Two days from his 23rd birthday, Blue Jays top pitching prospect Nate Pearson has reportedly reached Triple-A.
#BlueJays RHP Nate Pearson (our No. 15 prospect) is getting the bump to Triple-A Buffalo. In 16 starts and 62.2 IP in Double-A, Pearson posted a 2.59 ERA with 69 strikeouts & 21 walks.
— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) August 18, 2019
Pearson has been one of the hottest prospects in the sport throughout the 2019 season, which he began at High-A Dunedin. At the beginning of the season, Baseball America had the hard-throwing right-hander ranked as their 70th-best prospect, now he’s up to 15th.
The reason for this jump up the rankings - and the organizational ladder - has been twofold. Firstly, Pearson has stayed healthy, which has been crucial for a guy who missed most of 2018 with a broken ulna in his right arm. Secondly, the big starter has absolutely mowed down the competition.
In 21 innings in Dunedin, he showed himself to be far too good for the level, posting a 0.86 ERA with a ridiculous K/BB ratio of 35/3. Since moving to Double-A, he’s been more human, but his 2.59 ERA and 69/21 K/BB ratio in 62.2 innings were plenty good for a first look in the upper minors.
Now, it appears the Blue Jays will give their top pitching prospect one more challenge before his season is over. Getting a taste of Triple-A this year, will put him in a good position to open 2020 at that level knowing what to expect. The promotion also serves as an acknowledgement of his excellent work thus far.
In a season all about player development, the Blue Jays have had a lot of success promoting guys like Vladmir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio to the major leagues. Some of the most crucial instances of that development are happening in the minor leagues, though, and that starts with Pearson.
It’s no secret the Blue Jays are short on pitching as an organization, and the right-hander is their best hope to be homegrown impact starter. His success in 2019, culminating in this promotion to Triple-A, is one of the most encouraging things that’s happened for the club all year.
More Blue Jays coverage from Yahoo Sports Canada