Rightly so, Twins fans are very excited about Brusdar Graterol, the flame-throwing 21-year-old from Venezuela. Graterol was called up to the Twins bullpen last summer and mostly impressed, even touching 102 MPH on his sinker. Graterol will be in the rotation soon enough, and his future partner in crime, the one they call "Jordy Blaze,” is on his way to stardom.
Jordan Balazovic was drafted in the 5th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of Mississauga, Canada. Balazovic played in eight Gulf Coast League games as a 17-year-old and posted a 1.97 ERA. Balazovic was mediocre at Class A in 2018 with a 3.94 ERA and 7-3 record. While Balazovic had a pedestrian ERA, his peripherals were outstanding. He struck out 78 batters in 61 2/3 innings and allowed only 5 home runs.
Balazovic massively improved in 2019 with a 2.18 ERA in four starts at Cedar Rapids with 14.4 K/9. It was quickly realized that Balazovic was ready for the next step. He was promoted to Fort Myers and continued his excellence. In 73 innings, Jordy-B struck out 96 batters and allowed just three home runs. Balazovic was an elite strike thrower, walking just 2.4 batters per nine innings.
Balazovic increased his velocity and consistently lived at 95 MPH with his sinker. Balazovic has flashed a plus-slider and at times, a great changeup. With his velocity increasing, his complementary pitches are becoming devastating. Tom Froemming has great analysis here:
The 6 foot 5, 215 pound up-and-comer is developing well-deserved praise and attention. Balazovic is ranked as the 76th overall prospect on MLB Pipeline. Balazovic just turned 21, and figures to start next season in Pensacola at class Double-A. With the developmental system instituted by Derek Falvey and company, Jordy Blaze carries unforeseen upside.
Credit:Photo: Gordon Donovan
Copyright:Photo: Gordon Donovan