Trent Edward Thornton...Graduated from Ardrey Kell High School (NC) in 2012...Attended the University of North Carolina where he went 22-12 with a 2.82 ERA over 63 games...Was named a freshman All-American by Baseball America, Perfect Game, the NCBWA and Louisville Slugger in 2013, after setting a school freshman record with 12 wins... Ranked as Toronto's 15th-best prospect by MLB heading into 2019... Participated in the 2020 Blue Jays Winter Tour in Calgary, AB.
Led the team in starts (29), innings (154.1) and strikeouts (149)... Led AL rookies with 149 strikeouts (4th among MLB rookies)...His 8.69 SO/9 led all MLB rookies (min. 150 IP) and was 8th highest by any pitcher in club history...His 149 K's were the 2nd most in a season by a Blue Jays rookie all-time (Mark Eichhorn - 166 in 1986)... His 29 starts were the most by a Toronto rookie since Ricky Romero's 29 starts in 2009...His 10 starts of 1-or-0 ER were the 2nd most ever by a Blue Jays rookie (Juan Guzman - 12 in 1991)... Held a 5.56 ERA (48 ER/77.2 IP) vs. AL East opponents and a 4.11 ERA (35 ER/76.2 IP) vs. all others... Made his MLB debut on March 31 vs. DET...Fanned Nicholas Castellanos in the 1st inning for his 1st strikeout en route to striking out the side…Struck out the next batter in the 2nd inning, becoming the 1st starter in team history to record his first four MLB outs as strikeouts…With his punch-out of Mikie Mahtook in the 5th, set the record for most strikeouts by a Blue Jays pitcher in their MLB debut as he finished with two hits allowed over 5.0 innings, eight strikeouts and no walks…Became the 2nd pitcher in MLB history with 8+ strikeouts, no runs, no walks and less than two hits allowed in an MLB debut (Nick Kingham on April 29, 2018 vs. STL - 1H, 9K)...Retired all 11 right-handed hitters...Became the 46th player in team history to make his MLB debut as a starter (last: Sean Reid-Foley on Aug. 13, 2018 at KC)... Recorded seven K's on April 5 at CLE, setting a team record with 15 strikeouts in his first two games (Roy Halladay - 13 in 1998)...Went 5.2 innings with three hits and two runs allowed... Became the first starting pitcher since Boston's Eduardo Rodriguez in 2015 to go 5+ IP with three-or-fewer hits and at least 7 strikeouts in each of his first two MLB starts... Took his 1st career loss on April 12 vs. TB as he allowed five runs on eight hits over 3.0+ innings (3HR, 2BB, 3K)... Was given a no-decision on April 28 vs. OAK as he gave up one run on two hits over 5.0 innings...Recorded seven strikeouts but walked five batters - the most walks in a game in his professional career... Made his longest scoreless start on May 3 at TEX, tossing 7.0 innings of one-hit ball (2BB, 5K)...The Jays eventually won, 1-0, in 12 innings... Earned his 1st win on May 14 at SF with three hits and two runs allowed over 5.2 innings (5BB, 7K)...Had gone winless through his first eight starts, tied with Ty Taubenheim (2006-2007) for 2nd most all-time to start a Blue Jays career, one back of Paul Menhart in 1995 (courtesy STATS)...Went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored twice, becoming the 3rd pitcher in team history to record a hit in his 1st game with a plate appearance, joining Woody Williams (June 13, 1997 at PHI) and Chris Michalak (June 17, 2001 at MON)...Became the 4th pitcher in franchise history with two hits in a game, joining Roy Halladay, Drew Hutchison and J.A. Happ... Struck out a career-high 10 batters on May 24 vs. SD...Allowed three runs on four hits and three walks while hurling a career-high 112 pitches (62 strikes)...His 60 K's tied for 2nd most all-time by a Blue Jays pitcher in his first 11 MLB games (Ricky Romero - 61; Marc Rzepczynski - 60)... Earned his 2nd career W on June 16 at HOU as he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings (6H, 3BB, 7K)...Had 11 runs of support in the game, after receiving just 23 in his prior 14 starts combined... Allowed a career-high seven runs on a career-high 11 hits in 2.2 innings of work on July 2 vs. BOS (1BB, 1K)... Picked up his 1st home win on July 7 vs. BAL with 6.0 scoreless innings (3H, 0BB, 5K)...Tied Roy Halladay and Drew Hutchison for a team record with four scoreless starts within his first 19 games... His 97 K's were the most by a Toronto rookie before the All-Star break