With the 28th pick in the draft, the Blue Jays have selected Nate Pearson from the College of Central Florida. In mock drafts, Pearson was projected to go 18th by Baseball America, 20th by MLB.com, and 22nd by ESPN.
Pearson has shown promise as a right-hander pitcher in the big leagues after putting up incredible numbers in the junior-college ranks and displaying some major-league heat with his pitches. Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 240 pounds, the 20-year-old struck out 118 batters and posted a 1.56 ERA in 81 innings pitched over 13 starts. He also hit over 100 mph repeatedly with his fastball and threw his slider in the upper-80s during a bullpen session with the Tigers in May. Though he is committed to Louisiana State University and there is debate about whether he would fit better as a starter or reliever, Pearson has the tools to be a top arm for Toronto.
Here are some of Pearson’s pitching chops:
For more on Pearson, check out Chris Cotillo’s Q&A with him here.