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Trent Palmer Makes Good On High Upside

Righthander Trent Palmer likes to keep things loose during his starts, so five innings into his Aug. 19 outing, he was trying to chat up his Low-A Dunedin teammates when he suddenly struggled to find an audience.

“I asked somebody a question and got a one-word response, and then I went walking along and nobody was saying anything,” Palmer said. “I was like, 'That’s odd.' ”

A glance up at the scoreboard solved the mystery for the 22-year-old, who had done nothing but put up zeroes across the board to that point. Once what was happening dawned on him, he locked in and finished up a seven-inning no-hitter in the nightcap of a doubleheader against Fort Myers.

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Palmer walked three and struck out 10 in the best outing of his pro debut, a performance that highlighted the upside that made him a third-round pick from Jacksonville last summer.

“Honestly, it was shock,” he said of his first ever no-no. “I didn't really realize what had happened until the ice bucket got dumped on me. That's when I was like, ‘Wow, this really just happened.’ ”

Since overcoming some biceps soreness in the spring that delayed the start of his season, Palmer had logged 46 innings over 13 starts, allowing 24 hits while striking out 58 batters, though he had walked 36.

Some of that he attributes to mechanical adjustments made earlier in the season in pursuit of an effective four-seam fastball. When that didn’t work, he reverted to the mechanics he used in college, relying on a sinker, slider, curveball and changeup.

The Blue Jays have urged Palmer to throw his changeup 30% of the time.

Developing a four-seamer will be an offseason focal point, but his focus to close 2021 was to continue to pull himself back into the zone.

“The biggest thing me and our pitching coach (Drew Hayes) have been talking about is just keep trying to separate the strikeouts to walks,” Palmer said. “He's said to trust my stuff."

Trent Palmer (Mike Janes Four Seam Images)

Baseball America Prospect Report—September 16, 2021

Trent Palmer throws his second no-hitter of the season, Matt McLain hits his second professional home run and more.

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