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Righty Pearson flocks to Blue Jays camp

Top prospect headlines 13 non-roster Spring Training invitees
Nate Pearson has notched 146 strikeouts over 123 1/3 career innings as a pro. (Bare Antolos/Rochester Red Wings)
February 7, 2020

Another year, another Top-10 prospect at Blue Jays camp.Following the footsteps of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., No. 8 overall prospectNate Pearson was invited to Toronto's big league camp on Friday, along with 12 other non-roster invitees.

Another year, another Top-10 prospect at Blue Jays camp.
Following the footsteps of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., No. 8 overall prospectNate Pearson was invited to Toronto's big league camp on Friday, along with 12 other non-roster invitees.

After an injury-plagued 2018, Pearson tore through the Blue Jays system last year, making stops at Class A Advanced Dunedin, Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo. Featuring a well-above-average fastball, the 23-year-old right-hander went 5-4 with a 2.30 ERA over 101 2/3 frames in 25 starts.
Pearson had no trouble fooling hitters last year, racking up 119 strikeouts against 27 walks in total. This will be the first big league camp for the 2017 first-rounder, who grew up 24 miles away in Odessa, Florida.

The Blue Jays are also inviting catcher Alejandro Kirk. The club's No. 12 prospect made a smooth transition to full-season ball in 2019, hitting .290/.403/.465 with seven homers in 92 games with Class A Lansing and Dunedin. Kirk showed a discerning eye at the plate, striking out just 39 times in 310 at-bats.
The 21-year-old has room to improve behind the plate, having thrown out 30 would-be basestealers in 80 attempts in 2019.
Kevin Smith (No. 13) earned his second invite to big league camp. The versatile infielder gives the Jays options at short and third, while also getting a taste of second last year. Smith reached Double-A in his third pro season, hitting .209/.263/.402 with 19 homers and 61 RBIs in 116 games.
Riley Adams (No. 27) also reached the Eastern League in 2019. The catcher hit .261/.366/.443 with 14 long balls and 51 RBIs in 100 contests for Dunedin and New Hampshire. Adams threw out 20 of 68 (29 percent) of would-be basestealers.
The Blue Jays also extended invitations to pitchers Bryan Baker, Travis Bergen, Brian Moran, Kirby Snead and Ty Tice; infielders Nash Knight and Logan Warmoth; and outfielders Josh Palacios and Forrest Wall.