Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Top 15 Pitchers: #9 Jason McEachern

Jason McEachern
6'2" 160 lbs DOB: 10/12/1990
Right-Handed Pitcher
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
2009: Princeton Rays/Hudson Valley Renegades
Acquired: 2008 Draft, 13th Round, 383rd Overall

The Rays signed Jason McEachern in time for him to pitch 25 innings with Princeton as a 17-year old in 2008, and it looked certain that he would spend all of the 2009 season there. Instead, he dazzled in his three P-Rays starts to open the season(1.06 ERA, 15 strikeouts and 0 walks) and was promoted to Hudson Valley.

With the Renegades, McEachern was somewhat overshadowed by Alex Colome and Kyle Lobstein in the rotation. But as one of the youngest players in the New York-Penn League, he was just about as statistically impressive. In 55.2 innings with the 'Gades, McEachern posted a 2.75 ERA, striking out 47 and walking just 12.

It's not just that he limits the walks, though. He shows advanced command that's rare for his age, working both sides of the plate and staying down in the zone. He isn't overpowering with his stuff, but with a low-90s fastball and a solid breaking pitch, he's not merely a finesse pitcher. His 6'2", 160 pound frame and smooth mechanics leave plenty of room for projection. His stuff could become truly wicked if he continues to add strength. His change-up needs work, but that's not uncommon for a 19-year old.

McEachern is one of the hardest players to pencil into a 2010 rotation. He more than held his own with Hudson Valley, and the Rays weren't shy about promoting him from Princeton, but the organization doesn't have a track recording of promoting 19-year olds into full-season ball, excepting Tim Beckham, who was drafted 382 spots ahead of McEachern. My guess is he does get a shot at Bowling Green, but possibly after a month or so in extended spring training.

It's not really a secret that McEachern is one of my personal favorite prospects. He can throw strikes and his stuff is at least a tick above average. He's shown he can get hitters who are more advanced than him out. Even though he hasn't even pitched 100 pro innings, McEachern is a "safe" bet, at least as far as pitching prospects are concerned. But I think his stuff has a chance to simply blow up and catapult him into the ranks of the game's elite prospects in 2-3 years, not unlike the jump that occurred his senior year of high school, when he went from a Division II college prospect to one of the best players from North Carolina.


  1. When I saw him pitch, his changeup was actually a pretty solid pitch. He got some swings and misses on it and it had solid sink. I think he can become at least a poormans Hellickson.

  2. He is off to a great start. Add a little more speed to the fastball and he is set. The 2011 Hellickson!

  3. What makes Lobstein better than Mceachern?And as he gets bigger is one that most people see adding velocity?

  4. I am surprised at how low he and Wilking are. I think Newmann should be lower because of his age.

  5. Lobstein's off-speed stuff is probably much more advanced, and while they each have similar projectability and pitching skills, Lobstein offers it from the left side.

    As for Newmann, I don't think the age is as big of a deal for him just because of how little experience he has. I can definitely see the argument for Joe Cruz and even Aneury Rodriguez to be ranked above him, though.

  6. Matt Moore was 19 to start last season at BG, turned 20 June 18th. Jason's only about 4 months younger this year. Guess where he starts will depend on how many innings they want to put on his arm this season.

  7. That's great news for my Nephew Jason McEachern.

  8. It's great to see some relatives of our future stars are posting!

  9. Lots of relatives email me, but only the brave post, for obvious reasons. Nice to see the McEachern and Bortnick families representing though. Feel free to post any links you want here or in the forum (it's a little easier to link to stuff there), but don't post anything too personal. Folks around here tend to be just like us, nice people, but you never know...

  10. Awesome to see his rank in tb's eyes but at the same time his potential is unmeasurable

  11. I am one of jasons very good friends from back home in hickory and workout with him a lot. This off-season he has put on 20 pounds of muscle (mainly in his legs) that puts him up to 205 now and has gone with a new grip that has made his change-up even more nasty. He has also been working on his slider that he developed towards the end of last season and its improving and he has got his curveball back again. Expect this to be a great season hopefully in Bowling Green

  12. Great month of May by Jason, capped off with 13 straight scoreless innings! Great effort at home on 5/30 with his mom, dad and sister watching! Not to mention a win on my daughter's birthday! Keep up the good work nephew o' mine!
    Uncle Mike