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Pitcher preview: Drew Hutchison

Good control, new velocity.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball America ranked Drew Hutchison as Toronto's number nine prospect after the 2011 season, and they also said he had the best control in the Jays' system. He made the majors the following year in 2012, and pitched 58 innings (four of them -- in which he got lit up -- against the Rays), before being sent for Tommy John surgery. Here's what his pitch mix looked like at the time.



That's a wide range of movement for a fastball, and the Baseball America scouting report agreed, saying he could "sink and cut" his fastball as he pleased, and could "command it to both sides of the plate." His changeup was a weapon, and his slider, at 84 mph, could also miss bats.

Hutchison has often been praised for his pitchability, but something interesting happened this spring. In 2012, his versatile fastball sat in the low 90s, and would occasionally dip into the 80s. Now, back from Tommy John, he's sitting at 93 mph, and can get it up to 95 mph when he needs to. The new-found velocity has helped Hutchison to an impressive spring display where he struck out 44% of the batters he faced (9.2 innings).

Is Hutchison the heir to Roy Halladay's legacy in Toronto? Not likely, but he is intriguing, and I imagine Jays fans are waiting excitedly right now to see him pitch in a game that counts.