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Meet Our New Blue Jay: Jeremy Jeffress


We have another right-handed reliever (at least I'd imagine they plan on having him stay a reliever) in Jeremy Jeffress. Alex seems to be hoarding RH relievers, maybe he has another trade on the back burner. Scott Maine has been designated for assignment to make room for Jeffress on the 40-man.

Jeremy was a first round draft pick (number 16 overall) by the Brewers in 2006 out of high school. He was part of a big trade between the Brewers and the Royals in December of 2010, going with Lorenzo Cain, Alcides and Jake Odorizzi to Kansas, while Yuniesky Betancourt, Zack Greinke and some money.

He's pitched 151 games in the minors. 64 of them were starts, but the last year he was in the bullpen full time. In 421 minor league innings, he's allowed 345 hits, 29 home runs, 254 walks and 468 strikeouts, with a 4.31 ERA. Last year, in Triple A, he had a 4.97 ERA in 58 innings, 52 hits, 4 home runs, 25 walks and 61 k.

In his minor league career he has averaged 10 k/9 innings, but 5.4 BB/9.

He's pitched in 37 games, all in relief, in the majors, in the last 3 seasons. He has a 4.89 ERA in 38.2 innings, 39 hits, 1 home run, 30 walks, and 34 strikeouts.

Jeremy was ranked as the 100th best prospect by Baseball America, in 2009. He throws hard. From Baseball Prospectus:

The Good: Few pitchers in baseball can match Jeffress' ability to light up a radar gun, as in short stints he routinely hits triple digits and has been clocked as high as 102 mph. Beyond the heater, he adds a plus power curveball that can be unhittable when he's throwing it for strikes. He's ultra-athletic with an easy, loose arm action.

But of course, hitting the strike zone has been the problem.

Course the reason we got him so cheaply is because he has had a couple of suspensions for using marijuana. He's missed 150 games with 2 suspensions. It isn't exactly a performance enhancing drug but, even with it becoming legal in a couple of states, baseball is pretty conservative. There are reports that he would have a life-time ban if he was caught again, that is not true.

He was also arrested for disorderly conduct, assault and criminal damage in a "argument" between him and his girl friend. I think it is kind of funny that baseball suspends a guy for 100 games for pot, but domestic assault is ok. Hopefully all that stuff is behind him.

So another power arm, who brings some baggage with him, but he could have a fair bit up upside for the Jays.