The Toronto Blue Jays will tab top pitching prospect Nate Pearson to start Wednesday's game against the defending champion Nationals, Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet reports. The Jays have already promoted several of their cadre of top prospects in the past two years, including the legacy trio of Vladimir Guerrero, Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio. They are now set to add a promising young arm to the fray.
Pearson, 23, started last season in Class A-Advanced, dominated, then made 16 starts in Double-A before finishing the season with three Triple-A starts. Across the three levels, he pitched to a 2.30 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 119 strikeouts against 27 walks in 101 2/3 innings.
Prior to the season, R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports ranked Pearson as the 16th-best prospect in all of baseball. Here's what he had to say about him:
Few pitchers, let alone prospects, have as much arm strength as Nate Pearson, who hit 103 mph during last year's Arizona Fall League All-Star Game. Pearson was in the Fall League because he had missed most of the regular season due to a fractured forearm. He rebounded just fine in 2019, tossing 101 2/3 innings across three levels. His final three starts occurred in Triple-A, where he struck out 15 batters in 18 frames. It's fair to think, then, that Pearson will make his big-league debut in 2020 -- potentially early on, too. Pearson obviously possesses a power arsenal, complete with a high-grade fastball and an above-average slider that he can deliver harder than some pitchers' heaters. The rest of his arsenal is closer to average, but the bigger concern here has to do with his workload. Even including his collegiate days, he's yet to throw as many as 105 innings in a season. Pearson becoming a front-of-the-rotation monster is within the realm of possibilities. But tempering expectations, at least in the short term, could prove to be a prudent decision.
With this only being a 60-game season, that means Pearson can avoid workload concerns and just let loose with however many innings he earns. The 2017 first-round pick out of Central Florida Community College will offer a glimpse into his potential upside this season starting Wednesday and that's pretty exciting.