by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Back in March of 2014 I wrote an article entitled “Breakout Alert: Has Taylor Jordan Developed Into A Must Own Option?” (which you can read by clicking here). Obviously it’s been two years and the breakout never happened, thanks in large part due to injuries. That said, with Jordan getting off to a strong start at Triple-A this season it is worth wondering if he could now realize the potential?
He’s opened the season with an impressive 15.2 IP, posting a 1.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP (.320 BABIP), 12 K and 5 BB. Obviously we’d like to see a little bit more length from him, but at least the results are there. It’s certainly possible that he gets an opportunity, thanks to being on the 40-man roster, the struggles of Tanner Roark and Lucas Giolito’s slow start at Double-A. Jordan’s strength is his ability to produce in all three categories we look for:
Control – He owns a career 2.2 BB/9 in the minors and a 2.39 over 94.1 IP in the Majors
Groundballs – He owns an impressive 63.9% groundball rate in the Majors and a 1.62 GO/AO over his minor league career (1.76 in the Majors)
Strikeouts – This is a bit of a “wild card”, considering his minor league career K/9 of 6.9. That said, he does own a 9.8% SwStr% in the Majors so it’s hard to say that there isn’t any upside in the department.
Never a highly touted prospect, that type of mix does at least bring the potential of a usable fantasy starter. If not, you have to wonder how his stuff would play in the bullpen (though he’d obviously be nothing more than a setup man). The question is going to be if he can generate enough strikeouts as a starter, something that would at least seem possible. Maybe he’s not going to be a strikeout per inning pitcher, but is a 7.0 far fetched? That alone, with the others numbers and the Nationals’ offense behind him, would create a streaming option to exploit.
Maybe he’s not a sexy option, like Giolito will be (or the recently recalled Blake Snell), but that doesn’t mean we should simply ignore him either. Keep an eye on him and see if he gets an opportunity to produce. In the right situation he will certainly be worth considering.
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference
Make sure to check out all of Rotoprofessor’s Preseason Top 10 Prospect Lists: