In a different, perhaps darker timeline where the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t already boast a batting order with young players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette making highlights and setting records at the major league level, Nate Pearson alone would fit the bill as a top prospect with enough hype to keep fans feeling optimistic about building a team with a bright future.
As it stands the Blue Jays have the best of both worlds, with Pearson continuing his rapid ascent through the team’s minor league system and closing out a season that has seen him pitch at three levels including exclamation point performances with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
The 23-year-old tossed seven scoreless innings in his debut at the level on Tuesday and he carried over that performance with another gem in his second appearance on Sunday afternoon.
Pearson pitched six innings for the Bisons against the Pawtucket Red Sox, allowing two hits and two runs while striking out seven. The two hits came back-to-back in the 2nd inning and included a two-run home run, leaving Pearson to cruise the rest of the way. He sat down 15 of the next 17 batters he faced — at one point striking out five straight — and only allowed the pair to reach base via hit by pitch and a wild third strike.
Velocity is the calling card for Pearson, and he regularly pumped his fastball in at speeds between 97 and 99 mph. As Red Sox hitters adjusted to the heat he turned to his off-speed pitches to finish off at-bats, using them to register four of his seven punch outs.
Nate Pearson is a fireball-throwing giant that breaks baseballs in the dirt. pic.twitter.com/gQti9fNO3Z— Ryan D (@RyanDifrancesco) August 25, 2019
Through two starts at the level he now carries a 1.38 ERA and has not issued a walk. These numbers are in line with his performances at previous levels in 2019. He dominated High-A with a 0.86 ERA, and continued to roll through Double-A to the tune of a 2.59 mark through 16 starts.
He’s now thrown 96.2 innings at all levels this year with a combined 2.05 ERA. If he continues to excel in Buffalo for the rest of this year and beginning of the next, the only place left to increase his workload would be a slot in the major league rotation.
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