Blue Jays Define Former Top Prospect Nate Pearson’s Role For 2023

By now, Toronto Blue Jays fans are tired of hearing about the "potential" of Nate Pearson. The one-time, longtime top prospect simply hasn't been able to stay healthy long enough to make any sort of impact at all in the big leagues. 

The latest report out of Jays' camp is that he's preparing to work as a bulk-innings reliever this year. He's been hitting 96-97 mph on the radar gun this spring, even topping out at 100 mph, according to Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic. 

And yes, we've heard this before, but pitching coach Pete Walker is enthused. 

Watching him throw his sides and watching him work so far and watching how he goes about his business, he’s comfortable here. He’s been here before. I think he wants to be in the major leagues and make an impact. And I think he’s on the right path right now.

So far, that "path" has led the now-26-year-old Pearson to nowhere but the injured list; he's lost the past two consecutive seasons to injury.

Since being selected in the first round of the 2017 Draft, Pearson has flashed his immense potential in the minors, compiling a 2.71 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in 169.1 innings, striking out 11.1 batters per nine innings. But he's only been able to stay on the mound in the majors for a total of 33 innings, spread out between 2020 and 2021. He has a disappointing 5.18 ERA in that time. 

Will this finally be the year Nate Pearson makes an impact in the major leagues? 

Photo: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports