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The Best, The Worst & The Rest: A Look at Top Blue Jays Prospects From The Past Week

Shut up, Kyle
Shut up, Kyle

The Best

So I’ve watched every start of Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison since they’ve joined the Buffalo Bisons and I would say after their last starts Drabek seems to be ahead of Hutchison at this point, which might be why Drabek was promoted and Hutch was left off of the list of September call-ups. In Drabek’s start on August 30 he went four innings giving up four hits while allowing one earned run, but here’s the best part: he issued no walks while striking out six.

In this start Drabek pitched ahead with his fastball sitting 91-93 mph and the Rochester broadcast mentioned that Drabek said he feels the best he ever has. What jumped out at me the most was how much he was using his curveball, and it was excellent on this night, with the Rochester broadcast making a point several times of mentioning how sharp his curveball looked.

Drabek was mostly using his curve when he was ahead in the count, getting the hitters to chase it out of the zone, while I don’t recall Drabek having used the curve that often in Toronto. I wonder now if that’s because he was pitching behind so often. The use of his curve along with his command will be something to keep an eye on this September.

Marcus Stroman is going to get the honour of being mentioned in two sections today, but first with what may have been his best start of the year, which coincidentally was also his final start of the year in AA, and the final game for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats as well on September 2. Stroman was sitting around 92-94 mph, topping out at 96 mph and he was dealing. Stroman’s pitching line was eight innings, two hits, one earned run, zero walks, 11 strikeouts, no home runs and eight ground outs to four fly outs. His control was spot-on in this game; he needed only 103 pitches to go eight innings, and as always with Stroman it’s important to note no that he gave up no home runs. Stroman pitched so well it prompted him to tweet this after the game:

Just a quick note on Bluefield Blue Jays starter Alberto Tirado. Unfortunately Bluefield was eliminated from the playoffs but I did listen the final game, and according to the broadcast Tirado was up to 97 mph on the fastball and had a great changeup coming in at around 87 mph, so yeah I’ll take more of that.

After a slow start Blue Jays 30th round draft pick Rowdy Tellez finished really strong in the Gulf Coast League with that natural power that I’ve read so much about since being drafted finally starting to show up. Due to this surge Tellez made the "In the Team Photo" section of Baseball America’s Prospect Hot Sheet for August 30th:

"Tellez, 18, went 10-for-24 with five extra-base hits this week in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he’s shown a patient approach"

The Worst

Unlike Stroman’s start on September 2 where he showed excellent command, Stroman was close to the opposite of that for his start on August 27. Stroman was throwing 94-96 mph with his changeup coming in at around 86 mph, but between what sounded like an extremely tight strike zone and Stroman not commanding his pitches it led to his early exit after only three innings, giving up five runs (four earned) while walking three and striking out just one. But hey, no home runs!

Drew Hutchison struggled in his last outing, but the final pitching line of 3.2 innings with seven hits, five runs (three earned), one walk and five strikeouts looks far worse than it really was. Hutch suffered a fair amount of bad luck this start with lots of weakly hit balls finding holes. In his last two starts Hutch has been consistently sitting in the low 90’s with his fastball.

The Rest

I noticed a couple of interesting Blue Jays related tweets from this past week I thought I’d put in this section, the first comes from the injury expert Will Carroll:

I’m guessing this is not the kind of reputation a team would want. And one from Maury Brown from the on what the Jays can expect attendance wise next year:

Finally just to cement home how bad the offseason trade with the Mets is being viewed by some Zach Mortimer of Baseball Prospectus gave us this: