Revisiting Elvis Luciano’s development

Since 1990 there have been just 10 pitchers to debut at 19 years old or younger. There have been some successes (Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner) and some misses (Todd Van Poppel, Matt Riley) for the Blue Jays and Elvis Luciano the hope is he is more like the former than the latter.
Luciano is an interesting player as he was eligible for the Rule 5 Draft despite only being the tender age of 19. The Kansas City Royals left him off their 40-man roster and the Blue Jays selected him with the ninth pick.
The Blue Jays took a big gamble trying to keep a 19 year old pitcher who hadn’t pitched above rookie ball, on their roster all season, and they have done everything they can to give him low leverage innings. The results thus far haven’t been pretty; a 6.51 ERA backed by a 6.28 FIP and a 6.85 xFIP. He only has 22 strikeouts versus 23 walks, in 27.2 innings. His ERA is poor but it is right in line with what Johan Santana did back in 2000 when as a 21 year Rule 5 pick he pitched to a 6.49 ERA in 86.0 innings.
Despite the poor results Luciano has shown some flashes that he could be a solid pitcher in …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

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