If you’re like me, you love keeping an eye on the Blue Jays’ pipeline. And I’m not sure about you, but I think that I value the direction that the organization is heading in the future almost more than the now.
Among Jays’ minor leaguers obviously Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are going to garner the lion’s share of the attention, but one player a whole lot of eyes are likely going to be on next season is the club’s first round pick, Nate Pearson, who Mark Shapiro gushed about when I spoke with him last month. So, with that in mind, I thought it would be a fun idea try to reach out to the Vancouver Canadians pitching coach, Jim Czajkowski, to talk about the youngster who might be the next great homegrown Blue Jays pitcher — among other things.
I contacted J.C. Fraser, general manager of the C’s, and he was kind enough to promptly respond and connect me with Jim. And if you don’t know who Jim is – aka Coach Cy, the name given to him by his players — he has coached at all levels in the Blue Jays’ farm system. He has worked closely with Sanchez, Syndergaard, Stroman, Osuna, Loup, Dermody, Ramirez, Rowley. Pretty much anybody from the organization that’s seen time in the big leagues, he has spent time with.
After Jim and I set up a good time for the both of us to do this interview through some back and forth texts, I called him up and congratulated him and the Canadians organization on winning the Northwest League Championship. He said that it was awesome and good times and a good fun team to be around. I jokingly said that it doesn’t hurt to get Nate Pearson and Logan Warmoth into the lineup, but he made a good point, mentioning that there’s good and bad to adding top draftees to a team like that. The good being, of course, that they have talent, but the bad being how it can be difficult to use them, as a lot of the college guys get tired because they’ve played almost all year round. Jim suggested that when young players first become professionals, they try to find another gear, and because they’ve had such a long season, sometimes they just don’t have that gear to go to. He said it’s actually quite difficult for the coaching staff, because they have to protect them as much as they can and not over use them.
This was a really interesting way to start! And our conversation only got more interesting from there.
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