Hutchison Soars Through Jays' System

TORONTO — As general manager Alex Anthopoulos watched Drew Hutchison pitch last summer, he was struck by what a big leap the righthander made since spring training.

It was in August, just before Hutchison moved from high Class A Dunedin to Double-A New Hampshire.

"I was there for I think his last start in the Florida State League and he threw outstanding," Anthopoulos said.

As a 20-year-old at spring training, Hutchison impressed with his poise and command when he was called in to make an emergency start against the Phillies on March 26 in Clearwater, Fla. He held the Phillies to two hits and two unearned runs

But when Anthopoulos saw him in August, he was throwing harder without a loss of command.

"He was up to 95, although he certainly didn't sit there," Anthopoulos said. "He had pinpoint command. I thought he was good in spring training, but from what I saw during the season and in August he took a quantum leap even from that spring training performance. I expect he's going to be a factor for us in 2012."

The 15th-round pick in 2009 out of Lakeland (Fla.) High signed for a $400,000 bonus at the deadline that year. He did not make his professional debut until 2010.
Hutchison excelled at three levels last season, going a combined 14-5, 2.53 between low Class A Lansing, Dunedin and New Hampshire. In 149 innings, he allowed 120 hits including four home runs and struck out 171 while walking 35.

 "He's going to come quick because he has great command and he's got very good stuff as well and composure," Anthopoulos said.

The combination leaves Anthopoulos very excited about his prospect. "Probably as excited as I am about any young arm that we have," he said. "He's someone who we think has a very high ceiling and is going to do very well for us."


• Marty Brown (Triple-A Las Vegas), Sal Fasano (New Hampshire), Dennis Holmberg (Rookie-level Bluefield), and Omar Malave (Rookie-level Gulf Coast League)  return to the teams they managed last season.

• Former Red Sox pitcher Bob Stanley will take over as pitching coach for Las Vegas.