On July 2, 2017, Eric Pardinho signed with the Blue Jays for $1.4 million coming out of Brazil. Exactly two years later, he is headed to a full-season club for the first time.
The Blue Jays promoted the No. 99 overall prospect to the Class A Lansing roster ahead of his Midwest League debut Tuesday night as the Lugnuts face Great Lakes on the road.
The 18-year-old right-hander did not start the season with a Minor League club after experiencing elbow soreness in the spring. After getting his arm into shape at the Blue Jays' Spring Training facility in Dunedin, Pardinho made his 2019 debut in the Gulf Coast League last Wednesday, striking out five and scattering one hit and three walks over four scoreless innings against Yankees West.
Despite the delay, the 5-foot-10 hurler has moved relatively quickly through the Toronto system. He was sent directly to Rookie Advanced Bluefield in 2018 -- skipping over the complex leagues -- and posted a 2.88 ERA and 1.06 WHIP with 64 strikeouts and 16 walks over 50 Appalachian League innings. His 31.5 percent strikeout rate was second-best among Rookie-level pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched last season while his .199 average-against ranked third.
2019 MiLB include
Ranked fourth in the Blue Jays system, Pardinho has jumped into MLB.com's Top-100 prospect rankings because of his deep arsenal. His fastball and curveball both have plus potential, while his average slider and changeup allow him to keep hitters off-balance. He pairs that with above-average control. His size could be an issue over the long term, but it has yet to affect his results.