COUGARS IN THE PRO'S
Hunter was selected by the Philidelphia Phillies
in the 26nd Round
of the 2019 MLB Draft
Crosby Baseball is Proud of You!
Jays Journal Top 50 Blue Jays Prospects: No. 38 Jeremy GabryszwskiFeb 10th at 9:25 pmby Jared Macdonald2011 Draft
After a break from the top 50 list due to some ill-timed technical difficulties earlier in the week, we’re back at it with No. 38, a right-handed pitcher that sometimes gets lost in the Jays’ 2011 draft haul…
No. 38: Jeremy Edward Gabryszwski
Starting pitcher / 18 years old / 6′4″ 195 lbs
Born: March 16, 1993 in Crosby, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right
High School: Crosby H.S.
College: Had committed to Lamar University prior to signing with the Jays
Drafted By: The Toronto Blue Jays in the 2nd round (78th overall) of the 2011 Amateur Draft
Signed: July 27, 2011 for $575,000
Pre-2011 Rank: N/A
- Went 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA as a senior, with 49 strikeouts to eight walks
- 2011 19-4A Defensive Player of the Year
- 2010 first-team All-District selection
- Hit .417/.454/.631 with 12 runs and 28 RBIs while playing first base for Crosby H.S. in 2011
- Has the same amount of letters in his last name as former Blue Jay Marc Rzepczynski (11)
Year Age Level W L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO WHIP H/9 BB/9 K/9 2011 18 Rk 0 0 0.00 4 1 5.1 4 0 0 1 6 0.938 6.8 1.7 10.1 GCL 0 0 0.00 3 1 4.1 3 0 0 1 5 0.923 6.2 2.1 10.4 BLU 0 0 0.00 1 0 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 1.000 9.0 0.0 9.0
Extra Information and previous experience:
With the 2011 draft, the Blue Jays bolstered their already impressive group of young hurlers by selecting pitchers with 12 of their first 15 selections. One guy that gets lost in the shuffle despite being a second-round pick is young right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski, who was selected four spots after Daniel Norris at 78th overall.
Another big-bodied arm to come out of Texas, Gabryszwski boasts a three-pitch mix. His fastball can already touch 94 mph, but as he irons out his delivery and adds a bit of weight to his 6-foot-4 frame, the pitch has the potential to consistently hit mid-90s on the radar gun. Shortly after being drafted, Baseball America reported that Gabryszwski showed glimpses of a plus slider, but that pitch is actually a curveball that sits around 86-87 mph. The 18-year-old can also throw a circle changeup at the same speed, and though both of his off-speed pitches are easily considered works in progress, they both have the potential to be plus offerings in the future.
Potential is one word you’ll see tied to Gabryszwski quite often, since the feeling is that he is harnessing a lot of untapped potential. He’s not afraid to attack hitters and keep the ball in the strike zone, and he draws rave reviews for how polished of a high school pitcher he is. Given the kind of upside that Gabryszwski has, it’s not surprising that multiple MLB teams apparently had him high on their draft boards.
Since Gabryszwski has a high ceiling and the tools to be an impact pitcher down the road, I’m sure you’re wondering why he didn’t get scooped up faster by another organization on draft day.
The first reason was Gabryszwski’s history of elbow problems, which were addressed in 2008 when he had surgery to repair a displaced bone and had a screw inserted, and the other was his battle with inconsistent fastball velocity. Though he would operate a lot of the time in the 90-93 range, he’d start registering in the mid-to-high 80s deeper into a start or in another start altogether, especially later in the season. This could be attributed to some fatigue in his arm from past troubles, and will be a factor to keep an eye on in the future.
Though he had signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Lamar University in the fall, Gabryszwski opted to sign with the Blue Jays at the end of July and start his professional career. He reported to the Jays’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in Dunedin, where he allowed three hits in 4.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and one walk. With the Bluefield Blue Jays in the thick of a playoff push late in the year, Gabryszwski was unexpectedly shipped there after only three GCL appearances.
After tossing one scoreless inning of relief in his regular-season debut with Bluefield on August 29, Gabryszwski closed out the B-Jays’ playoff loss to Elizabethton on September 1 with two scoreless innings of work, allowing just two hits while striking out three. In his final outing of the season, he surrendered two earned runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts in 2.2 innings on September 4.
Expected 2012 team: Bluefield Blue Jays (Rookie)
Gabryszwski is yet another young pitcher to keep an eye on in the years to come, though he’s one that could either exceed expectations and contribute in a starting rotation, or possibly wind up in the bullpen later in his career if his inconsistent velocity continues or his arm troubles return.
As with all of their pitching prospects, the Blue Jays will exhaust every possible way to keep Gabryszwski as a starter. At this stage of his career and given the lack of pro data on him, though, it’s impossible to predict the route that he will take and, as a result, we’ve ranked him conservatively at No. 38
Jeremy was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays
in the 2nd Round (78th overall pick)
in the 2011 MLB Draft
Crosby Baseball is Proud of You!
J R Towles - Houston Astros
Towles set to build on late season call-up
Published February 7, 2008 Baytown Sun By Dave Rogers
J.R. Towles has his defense down and the Astros catcher showed he's got the hitting under control, batting .375 in 12 September games.
It's the public speaking he's having to work on.
"This offseason I had to do some appearances I wasn't used to," the rookie catcher from Crosby said when asked about the biggest change in his life of late.
Towles did a central Texas tour on the Astros Winter Caravan, visiting small towns to build up interest among fans for the 2008 season.
"At first I had to do the rookie career development program in Virginia (for top major league rookies), then we went to the Caravan for three days and made quite a few spots."
And what was the question everyone asked?
"About going from A ball to the big leagues in one year," he said.
2007 was a storybook season for the 20th round draft pick of 2004.
Ricky Bennett had trouble believing it, and Bennett, the Astros assistant general manager, is the fellow in charge of the team's minor leaguers.
Towles only got his call-up from Class A Salem, Va., to Double A Corpus Christi as a short-term injury fill-in.
"I called him and I said, 'Hey, J.R., we're sending you up to Double A, but make sure you don't pack, because it's a temporary move,'" Bennett recalled last week as he watched Towles perform in the Astros' Elite Camp at Minute Maid Park.
"I said, 'Pack for seven days and we'll see where that takes us, and if you need to come back, we'll fly you back and get the rest of your things.'
"Seven days go by and J.R.'s playing OK and I go to Tim (then general manager Tim Purpura) and say 'J.R.'s playing OK. We might be OK. We might not have to go out and get a permanent replacement.'
"And he kept playing and he kept playing."
Towles spent 10 weeks in Corpus Christi in all, batting .324 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs in 61 games.
"I told Tim 'Let's keep looking at it,' and a week or two later, we decided to keep him there, and he never looked back," Bennett recalled.
Towles was promoted to Triple A Round Rock in mid-August, where he hit .279 in 13 games. Then the Astros added him to their major league roster as a September call-up.
Little used early in September, he finished with a flurry, going 4 for 4 with eight RBIs in one memorable game at St. Louis.
"It doesn't happen very often, but we always knew he had the talent," Bennett said.
"It always comes down to how they handle adversity. That's whether it's going to Double A, or Triple A, or even to the big leagues. And he handled it well."
So, when J.R.'s answering the questions and telling fans about his big 2007 season, does he ever pinch himself?
"Not really," he said. "It's one of those things that's hard to explain. A roller coaster ride.
"Everything happened so fast. I'm thinking (at first) I'm so far away from the big leagues, and it all happened in one year. It was a roller coaster ride and crazy
"Now it's good going to spring training this year knowing they know what I can do."
Towles is leaving next Tuesday for the Astros' spring training base in Kissimmee, Fla., where the pitchers and catchers begin working out a week from today.
"(Brad) Ausmus is going to be the backup catcher and Humberto Quintero and J.R. will compete for the No. 1 spot," Bennett said.
Ausmus, 38, will be starting his 16th major league season. He has made it clear that his reason for coming back this season is to tutor his successor.
"We want J.R. to continue to gain experience," Bennett said. "He's got great ability. He's a very good blocker. One of the things he needs to work on is his throwing accuracy down to second base. He's got to increase his arm strength.
"Defensively, outside of that, he's pretty solid.
"Offensively, he's got a good approach. He uses the whole field. He'll get better with pitch recognition, knowing the pitchers and how they're going to pitch to him.
"He's got a chance to be a pretty good hitter."
Towles, 6-2 and 195 pounds, spent a couple of weeks in the fall in the Arizona league before the club figured out he didn't need the seasoning and brought him home. After some holiday hunting trips, Towles has been working out regularly at Minute Maid, getting ready for camp.
"I'm taking it that I'm trying to earn a spot," he said. "I don't think anything is set in stone. Everybody wants a starting job.
"I'm just going in, trying to earn it, take it one day at a time and if I'm not there, I'm going to work hard to get there."