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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Yosver Zulueta

2021 Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day Photo by Mark Brown/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Yosver Zulueta is a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher from Cuba. He was an international free agent signing, getting $1,000,000 from the Jays in 2019.

He was added to the 40-man roster in November, ahead of the Rule 5 draft.

He was #32 on our Top 40 prospect list last year. Considering missed out a lot of playing time with Tommy John soon after his signing, the cancelled minor league season due to Covid and then a torn ACL in 2021, it was sort of a leap of faith to rank him that high. Matt wrote:

Nonetheless, the promise remains tantalizing on the basis of the sheer stuff. In addition t the big fastball, he was a promising curveball as his best secondary. If it comes together, he has impact potential in a starting rotation. But even looking past the multitude of injuries, the reality is there’s a lot of pitchers with this kind of big raw stuff who have fringe value, and we really have to see what he can do with it against professional hitters (much less upper level minor leaguers or major leaguers). If it works, he moves much higher, but until then we’re satisfied to hedge due to the risk.

Further, there’s an issue of the development timeline. Zulueta will be Rule 5 eligible after this season, so if the stuff does translate, the Jays may be in the position of accelerating him to the big leagues rather than building his innings and keeping him stretched out. This would limit the upside in the right tail of the distribution of outcomes, which is where most of the current expected value derives.

In 2022 Yosver played in each level from Dunedin to Buffalo. In total, he had a 3.72 ERA in 21 appearances, 12 starts. In 55.2 innings he allowed 40 hits with 32 walks and 84 strikeouts. Yeah 5.2 walks per 9 innings is a lot but so is 13.6 strikeouts per 9.

He throws a fastball that sits 97-98 MPH and can hit 100. And he throws a mid-80s slider and a curve, and there is a work-in-progress change-up.

If it wasn’t for the lack of innings, the team would likely be planning on him being a starter, but with all that has happened, they’ll be looking at him as a reliever, with an outside shot at making the team out of spring training, but, more likely pitching in Buffalo and waiting for his opening.

Control won’t be his calling card, but when you can throw a ball 100 MPH, you’ll get chances to throw the ball past people.

Steamer figures him to get 3 games, 3 starts (I’m pretty sure they are wrong about the starts), for a total of 18 innings and a 4.74 ERA, 8 walks and 16 strikeouts. It is pretty tough for a system to figure out what a guy who has thrown 55.2 minor-league innings would do if he made it to the majors.


If the over/under on Zulueta’s MLB innings is 18 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    (180 votes)
  • 54%
    (212 votes)
392 votes total Vote Now


Where does Zulueta get most of his 2023 innings?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    New Hampshire
    (24 votes)
  • 88%
    (362 votes)
  • 5%
    (24 votes)
410 votes total Vote Now


What are you most looking forward to?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Watching Zulueta pitch.
    (188 votes)
  • 47%
    Listening to Buck try to pronounce his name.
    (168 votes)
356 votes total Vote Now