Nate Pearson
23-Year-Old PitcherRP
Toronto Blue Jays AAA
2020 Fantasy Outlook
The crucial part of Pearson's season was an eight-start run to close the year split between Double-A and Triple-A, during which he had a 2.14 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 47:14 K:BB in 46.1 IP. Prior to this, he had been facing overmatched competition (six starts at High-A) or not working as a true starter -- he averaged 3.1 innings per outing in his first 11 starts at Double-A. In short, he passed the final exam and is one of the game's best pitching prospects. Pearson can touch triple digits with his fastball and has a plus slider, but his changeup needs some work. Injuries limited the 6-foot-6, 245-pound righty to just 42 pro innings prior to 2019, so crossing the 100-inning mark was a significant achievement. Keeping his weight in check will be important, and Pearson's velocity makes him a prime Tommy John surgery candidate, but all arrows are pointing up for now. He should spend most of 2020 in the MLB rotation. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a contract with the Blue Jays in June of 2017.
May not debut until 2021
PToronto Blue Jays  AAA
March 28, 2020
The Blue Jays still intend to let Pearson prove himself at Triple-A Buffalo before promoting him to the majors, which could push his big-league debut to 2021 if there isn't enough time in a shortened 2020 season for him to do so, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
"We have to make the decision on what we feel will be best for his development," general manager Ross Atkins said this week. "Rewinding to three weeks ago, we thought that would be starting the year [with Pearson] in Triple-A. I would say that we most likely will still feel that way, but there's still so much more to the equation and so much more information to come." While there's an argument to be made that the team's top pitching prospect should get called up sooner, as he could make a bigger impact in the standings during a shortened campaign, the Jays remain committed to his long-term development and won't speed up the process. Given how he looked this spring, Pearson could easily dominate the International League for a few weeks out of the gate before forcing his way into the Toronto rotation. Any struggles or setbacks, however, and he could miss his window to debut in 2020.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Nate Pearson
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13 days ago
Erik Halterman analyzes how the postponement of the baseball season will impact injured players like Justin Verlander and others who spring draft stock was suppressed.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
Sometimes the mysterious carries more value in dynasty leagues than established commodities. For example, Pearson has thrown just 42 innings including the Arizona Fall League, yet looks the part of a frontline horse (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) and touched 104 mph in a one-inning outing with dozens of scouts watching at the 2018 Fall Stars game. The 28th overall pick in 2017, Pearson was seen as a lottery ticket, as he had not faced quality competition in junior college but had touched triple digits with his fastball. The selection looked brilliant when he dominated in short-season ball, but he missed the first month of 2018 with an oblique injury and missed the rest of the season after exiting his first start when a comebacker broke his ulna. Pearson's slider and changeup should be at least average offerings but his eventual command is unknown. His upside and flaws should come into focus if he stays healthy in his age-22 season.
The Blue Jays nabbed Pearson with the 28th overall pick in the 2017 draft, but if the draft were held again this offseason, he would go in the top 15. He was seen as a lottery ticket. Scouts liked his stuff, but coming out of a Central Florida junior college, he had not faced any high-end competition. Pearson threw one inning in the Gulf Coast League and was quickly promoted to the Northwest League where he displayed an elite fastball that can touch 100 mph and a potentially plus changeup. Never going more than four innings, he was able to carve up short-season hitters with ease on the strength of his fastball and changeup. He didn't give up a run over his first seven appearances and fanned 10 over four innings in his penultimate start of the year. The next step will be gaining more consistency with his slider -- his clear third pitch. If that comes along, he has the size (6-foot-6, 245 pounds) and potentially above-average command to anchor a big-league rotation.
More Fantasy News
No specific innings limit this year
PToronto Blue Jays  AAA
March 12, 2020
Pearson won't have an innings cap this season, Andrew Stoeten of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Touches 100 in second start
PToronto Blue Jays  AAA
March 2, 2020
Pearson threw two perfect innings against the Pirates on Sunday, striking out three and hitting 100 mph with his fastball, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Dazzles in spring debut
PToronto Blue Jays  AAA
February 26, 2020
Pearson struck out the side in his only inning of work Tuesday in a split-squad game against the Yankees, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Joining big-league camp
PToronto Blue Jays  AAA
February 7, 2020
Pearson received an invitation to big-league camp Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Bumped up to Triple-A
PToronto Blue Jays  AAA
August 18, 2019
The Blue Jays promoted Pearson from Double-A New Hampshire to Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday, Carlos Collazo of Baseball America reports.
ANALYSIS
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