Blue Jays farm possesses a group of 6-foot-5 plus pitchers, JFtC provides a rundown of who they are and where they’ll play in 2018
It’s long been debated that short pitchers are less durable than average/taller pitchers. Teams tend to shy away from drafting or signing a shorter pitcher. While there are no definite conclusions to be made on the validity of this argument, this mindset appears ingrained in baseball.
But don’t tell Marcus Stroman #HDMH.
Granted, it is impossible for Marcus Stroman to replicate the downward plane generated from pitchers nearly a foot taller than his 5-foot-10 frame. Stroman uses quick arm speed to throw the ball harder than his taller counterparts. For him, arm speed is more important than longer limbs. I am not picking on Stroman. I am justing using an example Toronto fans can easily relate to.
Perrenial All-Star and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson was an intimidating figure on the mound. With the nickname ‘Big Unit’, he stands 6-foot-10 and could touch 100 mph on the radar gun.
While Randy Johnson was by far the most successful pitcher with NBA type height, he wasn’t the tallest. The title of tallest Major League player belongs to former Blue Jays reliever Jon Rauch, who stood 6′ 11″. Between 2002 and 2013 Rauch filled out a major league uniform like no other. Rauch played for Toronto in 2011; therefore, he also has the distinction of being the tallest Blue Jay ever.
Ryan Doherty and Loek Van Mil each hold the distinction of being the tallest baseball player at 7-foot-1; however, neither managed to make it to the major leagues. So Rauch is safe for now.
The dreaded New York Yankees have 4 pitchers, 6-foot-6 or greater on their current 40-man roster. Dellin Betances stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 265lbs. John Montgomery and CC Sabathia both stand 6-foot-6, while prospect Domingo Acevedo measures 6-foot-7.
Blue Jays pitchers aren’t short by any stretch of the imagination, but they don’t possess any pitchers greater than 6-foot-5….of which they have four.
The Toronto Blue Jays system isn’t hiding any 7-foot pitchers, it does have a cast of pitchers with some impressive height, though.
For the purpose of this exercise, I’ve limited the list to pitchers matching the Blue Jays current 6-foot-5 ceiling.
Entering his 7th season in the Blue Jays system. In 2017, Gonzalez struggled in Double-A but turned his season around in Advanced-A. He should get another shot at Double-A in 2018.
Signed as a free agent in 2016, Eveld experienced four levels in 2017. He appeared to be filling the role depth piece. A role he may fill again in 2018 as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts.
The former 15th round draft pick, the late-inning reliever dominated in 2017. Jackson finished his season with the Advanced-A Blue Jays and is expected to graduate to Double-A to start the 2018 season.
This tall lefty continues to bounce between the bullpen and rotation. In 2017, Tayler made 13 starts and 20 appearances out of the bullpen for Lansing and Dunedin. He finished the year in the D-Jays rotation and is expected to start 2018 in the same role.
Toronto’s 2017 1st round selection looked good in limited action with the Vancouver Canadians. Some view him as a dominant late-inning reliever but the Blue Jays are expected to develop him the rotation until he proves otherwise. Pearson will likey head straight to Advance-A in 2018.
The former 33rd round pick looked good as a member of the C’s bullpen in 2017. The 22-yr-old will get his first shot at full-season A-Ball as he is set to join the Lugnuts in 2018.
Another last round pick, Deramo had two bad months with the Lansing Lugnuts. He posted pedestrian numbers in June and August; therefore, he should return to Lansing to start the season.
It seems as though I’ve been waiting for Perdomo to develop for far too long. Perdomo struggled a bit with his command in 2017, making 16 starts with the D-Jays. His season ended on July 6th. He will likely start the year in Dunedin’s rotation, although a transition to the bullpen may not be far off.
Claimed in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, Muren made it to Triple-A in 2017 and that is where he is likely to land in 2018.
The 2017 7th round selection made 6 starts and 3 relief appearances, amassing just 15 innings. The 2018 launching pad for Laws is not certain, I’d start him in Lansing but he may see more time in Extended Spring Training to start the year.
The former 1st round selection spent some time on the DL in 2017 but managed to put together a successful season. He made 11 starts with the D-Jays and looked really good in the AFL championship game. Zeuch has a chance of starting the year as a member of the Double-A Fisher Cats.
Things didn’t well in 2017 as a member of the Bluefield bullpen. The 25-yr-old undrafted lefty made just 16 appearances, walking almost as many batters as he struck out and allowing more hits than innings pitched. While he is still listed as active, his age combined with the results suggests he may not be brought back in 2018.
Price made his professional debut on August 1st, 2017 after signing as a free agent on July 31st. After retiring just one batter and allowing 4 earned runs in his debut, Price looked much better in his other two appearances which came nearly a month after his debut (August 30th and September 2nd).
This was meant to be a fun exercise and is not meant to suggest the current front office is or will be only targeting pitchers of height. The idea was born when thinking of 2020 rotation configurations which consisted of 1st rounder Nate Pearson and T.J. Zuech. I suppose I should do a follow-up post looking at the other end of the spectrum.
Feel free to include, in the comment section, any current Blue Jay pitchers prospects greater than 6-foot-5 that I may have overlooked.
*Featured Image Credit: C Stem- JFtC
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