Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Backed by Vlad, Jays' Pearson sharp in AFL debut

October 12, 2018

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A round of applause followed Toronto Blue Jays' top pitching prospect, Nate Pearson, into the dugout as he exited his Fall League debut for the Surprise Saguaros in the fourth inning.Pearson, the Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect and No. 90 overall, tossed 3 1/3 innings allowing two

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A round of applause followed Toronto Blue Jays' top pitching prospect, Nate Pearson, into the dugout as he exited his Fall League debut for the Surprise Saguaros in the fourth inning.
Pearson, the Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect and No. 90 overall, tossed 3 1/3 innings allowing two hits, no runs while striking out four and walking three.
"I felt pretty good. In the pen everything was coming out good, and I was throwing some strikes," Pearson said. "I had a good feel for all of my pitches, and I was just trying to carry that out to the game and luckily I was able to."
Box Score
Considering a 2018 riddled with injuries, the outing is a huge step forward for the 2017 first-round-pick out of the College of Central Florida. The 6-foot-6 right hander logged just 1 2/3 innings for the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays this past season after a back injury kept him out until May. In Pearson's 2018 debut, a sharp comebacker broke his right forearm and ended his season.
2018 Arizona Fall League rosters
"I feel great, I learned a lot being on the DL the whole year and how to take care of my body even more," Pearson said after his first in-game action since the injury. "I'm just thankful to be out here, to be healthy and just compete."
Pearson mixed his pitches well and left Glendale hitters off balance. Despite walking the lead-off hitter in three of the four innings he appeared in, Pearson was able to induce two double plays to get out of jams. His velocity hovered in the mid-90s for most of the outing and even touched triple digits at points according to the radar gun at Surprise Stadium.
Fellow Surprise Saguaro and top overall MLB prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., continued to impress at the plate going 3-for-5 with three singles and two RBIs on the day.
19-year-old Guerrero got the scoring going early with a single to right field in the first inning off Glendale starter and Cleveland Indians farmhand, Justin Garza. Guerrero's second RBI came in the bottom of the 7th inning on a chopper through the hole between the shortstop and third baseman.
Guerrero currently leads the Arizona Fall League in batting average, hitting a 'cool' .643 while displaying a 1.595 OPS.
If Fall League success holds any validation for Blue Jays fans, Friday gave them a glimpse into what the future may hold.
Game Note: Outfielder Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox' No. 4 prospect and No. 44 overall, left the game with trainers after running out a fielder's choice in the top of the sixth inning. Robert has been removed from Saturday's Bowman Hitting Challenge and will be replaced by Laz Rivera as the White Sox representative according to MLB.com's William Boor.

Jake Trybulski is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.