Upcoming on Jays Journal’s once-a-year record of the top Blue Jays prospective clients is Trent Thornton, a proper-handed pitcher obtained from the Houston Astros in exchange for Aledmys Diaz in November, who must join the significant-league squad at some place in 2019.
Although a newcomer to the corporation with some prospective, proper-handed pitcher Trent Thornton represents almost infinite question marks as a prospect.
Right after becoming obtained by the Blue Jays from the Houston Astros in exchange for infielder Aledmys Diaz, numerous were being skeptical about his means to add regularly to a significant league group.
His age offers fears, while his unorthodox leg kick (examined eloquently by Kaitlyn McGrath of the Athletic in a recent column) would make him hard to picture in a significant league uniform.
Continue to, following a solid 2018 year (put in with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies), he found his way onto the Blue Jays’ top 30 prospect record on MLB Pipeline, earning himself an invite to large league spring instruction as a non-roster invitee.
Regardless of wherever he commences the year, it’ll be fascinating to see how he fares as he enters large league camp with his new corporation.
Name: Trent Thornton
Situation: P Age: 25
Peak: 6’0” Weight: 175 lbs
Acquired: November 2018 in a trade with the Houston Astros
Routinely ready to access 95mph (and often touching 97mph), Thornton’s fastball, which was rated a 60 by MLB Pipeline, is his most utilized pitch. Probable his greatest asset, Fangraphs is self-confident in his fastball likely forward.
In 2018, the native of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia pitched to an Period of 4.42 in 124.1 frames, putting out 122 and going for walks just 31.
Boasting a FIP of 4.01, he experienced a record of 9-8 and commenced 22 video games. Prior to that, in 2017, also with Fresno, he tossed 115. innings to an Period of 5.09, adding 88 strikeouts and publishing an uneasy WHIP of 1.391.
With remarkable spin rates on his breaking pitches, Thornton’s array of secondary pitches, which consists of a changeup, curveball, and slider, are flexible but undeveloped. With a “power[ful] and [deep] changeup”, he’ll have to “trust his changeup more”, per Pipeline. His slider, which could, at some place, transition to a cutter, has been one particular of his most improved pitches of the previous year.
Owning walked just 6.% of batters in 2018, his means to hit the strike zone is some thing to behold. Of course, he’ll need some extra innings at the game’s best degree to hone his command. Continue to, his command is not some thing to be anxious about likely forward, with Pipeline praising his “strike-throwing ability” in their report.
For this explanation, he could do nicely as a multi-inning reliever, some thing that numerous scouting studies have extensively alluded to. With his uncanny means to restrict totally free passes, he could conceivably operate as a center/long reliever, if he can hold his strikeout numbers up, that is.
Long term Value
With a large league spring instruction invite beneath his belt, Thornton could really nicely add to the significant league group in 2019, even if, for some explanation, he fails to make the group out of spring instruction. Eric Longenhagen, guide prospect analyst at Fangraphs, writes that in Thornton, the Blue Jays obtained a pitcher who has “bat-missing stuff” and has the prospective to be truly worth 1.5-2. WAR in his very first full year.
Approximated by the two Fangraphs and Pipeline to join the significant league roster in the course of the 2019 year, Thornton is arguably the small league pitcher who is the closest to building an effect in the bigs. When there is, understandably, pretty a little bit to sort out, 2019 will be a telling year for him as the corporation decides his best job.