Yosver Zulueta’s incredible 2022 continues.
Per Francys Romero, the 24-year-old Cuban is getting a promotion to Triple A Buffalo.
It feels like eons ago, but the hard-throwing righty started his season with the Low A Dunedin Blue Jays, posting a 3 ERA and 1.44 FIP in 12 innings pitched, all as a starter. He also had 45.1 K% and 5.9 BB%, granted he was two years older than the average pitcher in the Florida State League.
He was promoted to High A Vancouver, where he posted a 3.80 ERA and 3.37 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched, where he started all six games he appeared in. Furthermore, he had a 30.4 K% and 10.8 BB% with the C’s.
Although he walked quite a few batters, he earned a promotion to the Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he posted a 4.11 ERA and 4.33 FIP. He had a pretty incredible 34.2 K%, but his BB% elevated to 19.2%. Moreover, he only started his first two games before heading to the pen for his last seven games.
The promotion surprised me, as he was starting to show command issues, but it makes sense with the Double A season winding down after Sunday. Triple A Buffalo only has ten games remaining and is in the thick of a playoff race, so Zulueta out of the pen could be a big help.
What’s even more astounding about his 2022, is the fact that it’s really his first professional season stateside since signing with the Jays in 2019. You know the story, COVID and Tommy John didn’t allow him to pitch in 2020, and after facing just one batter in 2021, he tore his ACL.
Zulueta impressed in the 2021 spring training, and he carried that over into 2022. He can hit 100 mph with ease, although there are concerns his arm is tired, as he only sat around 97 mph on his last outing.
Furthermore, he offers good breaking stuff, with a nasty sweeping slider, and a curveball he can drop in for a strike. He also features a changeup, which arguably is his second-best pitch.
Throwing 100 mph out of the big league pen is promising, but I believe that the 24-year-old Cuban could be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. He has the stuff and the velocity, and his command can be attributed to missing two years of pitching.
Zulueta will be Rule 5 eligible at the end of the season, so he’ll obviously be added to the 40-man roster as he’d be drafted if he were exposed. It’s not impossible to imagine he could be in the Blue Jays bullpen as soon as next season, but I hope he’s stretched out as a starter for the Bisons in 2023.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Also give Francys Romero a follow @FrancysRomeroFR. He’s as credible as they come, as he’s always bang-on about Latin American player news, especially Cubans.