I had the opportunity to watch Jair Jurrjens pitch a bullpen session today which, besides being fun, was rather impressive. I was surprised when Jurrjens got the call to make a start straight from Double-A Erie though at the same time excited to see what he could achieve at this level. I’d followed Jair for a couple of years as he played in West Michigan, Lakeland and Erie and there is much to like about this kid.
He consistently throws strikes. Does not give up the long ball. Makes intelligent pitch choices. Had an impressive K-BB ratio of 94-31 in the minors, though the strikeout rate hasn’t followed him to the big leagues. It is rare that you find a player so young that clearly can pitch. I don’t mean a pitcher with an overpowering fastball who whizzes fastballs by big league hitters but one who changes speeds and hits spots.
Jurrjens has one more start scheduled for this year and it will be an important one. After getting touched up a bit in his last start on Friday it will be interesting to see how he responds. But when you look at the young starting pitching talent on the Tigers, in Bonderman, Verlander, Miller and Jurrjens, you cannot help but believe this team will be near unstoppable in the years ahead.