4) Eric Pardinho
How acquired: Signed by Toronto Blue Jays in July 2017
Best pitches: Fastball & curveball
Eric Pardinho was signed to a US $1.4 million deal on international signing day in July 2017. Rated at the time as the fifth-best international prospect, it represented an excellent piece of business by the Blue Jays.
As per Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, Pardinho had first caught the attention of the Blue Jays and other teams in the summer of 2016. He struck out 12 batters while playing for Brazil in the under-16 Pan-American Baseball Championship against the Dominican Republic.
The 19-year-old has essentially impressed the Blue Jays with his play from day one. In 2018, despite only posting a 4-3 record in 11 starts, he had a 2.88 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 11.52 strikeouts per nine innings in the Appalachian League.
Pardinho’s fine play continued last year, highlighted by a 2.41 ERA over 33.2 innings in the Midwest League. His talent is matched by a high baseball IQ, which explains why he has been able to produce so effectively and consistently from a young age.
The Lucelia, Brazil native’s baseball IQ and his mental approach in general, will be key to his progression to the Majors. That’s because he has already had to contend with several injury issues.
The latest such setback saw Pardinho undergo Tommy John Surgery earlier this year, thus ruling him out for the whole of the 2020 season. As long as he makes a full recovery though, he has what it takes to be a regular starter in a Major League rotation.
Projection: Third or fourth starter