Blue Jays: Six Pitching Prospects To Keep An Eye On

Roither Hernandez, Instructional League, September 24, 2016 - photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

Finally, Minor League Baseball is almost here again. If you play in deep dynasty leagues it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the players that are further down the line. We looked at the Top 50 Blue Jays prospects back in January but here are a few pitchers that fell outside of the top 50 but are worth keeping on your watch list.

Yosver Zulueta, RHP

There was little information out there on Zulueta earlier this past off-season and in hindsight, I may have made a mistake leaving him off my top 50 list. If I were to revise the list now I would put him around #35 on the list.  He was signed for $1.5M out of Cuba near the end of the 2018 J2 signing period with some extra money they had acquired in trades for Dwight Smith Jr. and Kendrys Morales. Shortly after he signed he was diagnosed with a torn UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery. This spring, he was invited to the big league camp and pitched in two Grapefruit League games. He gave up 1 hit, 2 BB, and 2 K in 2 IP. His fastball was clocked as high as 99 mph in camp. Already a 23-year-old with a few years of experience on the Cuban National team it would not be a surprise if he is fast-tracked through the minors as a high leverage reliever. He has four pitches, the high 90’s fastball, a curveball, change up, and a slider so he could also project as a starter long-term.

Naswell Paulino, LHP

Paulino was signed in the 2016 J2 signing period for $70,000. In the D.R. before signing, he had trained mostly as an outfielder yet the Blue Jays saw him more as a pitcher. He made his debut in the DSL in 2017 where we had a 4-2 record with a 2.26 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 13 starts with 52 K in 55 IP. He missed the entire 2018 season after testing positive and receiving a 72 game PED suspension. In 2019 at advanced rookie Bluefield he had a 4.05 ERA in 11 games (5 starts).  He is a smaller soft-tossing lefty with a low-90’s fastball and the ability to really spin a breaking ball. The 21-year-old will likely start in the Low-A Dunedin rotation this year and could be in line for a breakout season.

Roither Hernandez, RHP

Hernandez signed for $150,000 in the 2016 J2 signing period. He is a 6’4″ right-hander with good arm speed. He has a plus fastball that can reach 100 mph along with a power slider in the upper 80’s. He spent his first two seasons with the GCL Blue Jays where he pitched in only 5 games over the two seasons. He had 16K, 5 BB, and 13H in 15 IP.  He moved up to Bluefield in 2019 where he made 12 starts with a 5.56 ERA. The 23-year-old should be in the High-A Vancouver rotation this season but could also become another interesting relief prospect at some point in the future.

Anders Tolhurst, RHP

Tolhurst was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2019 Draft. He was assigned to the Vancouver Canadians roster that summer but did not pitch in any games. At Grossman College in CA, he was a strikeout machine with 83 K in 66.2 IP over his two seasons there, He had a 6-2 record and 3.91 ERA in 11 starts. Reports from the 2020 fall instructional camp had him throwing up to 96 mph. The 6’3″ right-hander should make his debut with Low-A Dunedin this season.

Edisson Gonzalez, RHP

Gonzalez was originally signed out of  Panama by Tampa Bay during the 2016 J2 signing period. He was acquired from the Rays at the end of the 2019 season as a PTBNL in the Eric Sogard trade. In his three minor league seasons with the Rays organization, he was 9-4 with a 2.72 ERA. He had 187 K and 54 BB in 158.2 IP.  As a kid he played in the 2012 Little League World Series, a player profile showed his MLB comp as Pedro Martinez. That’s good enough for me.

Jiorgeny Casimiri, RHP

Casimiri was signed out of the Netherlands in the 2019 J2 signing period. He was impressive in his 2019 debut in the GCL  making 9 relief appearances. He had a WHIP of 0.93 with 13K in 14 IP. Only 19 years old he has a lot of upside.


Greg covers the Toronto Blue Jays organization for Prospects1500. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, a long-suffering fan of both the Blue Jays and the Toronto Maple Leafs. For more than 15 years now a participant/commish in many dynasty baseball leagues, all with extremely deep minor league rosters. Follow on X @gregbracken07.

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