Nate Pearson, RHP, TOR

As Nate Pearson makes his big-league debut, what can we learn from his minor league performance?

Video courtesy of Prospects Live
  • Born: August 20, 1996
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’6″, 245-lbs
  • Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2017 MLB June Amateur Draft from Central Florida Communicty College (Ocala, FL)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

Bookending an injury-lost 2018 are two remarkably similar seasons. The walk rate, in fact, is identical, and the strikeout rate, while down in 2019, was still elite. Look at those WHIPs and you see batters had little chance against him.

The best any batters could do were lefties in Double-A who could only impose a 3.45 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. Everyone else did worse.

Nicely balanced. He won’t have any platoon issues.

Yes, the slope at Double-A went down, but it started at such a lofty mark that it was like complaining that a climber was coming down part of the way from Mt. Everest.

That fastball is all that and then some. A plus-plus offering that can hit triple digits. No wonder batters don’t like facing this guy. This may be among the best fastballs in baseball.

That slider is also plus. Then look at the speeds of his curve and change-up, and realize how that must mess with batters.

When this guy cuts the walk rate even more, and with two plus pitches and a third average one, he has the skills to become a #1 ace pitcher someday.

The Scouts

Warnings

You never like to see injuries, but that’s part of the territory with pitchers.

Uh, the walk rate could be better, make that chart above all green instead of green and blue, but now we’re quibbling.

Conclusion

Rookie pitchers making their debut don’t always see it go smoothly. No matter what he does in 2020, however, Pearson is on track to be the Blue Jays best pitcher. The only question is if that will happen next year, two years from now, three years? It will happen.

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