Toronto Blue Jays prospect Nate Pearson has rocketed through the team’s minor league system in 2019, and on Tuesday he looked right at home in his debut at the highest level he’s reached yet.
Pearson got the call to start for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons on his 23rd birthday against the Rochester Red Wings, and continued right along the path that had seen him dominate both Double-A and High-A earlier in the year.
He threw seven scoreless innings, striking out four, while throwing 88 pitches — 55 for strikes. He scattered three hits, walked none, and did not allow a runner to reach second base. Pearson finished strong, retiring 11 straight batters to end his outing and left with the Bisons leading 1-0.
The 2017 first round pick — 28th overall — is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Blue Jays system behind Bo Bichette, and showed every bit of the tantalizing talent that has evaluators sticking him at the top of the team’s future rotation. He mixed his pitches well — throwing fastball, change, curve, and slider — and reached back to touch 99 m.p.h on put-away fastballs.
Nate Pearson stabbing his first triple-A victim with 99-mph speed. pic.twitter.com/UWIiLTVxCF— Ryan D (@RyanDifrancesco) August 20, 2019
In 22 starts between Double-A New Hampshire and High-A Dunedin, Pearson carried a 2.15 ERA with 104 strikeouts in 83.2 innings. He made just six starts last season in Dunedin before his season ended early with a broken arm he suffered after being hit with a comebacker line drive.
Not only did Tuesday’s game signal the highest level Pearson has reached in his major league career, it also marked the first time he completed seven innings in his short time as a professional.
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