Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Ricky Tiedemann (70) delivers a pitch during an MLB Spring Training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 07, 2023 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. Tiedemann has been pitching well after being shut down in spring training due to shoulder soreness. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network
Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Ricky Tiedemann looks like a man amongst boys at the Double-A level.
Tiedemann took the mound for the Blue Jays Double-A affiliate, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Wednesday night against the New York Yankees Double-A affiliate, the Somerset Patriots. The 20-year-old Tiedemann is the Jays’ top prospect and ranks 29th in MLB’s top 100 prospects. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, the lefty is imposing in stature and the ball jumps out of his hand.
Tiedemann was the Jays third round pick in the 2021 draft out of Golden West Junior College in Huntington Beach, California. In his first start of the Double-A season against the Boston Red Sox Double-A affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs, Tiedemann was dominant, getting all nine of his outs via strikeout in around 50 pitches.
Tiedemann was interviewed by Latino Sports on Tuesday, April 18, the day before his start.
“It felt great. I had high expectations for my first outing. Going out there and putting out a good outing was a good thing for me and it’s all about keeping it going,” Tiedemann said.
Tiedemann was invited to the Blue Jays spring training, but was only able to pitch three innings due to shoulder soreness. He had to shut down for a few days before ramping back up, and didn’t pitch in a live game until his season debut against Portland.
Tiedemann reflected on his Spring Training experience and what it was like being able to learn from the big league pitchers.
“They all had good things to say and I kinda wanted to be a fly on the wall listen and learn from them,” Tiedemann said. “I was able to take a lot from their routines and add it to mine.”
The Blue Jays are being careful with his pitch count, allowing him to build up slowly. In his start Thursday night, he threw 60 pitches against the Patriots. Tiedmann has been clocked as high as 99 mph this season, and also features a wipeout slider and changeup.
He had a rough first inning, walking two batters and hitting another. He limited the damage with two strikeouts and only allowed one run on a sacrifice fly. After the first inning, he was locked in and showed the components that make him a great pitcher. He struck out four batters in his final 2.2 innings of work and only allowed one hit.
Tiedemann talked about the feeling he has on the mound when everything is flowing smoothly.
“With the pitch clock if you’re rolling with the pitch clock it’s like that every pitch is coming in quicker and quicker. It feels good when you’re in a rhythm as a pitcher,” Tiedemann said.
His line for the day was 3.2 innings pitched, six strikeouts, one hit, two walks and one run allowed. The premier matchup was against the Yankees’ second-ranked prospect outfielder Jasson Dominguez, who ranks 41st in MLB’s top 100 prospects. Tiedemann was very excited to face off against him after spending some time with him in the futures-all star game in Los Angeles last season.
“Great player for sure, I love the way he plays the game. He plays hard,” Tiedemann said. “I love watching him play.”
Tiedemann walked him and struck him out on a 97 mph fastball. Tiedemann could be in play for a quick call-up to Triple-A and it’s possible he could even get added to the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster later in the season. His estimated time to make his debut is 2024 via MLB.Com/pipeline.