts compared to walks. Fraze is rocking a 4.09 ERA and 4.27 FIP, which is already solid. However, in his 33 innings pitched, he has only allowed four total walks. In fact, he has hit more batters with pitches (7).
I wrote an article about him last season, but after putting up mediocre numbers in his short stint in New Hampshire, he has flown under the radar. In 2022, Fraze seems to have adjusted to Double A. It’s possible that the 22nd rounder pitches in Triple A in 2022.
From one pitcher that has figured out his level to the next, Sem Robberse is showing why he is easily the second best pitching prospect in the organization. Here is his line from Tuesday evening.
6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
I’ve written about his background ad nauseum, but the 20-year-old Dutchman has a really interesting story. In his 31 innings pitched in 2022, he has a 2.90 ERA and 3.08 FIP. His K/9 of 7.26 is the lowest at any level, but he’s only walked four batters all season, good enough for a BB/9 of 1.16.
After a promotion to High A Vancouver last season, his results from Dunedin didn’t quite carry over, as he had a 5.23 ERA and 5.20 FIP. Furthermore, he had a very high walk rate of 5.23 in 31 innings pitched. There were no signs of concern, as he was a 19-year-old pitching in High A.
However, it is nice to see him figure it out and a move to Double A seems possible towards the backend of this season.
The 21-year-old righty was drafted in the 2021 draft and has been overshadowed by the Jays third rounder from that season (we’ll get to him). That doesn’t mean that Dallas hasn’t put together quite the season for the Vancouver Canadians. Below is his line from Wednesday evening.
4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
With this performance, he brings his season ERA to a very low 1.59. However, his FIP tells a different story, as it sits at 3.77. While that number isn’t awful by any means, in contrast to his ERA, there is a noticeable jump.
The high FIP is primarily due to Dallas’ high BB/9 of 4.37, but this was inflated due to a five-walk game in early May. This was the first game where Dallas didn’t issue a walk. Hopefully he can build off of it.
Moving back to Dallas’ ERA, he has only allowed four earned runs this season, three of which came in his second game. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 30th, pitching 10 innings of shutout baseball.
Of course the 24-year-old with a 70 grade fastball is going to get a mention here. He had a sparkling debut with the Vancouver Canadians on Thursday evening.
5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER (2 R), 1 BB, 8 K
After bullying children in Low A, Zulueta is showing the same dominance pitching for the Canadians. While he is a little bit older than the average pitcher at the level, Zulueta’s stuff is absolutely incredible.
I reckon if not for the string of unfortunate injuries since signing with the Jays, he’d likely be in Triple A already. In fact, it’s assumed by myself and others that he may very well rise up the minor league ladder quite quickly.
Zulueta is definitely a player everyone should keep an eye on, as a pitcher that can throw 100 MPH while controlling it is something special.
Before being drafted, Friday night is usually the night where the best pitchers pitch for both college and high school teams. This past Friday, pitchers in the Jays organization really showed up. Let’s start with Dahian Santos’ night.
5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.
Yeah, that’s a pretty spectacular outing for the 19-year-old. In 20 innings pitched, Santos brings his season ERA to 1.44 with a FIP of 2.72. Interestingly, 25% of fly balls have gone out for home runs, which contributes to his xFIP of 1.96.
Editor note: His FIP and xFIP hasn’t been updated yet by Fangraphs. When it does, this article will be edited. This goes for the next two pitchers as well.
Santos has had a rather high BB/9 of 4.35 this season, however, his K/9 of 17.64 will surely get him promoted to an already stacked Vancouver Canadians rotation in the near future.
It feels like the 23-year-old has been around since the Blue Jays organization had its inaugural season in 1977. The big righty made his Triple A debut on Friday night, and it was quite special.
7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Castillo had a solid start to the season with the New Hampshire Fishercats, posting a 3.10 ERA and 3.89 FIP in 29 innings pitched. While his BB/9 of 4.34 was on the rather high side, he had a good K/9 of 10.86.
The 23-year-old definitely deserved the promotion, and hopefully he can continue to build off his great debut.
Let’s be honest, you probably clicked this article for Ricky Tiedemann. The third round pick in 2021 has become easily the best pitching prospect in the organization. Here is his line from his debut with the Vancouver Canadians
4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
Although it’s a very small sample size, his High A ERA sits at 1.93 while his High A K/9 sits at 17.36. Prior to the promotion, he pitched 30 innings with the Dunedin Blue Jays, where he posted a 1.80 ERA and 1.99 FIP. Furthermore, he had a BB/9 of 3.90 with a K/9 of 14.70, which is just pure domination.
What’s crazy is that as a 19-year-old, he was over three years younger than the average pitcher in Low A. He is over four years younger than the average pitcher in High A. The fact that he has put up terrific numbers against older players bodes well for his future development.
Minor League transactions:
Mitch Bannon noted that 2018 third rounder was promoted to Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
However, my sources also tell me that the 2020 third rounder, Trent Plamer, has also been promoted to the Fisher Cats
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I’ll be writing a ton of articles this weekend, including the first edition of “Meet the Sellers”.