Toronto Blue Jays top ten prospects for 2020

SURPRISE, AZ - OCTOBER 18: Nate Pearrson #20 of the Surprise Saguaros and Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the 2018 Arizona Fall League on October 18, 2018 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
SURPRISE, AZ - OCTOBER 18: Nate Pearrson #20 of the Surprise Saguaros and Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the 2018 Arizona Fall League on October 18, 2018 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

1. Nate Pearson

Minors (A+, AA, AAA): 101.2 innings, 5-4 record, 2.30 ERA, 0.885 WHiP, 27 walks, 119 strikeouts

After two injury riddled seasons, Nate Pearson finally had his coming out party for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Selected with the Blue Jays second first round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, Pearson caught everyone’s attention by throwing 102 MPH during a bullpen session before the draft. However, he pitched a combined 21.2 innings over his first two professional seasons, as he was sidelined with an intercostal strain and a fractured ulna after being hit with a comebacker.

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Finally healthy this year, he displayed the stuff that made him such a high draft pick. His fastball is electric, sitting in the upper 90s and can reach 100 MPH – he even threw the heater at 104 MPH during his one inning in the Fall Stars Game. Pearson pairs that with a plus slider with late bite, generating strikeouts and grounders when contact is made. He occasionally flashes a curve and a change, but both offerings lag far behind the fastball and slider. In fact, those two offerings would make Pearon a bullpen weapon right now, potentially even a dominant closer.

Because of those injuries and his playing just one season in community college, Pearson is still a bit of an unknown. The stuff is there, particularly his fastball and slider. Toronto also took the gloves off with Pearson in the second half of the year, removing his pitch counts and unleashing him on the minors. If he can stay healthy, it would not be a surprise to see him make his major league debut by the All Star Break, especially if he dominates in AAA the way he tore through the minors last year.

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The Toronto Blue Jays need to find a top of the rotation arm, a true ace as they look to break out of the AL East basement. Nate Pearson could be the pitcher they need.