Pitching for the first time, Nate Pearson showed why he’s a valuable pitcher going forward for the Toronto Blue Jays with his approach.
There is a saying about data and information, “it’s only as good if you use it,” and in the case of Nate Pearson and the Toronto Blue Jays, that appears to be the case.
Everyone has their eye on the Blue Jays top pitching prospect who took the mound against the New York Yankees and showed why the hype is justified striking out the side. As many reported, the radar gun at the Blue Jays ballpark was not ready so it’s tough to say what the velocity was like for Pearson but it was probably good enough considering he only needed 12 pitches to get out of his inning.
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While Pearson’s ability to blow batters away with his fastball and slider is what catches everyone’s eye, there appears to be more to it than that for the 23-year-old. He also makes sure to use any and all data available to him to get an advantage (within the rules, of course).
Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling brought up some of this including the Blue Jays approach to ensuring that their most important arm in the system comes along properly in his development with his health being the main priority. Zwelling also notes Pearson’s work with Driveline Baseball, a high-performance development program.
Usually, when a pitcher is dealing with fatigue, it shows in his mechanics and delivery which for a pitcher like Pearson who throws at a high velocity can be an issue. Along with that, having data that tracks his pitches will also help the Blue Jays determine the next steps Pearson has to take in his development.
"“We’re using all of those as pieces to the equation to give him the best chance to be successful,” GM Ross Atkins told Zwelling. “If we’re seeing arm-slot changes, if we’re seeing spin rates decrease, we’d rather have information so we can avoid those things happening. Maybe they’re the most subtle adjustments in spin rates, or position, or arm action, or arm slot, or hand position that we’re able to make and be a little bit more proactive.”"
Sometimes, pitchers can be cautious about relying too much on data but teammates say that Pearson is really into analytics. That approach can go a long way in helping him reach the majors even if the team wants to give him more time in triple-A Buffalo.
Do you think Pearson will be with the Buffalo Bisons all-season long or do you think he will make it to the MLB at some point? Let us know in the comments below.