- Full name Stephen Chadwick Jenkins
- Born 12/22/1987 in Chattanooga, TN
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 230 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Kennesaw State
- Debut 08/07/2012
Drafted in the 1st round (20th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009 (signed for $1,359,000).
View Draft ReportWhile Kyle Heckathorn entered the year as the top prospect in the A-Sun, Jenkins and Brothers weren't far behind. A mid-80s guy in high school, Jenkins had a soft body but his arm worked well, and he has improved significantly in college. He had a strong sophomore season, first with Kennesaw State (5-5, 3.96), then in the Great Lakes League. Jenkins has firmed up his still soft body, and his velocity has caught up with his ability to throw strikes. He now has two or three plus pitches at times with good command, giving him serious helium. Jenkins has a great feel for pitching and now sits at 90-93 mph with his hard sinker and reaches back for 96 mph with a four-seamer at times. His sinker has boring action in on righthanded hitters when it's going well. His slider gives him a second plus pitch. His changeup is average. Jenkins repeats his delivery, and scouts see his big 6-foot-4, 225-pound body as a durable asset, particularly if he keeps getting in better shape. He resembles Phillies righthander Joe Blanton, with better command, and should go in the first 20 picks.
Organization Prospect Rankings
When scouts traveled to Kennesaw State to see righthander Kyle Heckathorn in 2009, they came away more enamored with his teammate. Jenkins went 20th overall--27 picks ahead of Heckathorn--and signed for $1,359,000. He hasn't dominated as a pro, but he made steady progress until he repeated Double-A last season. His strikeout rate dropped to a career-low 4.5 per nine innings as opponents hit .310 against him. A slew of injuries at the big league level left the Blue Jays looking for arms, however, so they called Jenkins up for the final two months and he posted similar numbers as a swingman. Jenkins doesn't blow hitters away, relying instead on getting quick outs with his sinker/slider combination. His fastball sits at 87-91 mph with heavy sink and his slider is a solid pitch in the low 80s. He also shows a splitter/changeup that can be effective. Jenkins has a durable frame and projects as an innings-eater at the back of a big league rotation. He has yet to pitch in Triple-A, so he'll probably begin 2013 there.
Scouts flocked to Kennesaw State in 2009 to see righthander Kyle Heckathorn, but they ended up more intrigued with his teammate. The Blue Jays drafted Jenkins 20th overall signed him for $1.359 million. He has been more dependable than dazzling in pro ball, making 53 starts in two seasons with a 3.81 ERA and 224 strikeouts in 309 innings. Jenkins won't blow hitters away but he's efficient with his pitches and gets quick outs. His sinker/slider combination piles up groundouts when his command is on. His fastball sits at 90-93 mph with heavy sink, and his slider is a plus pitch at times in the mid-80s. He also has a solid changeup and uses a mediocre curveball just to give hitters a different look. Jenkins has a big, durable body and projects as an innings-eater in a major league rotation. He doesn't profile as a frontline starter but he should be able to work deep into games every fifth day. He'll be 24 years old this season and has a chance to make his major league debut before the year is out.
Kyle Heckathorn was supposed to be the main attraction at Kennesaw State in 2009, but scouts who came to see him were more intrigued by Jenkins, his teammate. While Heckathorn went in the supplemental first round to the Brewers, Jenkins became the No. 20 overall pick and signed for $1.359 million. He reached high Class A during a 2010 pro debut that was solid if not spectacular--which also is an apt description of his stuff. Jenkins works with a very heavy fastball that ranges from 88-94 mph. He'll throw his two-seamer in on righthanders and use a four-seamer with riding life up in the zone. His slider was inconsistent last year but has shown the makings of being a plus pitch in the past, sitting in the mid-80s with late tilt. He also has good feel for a changeup. Though he has a thick frame and some effort in his delivery, he repeats it well and throws strikes. A possible No. 3 starter, he could open 2011 in Double-A.
As scouts flocked north of Atlanta to see Kennesaw State righthander Kyle Heckathorn last spring, they took notice of another weekend starter in Jenkins. He threw 41 consecutive scoreless innings and surprassed Heckathorn as a prospect, becoming the highest draft pick in school history when the Blue Jays selected him 20th overall. He signed late for $1.359 million and reported to instructional league. Jenkins draws comparisons to Joe Blanton because he's a physical workhorse, but he has better stuff. His fastball sits comfortably at 91-94 mph and touches 96, and its plus life allows him to pile up strikeouts and groundouts. With 83-84 mph velocity and late three-quarters tilt, his slider has the potential to be an above-average pitch. He maintains good arm speed on a changeup that has some fade. He commands all three of his pitches. Jenkins has toned up his body, but it's still soft and he'll have to maintain his conditioning. Both his slider and changeup need more work, but have the chance to improve by a full grade. He's still learning to incorporate his changeup more often after he didn't need it much in college. With his stuff, command and makeup, Jenkins should move quickly through the minors. His road to being a solid No. 3 starter should begin in high Class A Dunedin this season.
Minor League Top Prospects
With a chunky physique evoking Joe Blanton and solid but not overwhelming stuff, Jenkins isn't the sexiest pitcher. But he made quick work of the MWL, with eight quality starts in 13 outings before leaving for high Class A in mid-June, and looked like a future No. 3 starter. Jenkins' fastball ranges from 88-94 mph, with his two-seamer breaking bats by boring in on righthanders and his four-seamer showing nice riding life. His mid-80s slider is a swing-and-miss pitch when it's on, and his changeup has late fade. Though there's some effort and recoil in his delivery, he repeats it well and fills the strike zone.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010