Jordan Balazovic Embellishes His Profile
Jordan Balazovic grows a little taller each year. The 20-year-old righthander is up to 6-foot-5 now.
That's why Balazovic keeps getting a little bigger each year. He's up to nearly 200 pounds and he is noticeably stronger.
Those factors have translated into more fastball velocity each season. He now dials up to 95 mph with regularity.
That's why another measurable keeps increasing, too: Balazovic’s status in the Twins’ organization.
Balazovic hails from the Toronto suburbs and has drafted in the third round in 2016 out of high school. He spent two season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before advancing to low Class A Cedar Rapids in 2018.
"There was some risk, because he was one of the youngest guys in the (Midwest) League,” vice president for player personnel Mike Radcliff said, "but he wasn’t overmatched at all. We were excited about how he settled in and handled that level.”
Balazovic went 7-3, 3.94 in 12 games (11 appearances), striking out 78 in 61.2 innings all that while ditching a pitch that he outgrew.
"In high school, he thought he was a fastball/breaking ball guy, but as his velo rises, he’s realizing a changeup might be a better second option than a curve,” Radcliff said. "His slider has picked up some real bite, so he’s learning to work with a higher-level pitch mix. It’s a mix that he can sustain over multiple innings, so we’re projecting him as a starter with the stuff of a short reliever.”
Best of all, Balazovic is throwing strikes, even as he learns new pitches.
Balazovic, who played for Team Canada in 18U tournaments and eschewed a commitment to Auburn to turn pro, cut his walk rate to 2.6 per nine innings after walking 4.5 last year.
"He’s always had good command, but he’s kept it together as he’s thrown harder,” Radcliff said. "He doesn’t really mess around. He’s very aggressive.”
If Every Team Was Homegrown 2019: AL Central
We look at what the Indians, Twins, White Sox, Royals and Tigers would look like in 2019 if they were made up only solely of homegrown players.
• The Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos signed a two-year Player Development Contract with the Twins, who severed ties with Chattanooga after four seasons.