Ricky Tiedemann: Blue Jays 2022 Minor League Player Of The Year
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The Blue Jays wanted Ricky Tiedemann to pitch a full season in 2022 while establishing a solid foundation.
The fact he accomplished that while dominating at three minor league levels cemented the 20-year-old lefthander as one of the organization’s best pitching prospects as well as one of the top prospects in the game.
“We view this year as a big success,” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. "His slider improved. He competed well and attacked all year, regardless of level. We have been incredibly impressed with his work ethic, baseball acumen—and he has been a very good teammate.”
None of that was a given for Tiedemann, a 2021 third-rounder from Golden West (Calif.) JC who spent last summer building up at the club’s player development complex in Dunedin, Fla.
The physical gains the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Tiedemann made there led to a velocity jump that had staffers excited. But he had recorded just 38 innings in junior college before the draft after the pandemic spoiled his senior year of high school, so no one was certain what to expect.
Tiedemann made 18 starts between Low-A Dunedin, High-A Vancouver and Double-A New Hampshire in 2022, compiling a 2.17 ERA in 78.2 innings with 29 walks and 117 strikeouts.
With a mid-to-high-90s fastball, wipeout slider and solid changeup, he was every bit as overwhelming as the numbers suggest.
"For him to do that, it gives a lot of credibility to his resiliency and his ability to handle workload,” said Matt Buschmann, the Blue Jays' bullpen coach and pitching development coordinator. "Crossing that threshold was a big deal.”
While the organization didn’t have an innings target for Tiedemann, Atkins said player development staff set “guardrails” that led to a shutdown at the end of August to protect him from overuse.
The idea was “to give him a jump start on this offseason” and “he’ll spend a good amount of time at the complex continuing to build strength,” Atkins said.
That should position Tiedemann to pitch deeper into 2023 with fewer restrictions, something that could have him knocking on the big league door next summer.