It’s been an eventful 2019 for Toronto Blue Jays top pitching prospect Nate Pearson.
Beginning the year at high-A Dunedin then cruising through double-A at New Hampshire before getting yet another promotion to triple-A Buffalo, the 23-year-old has had a steady climb through Toronto’s minor-league system.
Next stop: The Show.
Just probably not this year.
Speaking on Sportsnet 590 the FAN’s Good Show Thursday afternoon, Pearson didn’t sound like a guy who was getting ready for a September call-up.
“[The Blue Jays] haven’t really talked to me about anything,” Pearson said. “I’m just assuming I’m going home if we don’t make the playoffs [here in Buffalo] and taking some time off. That’s all I really have planned right now.”
This is likely disappointing news to Blue Jays fans who likely haven’t had a chance to see the 100-m.p.h. throwing hurler pitch live before but he’s only had two starts in triple-A thus far and has already logged a total of 96.2 innings pitched in a year where he came back from injuries that kept him shelved for nearly all of 2018.
The injuries Pearson suffered led to much skepticism over how he’d be able to perform in 2019 but, as a sparkling 2.05 ERA with a 10.6 K/9 across all three levels he’s pitched at this season indicates, Pearson has had no ill effects from his recovery and has probably never looked sharper.
But this success Pearson’s found hasn’t just been because he’s healthy again, a key reason why he’s never looked better is because of the work he’s put into becoming a more well-rounded pitcher.
Known best for his electric fastball, Pearson no longer only relies on it exclusively to get outs, though.
“I think it’s just been a slow build over the last couple years since I’ve been drafted,” said Pearson of his off-speed pitches. “My stuff’s just been getting better and better and that’s just because I work on it so much in the off-season and I just put a lot of work into it. So I feel really comfortable with my secondary pitches right now and I’ve just got to the point where I had to throw it a lot and I had to get comfortable like I did with my fastball.”
With that said, though, Pearson knows what his bread-and-butter is, and he’s just looking to use pitches like his slider and his hook to set up his big fireball.
“I had to build something off my fastball because my fastball is always going to be my best pitch but I always wanted to make sure I get my secondary pitches on the same level.”
And he’ll continue to do this during the rest of the Bisons season and beyond, regardless of whether he gets called up to the Majors this year or not.
You can listen to Pearson’s entire conversation on Good Show in the radio player above where, among other topics, he also discusses Patrick Murphy, another flamethrower in the organization he played with in double-A.