On we go to take a look at the relief pitchers for the GCL Blue Jays in 2014.
Leading the pack with 16 appearances was 20-year-old Dominican Francis Eduardo. The righty had an undistinguished season, throwing 26 innings and posting a 4.85 ERA with a 1.46 WHIP, but had a solid walk to strikeout rate, walking 12 and striking out 27.
34th-round pick Brandon Hinkle made his pro debut this year as a 23-year-old in the GCL, finishing with a 4.58 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 19 2/3 innings, striking out 18 and walking nine. For me, this is an unimpressive pro debut for a seasoned, over-age collegiate pitcher playing in a young league. I see him in Vancouver next year.
Francisco Diaz has been around the Jays’ organization since last year and the 6-foot-5 righty had mixed results compared to his 2013 season spent mostly at the same level in the GCL. While Diaz, 21, dropped his ERA by almost two runs in 2014, he regressed in both walks and strikeouts, showing far more wildness in fewer innings than last year. His 2.57 ERA is nice but the 32 walks and 18 strikeouts in 28 innings are disappointing and only the fact that he gave up 16 hits saved his already bloated 1.71 WHIP. Of most concern is the increase in HBP to 5 and wild pitches to a whopping 16 on the season. At 21, Diaz may not have much more time to turn things around.
6-foot-3 college lefty Turner Lee came to the Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent after this year’s draft. Lee was another over-age, collegiate pitcher who didn’t do much to really impress as he got lit up to the tune of a 7.89 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. His strikeout to walk ratio was pretty decent, walking 11 and striking out 23 over 29 2/3 innings but the 43 hits he allowed bloated all of his stats. That could be due to a .404 BABIP and Lee could certainly see some regression on that stat next year in a Vancouver or Bluefield assignment.
Joe Claver was another college pitcher to sign as a non-drafted free agent. His GCL season was certainly not the pro debut he was looking for as he posted an 11.95 ERA and 2.36 WHIP, walking 15 and striking out 11 over the course of 20 1/3 innings.
Angel Perdomo, a 20-year-old Dominican made his North American debut and earned the Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year award with a strong performance that outpaced many of the club’s starters. Making 13 appearances, Perdomo, a 6-foot-6 lefty, averaged over three innings per outing and posted a 2.54 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP over 46 innings, walking 21 and striking out 57. Judging by his strikeout numbers alone, Perdomo has electric stuff, striking out almost 30% (29.1% to be exact) of the batters he faced. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in A-ball next year after extended spring training.
19-year-old Pickering native Sean Ratcliffe saw a little more action with the GCL Blue Jays in 2014 but was also allowed to go play with the Canadian Junior National team during the season. His overall numbers weren’t good in a small sample of 14 1/3 innings with an 8.16 ERA, 2.58 WHIP, 17 walks and seven strikeouts. Ratcliffe is still fairly new to pitching, having been mostly a catcher before being drafted and could take a couple more years to find himself on the mound.
6-foot-4 Venezuelan lefty Jonathan Torres made his GCL debut this year after 10 innings with the DSL Jays. He only threw 5 1/3 innings in Florida and the 19 year old walked 15 and struck out six. His numbers were much better in the DSL, striking out 11, walking four and posting a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings.
Jonathon Wandling moved around this season, making appearances with three clubs but he logged the most innings in the GCL. The 22-year-old, non-drafted free agent righty posted a 3.34 ERA overall this season through 29 2/3 innings split between the GCL Jays, the Vancouver Canadians and the Dunedin Blue Jays. In the GCL, he threw 12 1/3 of those innings, allowing just nine hits and three walks while striking out nine. In Dunedin, he didn’t allow an earned run (but four unearned runs) over 5 2/3 innings on ten hits with two walks and four strikeouts while he walked five in 11 2/3 innings closing out the regular season with the Vancouver Canadians. I don’t like to read too much into the numbers for collegiate pitchers in their draft year, particularly with Wandling who threw 99 1/3 innings with the University of Southern Indiana. I can see Wandling in full-season ball in 2015 easily.
6-foot-4 righty Patrick Murphy was just getting his feet wet in pro ball this summer after recovering from Tommy John surgery all of last year. In just three appearances, Murphy threw just four innings before being shut down again in mid-July. Time will tell on this 19-year-old former third round pick (2013).
Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!
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