If Blue Jays fans want to see an image of the future that Ross Atkins has promised, look no farther than the Arizona Fall Leauge. As well as little-known prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Nate Pearson made his AFL debut and displayed why so many are high on the young pitcher.
Overall, Nate Pearson pitched three and a third scoreless innings for the Surprise Saguaros at their home ballpark.
Wilkerson worked a walk and Estrada picked up his team’s first hit of the day. However, the big righty worked around this early miscue, getting each of the next three batters out.
Despite a scoreless outing, the right-hander did show some room for improvement. While giving up three hits, he also walked three batters. Luckily, the pitcher was able to work around these base runners with two double plays—one in the second and one in the third.
While it is encouraging and impressive that the young hurler was able to induce ground balls in important spots, it’s clear that Pearson could still benefit from extra work in the AFL to develop into the dominant pitcher the Blue Jays are hoping he can be.
On a more positive side, the former first-round pick was clocked at 100 MPH to complete a first-inning strikeout, according to Baseball America News Editor Josh Norris’ twitter.
As well, it was nice to see any action out of the Blue Jays blue-chip prospect. For those unaware, the righty had to miss most of the past regular season after fracturing his forearm on a comeback line drive off the bat of Pirates prospect Tyler Gaffney.
The AFL will be an important place for Pearson to get some much-needed work and set himself up for a more successful 2019 season. At just 22-years-old, the right-hander has more than enough time to develop into the pitching prospect that the Blue Jays believe he can be.