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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-man: Thomas Hatch

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American League Wild Card Game 1: Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We picked up Thomas Hatch in trade for David Phelps at the end of June 2019. Now we have Phelps back.

Hatch had been the Cubs' first draft pick in the 2016 draft, but then their first pick came in the third round that year.

At the time, I asked Al Yellon for a scouting report:

It seems like Al was right about the ‘better in relief.’

He was #19 on our Top 40 Prospects list last year. Matt wrote:

He was back in AA in 2019 with similar results, appearing to have stagnated. Then came the trade, and he moved to New Hampshire where he was exceptional for the last month. In 35 innings, 2.80 ERA with 34 strikeouts and two walks despite giving up five home runs. The report on Hatch was a decent fastball and slider, with a fringy changeup. The Jays reportedly had him using a cutter more often, and watching his starts it was apparently that was a significant part of the mix.

If that’s a difference maker, it could see Hatch profiling as a backend starter, with a fastball up to 94-95. His slider looked solid to me, but it’s not true wipeout putaway pitch. Hatch should move up to Buffalo in 2020, and could debut at some point later in the season though 2021 might be likelier. He’s among the numerous pitchers on the 40-man without MLB experience the organization has to work through, but regardless this will be Hatch’s first and only appearance on Top 40 (proper).

Hatch pitched out of our pen last year. He pitched in 17 games, had a 2.73 ERA in 26.1 innings. Batters hit .191/.303/.298 against him. He threw hard, averaged 95.8 MPH on the fastball. Baseball America picked him as Jays' Rookie of the Year.

PECOTA figures him to pitch in in 40 games, 60 innings with a 3.77 ERA. ZiPS still sees him as a starter, picking him to make 21 starts and 10 relief appearances for 112 innings and a 5.14 ERA.

I’m not sure what the plan is. He’s in the unfortunate spot of having options, so I’d imagine he’ll be up and down this season. I’d like him to be a multi-inning reliever. It is tough to convince Charlie to do those things, but Hatch did go as long as 2.2 innings last year and had four relief outings of 2 innings or more. This winter, the team suggested that he be looked at as a starter, making it more likely that he wouldn’t start the season in the majors. But then I’d rather have him in the rotation than Tanner Roark.

I don’t think Hatch has pitched in a spring game yet. I don’t know if there is a reason for that or just taking their time with him.

Poll

If the over/under on innings for Hatch is 60 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Over
    (126 votes)
  • 45%
    Under
    (106 votes)
232 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Hatch gets most of his 2021 innings

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Pitching out of the Jays rotation
    (56 votes)
  • 56%
    Pitching out of the Jays bullpen
    (137 votes)
  • 20%
    In the minors
    (51 votes)
244 votes total Vote Now