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Twins promote Balazovic to Pensacola

No. 78 prospect joins Wahoos for Southern League postseason
Jordan Balazovic has struck out 252 batters over 227 2/3 innings during his Minor League career. (Gordon Donovan/MiLB.com)
September 4, 2019

The Double-A Pensacola roster already boasts the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 prospects in the Twins system. Just in time for the Southern League playoffs, the Blue Wahoos are adding the No. 4 prospect as well.The Twins promoted No. 78 overall prospect Jordan Balazovic from Class A Advanced

The Double-A Pensacola roster already boasts the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 5 prospects in the Twins system. Just in time for the Southern League playoffs, the Blue Wahoos are adding the No. 4 prospect as well.
The Twins promoted No. 78 overall prospect Jordan Balazovic from Class A Advanced Fort Myers to Pensacola on Wednesday, the Major League organization announced. The Blue Wahoos begin a best-of-5 semifinal series against Biloxi on Wednesday, but the team has not announced in which game Balazovic might make his Double-A debut.

This will be the 20-year-old right-hander's third stop in a breakout 2019 campaign. Balazovic opened the season at Class A Cedar Rapids, where he posted a 2.18 ERA and 0.92 WHIP with 33 strikeouts and four walks in 20 2/3 innings before moving up to the Florida State League on May 3. He was effective with Fort Myers as well, finishing the regular season with a 2.84 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 96 strikeouts and 21 walks over 73 innings. 
Having tossed 93 2/3 frames in total, Balazovic ranks third with a 2.13 FIP, 10th with a 33.9 percent strikeout rate and 30th with a 5.2 K/BB ratio among the 545 Minor League pitchers who pitched at least 90 innings in 2019. Balazovic set a new career high in innings and also made trips to Cleveland for the 2019 All-Star Futures Game and to Peru where he represented his native Canada in the 2019 Pan-Am Games.

The 6-foot-5 hurler was taken in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft out of an Ontario high school. His 2019 breakout has been driven primarily by a plus fastball that regularly reaches in the low-to-mid-90s with plenty of movement. He sat 93-95 during his appearance in the Futures Game, when he tossed a scoreless inning for the American League side while facing top NL prospects Daulton Varsho, Gavin Lux, Cristian Pache and Joey Bart. He also draws positive reviews for his above-average slider, and his changeup has improved to the point where it can be a true third option. The whole package plays up thanks to the right-hander's impressive control, as evidenced by his 6.6 percent walk rate in 2019.
Balazovic joins fellow Top-100 prospects Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach on the Pensacola roster. Right-hander Dakota Chalmers was also promoted to the Blue Wahoos in time for the playoffs after putting up a 3.38 ERA with 29 strikeouts and 15 walks in 15 1/3 innings at Fort Myers.

Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.