all-time, ahead of Mark Eichhorn (82 in 1986)...His 9.22 SO/9 before the All-Star break was 5th highest in team history (min. 90 IP)... Had his shortest career outing on July 15 at BOS as he gave up five runs over 1.1 innings pitched (5H, 3BB, 0K)... Pulled after a rain delay on July 20 at DET, having tossed 3.0+ innings (4ER, 1BB, 3K)...Reached 100 strikeouts in 21 games, 3rd fastest in team history (Juan Guzman - 20; Drew Hutchison - 20)... Landed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation from July 21-31... Returned from the IL for his start on Aug. 1 at BAL and gave up a lone run on five hits over 6.0 innings (0BB, 2K) for his 4th win and his 7th quality start... Took a tough-luck loss as the Jays fell, 1-0, on Aug. 11 vs. NYY... Retired the first 12 batters he faced and finished with six K's and one earned run over 6.0 innings (3H, 1BB)... Made his 1st career relief appearance on Sept. 11 vs. BOS and earned the win with 5.0 hitless innings, including one walk and seven strikeouts...The seven K's tied for 5th most in a relief appearance in team history…Joined Roy Lee Jackson (5.0 IP on Sept. 28, 1982 vs. MIN) as the only Blue Jays to throw 5.0+ hitless innings of relief... Made his 2nd relief appearance on Sept. 17 at BAL and threw 5.0 innings of one-run ball (3H, 1BB, 4K)... Allowed four runs over 5.0 innings of relief on Sept. 22 at NYY (5H, 1HR, 0BB, 3K)...Became the 1st pitcher in team history with three consecutive relief appearances of 5.0+ IP (eight players - 2G)... Made his final start on Sept. 28 vs. TB and threw 5.0 scoreless innings with just one hit (4BB, 8K)...Was his 6th outing of 5+ innings and no runs, tying Drew Hutchison for the most ever by a Toronto pitcher in his first 32 career games.
Spent the entire campaign with Triple-A Fresno ... Went 9-8 with a 4.42 ERA over 24 games (22 starts) while striking out 122 batters (31 walks) over 124.1 innings en route to a career-best opponents' batting average of .248 (1.20 WHIP) ... Earned PCL Pitcher of the Week on June 17 (1GS, 8.0 IP, 1H, 2BB, 3K) ... Struck out a career-high 11 batters over six innings on June 29 at Sacramento (4H, 4ER, 1BB) ... Earned the win in both of his postseason starts, combining for a 1.64 ERA (2 ER/11.0 IP) with 13 hits, four walks and 14 strikeouts ... Played for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League...Posted a 4.02 ERA (7 ER/15.2 IP) with 20 strikeouts and four walks across nine relief appearances...Was named to the AFL Rising Stars Team ... Was acquired from Houston in exchange for INF Aledmys Diaz on November 17 and added to Toronto's 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
Spent the majority of his season at Triple A Fresno, but went a combined 9-6 with a 5.21 ERA (76ER/131.1IP) and 101 strikeouts between Fresno (21g) and Double A Corpus Christi (4g)...began the season with the Hooks and made four appearances (three starts)...went 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA (11ER/16.1IP)... moved up to Triple A at the end of April and remained at that level through the end of the year...went 8-4 with a 5.09 ERA (65ER/115IP) in 21 games (20 starts) with the Grizzlies...posted the second-best walks per 9.0 innings ratio (1.80, 23BB/115IP) in the Pacific Coast League... ended the season with three straight quality starts, going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA (5ER/20IP)...tied a career-high with 8.0 innings in his final outing of the year at Salt Lake on Sept. 2, allowing two runs on six hits in a Fresno win.
Split his season between Double A Corpus Christi (7g) and Class A Advanced Lancaster (17g), combining to go 10-5 with a 3.52 ERA (53ER/135.2IP) and 124 strikeouts versus 21 walks in 24 games (21 starts)... began the season at Lancaster, going 7-4 with a 4.12 ERA (41ER/89.2IP) and 89 strikeouts...was named the Lancaster July Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA (8ER/26.2IP), two walks and 28 strikeouts in four starts during July...moved up to Corpus Christi at the end of July and excelled, going 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA (12ER/46IP) and 35 strikeouts with five walks to end his year.
Began his professional career at Class A Short Season Tri-City, posting a 4-0 record with a 3.27 ERA (20ER/55IP) in 15 games (12 starts).