The Blue Jays bullpen needs help. No need to make a trade, giving up valuable pieces when you have possible solutions in the minor leagues
In recent seasons the Blue Jays have seen several non-prospect relief pitchers rise through the system to provide valuable innings in Toronto’s bullpen. Relievers like Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera were drafted with little fan fair, yet still they showed the ability to get major league batters out.
This season the Blue Jays bullpen has seen it’s fair share of struggles. Brett Cecil and Drew Storen were expected to anchor the back-end of the bullpen while providing a bridge from Toronto’s starter to it’s closer, Roberto Osuna.
A little more than a month into the season, several minor bullpen arms have separated themselves from the pack, putting up impressive numbers at various levels. These arms, while not high ceiling prospect and/or flamethrowers, could prove to valuable for Manager John Gibbons as he looks to find the right combination of relievers for his bullpen.
I recently looked at Dustin Antolin as a possible addition to Toronto’s worrisome bullpen. Today we will look at RHP Wil Browning.
Browning, a non-drafted free agent, signed with the Blue Jays in 2011. He throws his fastball in the low-90’s with good sink, an average slider with sharp break and change.
The 27-yr-old from Louisiana exceeded expectations at every level. He converted 25 of 27 saves for the Dunedin Blue Jays and New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2015. In his first month, Browning is 2-for-2 in save opportunities.
The 6’3″ 190lb side-arm pitcher won 13 and lost 7 in his first 4 seasons. Browning started his career in the Gulf Coast League before rising to Bluefield and finished with the Vancouver Canadians.
He spent his second year between Lansing and Dunedin, dominating both levels with a 4-3 record and 2.03ERA in 42 games.
His progression stalled in 2014, but his positive results didn’t. He went 5-1 with a 1.65ERA in 43 games with Dunedin, but didn’t have the same results with the Fisher Cats. In New Hampshire, Browning struggled to a 1-0 record and 7.11ERA in 6 games.
This lead to him repeating Advanced-A ball in 2015. In 31 games with the D-Jays Browning won 2 games and lost 1 with a 0.78 ERA. He fared much better during his time in NH, finishing with a 1-1 record and 3.86ERA in 13 games.
In 4+ seasons and over 6 levels, Wil Browning owns a 2.30 FIP, 0.97 WHIP, and 2.10 GO/AO. During his time in New Hampshire, Browning owns a 3-1 record with a 3.74 ERA, striking out 31 of his 242 career strike outs.
Browning’s splits show a tendency to struggle against LHB, while dominating RHB. Wil has held right-handed batters to a .121BA in 2015, .181BA in 2014, and .144BA in 2013.
Wil Browning may need to pass through Buffalo before getting a shot at Toronto’s bullpen. But, he’s an interesting arm to keep an eye on.
*Feature Image Credit: TC Cheever-flickr-CreativeCommons
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.