Scouting Jays Prospect #13: Jamie Vermilyea

Jamie Vermilyea has had a long road in the minors since he was selected in the 9th round of the 2003 draft. The right-handed pitcher has progressed rapidly and came close to breaking through to the major leagues in 2005 when he was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Red Sox, but only to be offered back to the Jays in spring training. Tomorrow he celebrates his 25th birthday.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jamie Vermilyea
Position: Position
DOB: February 10, 1982
Height: 6'4
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

After the 2005 season finished Vermilyea saw his chance to break through to the big leagues after the Red Sox selected him in the Rule 5 draft.

"It was a great experience and the Red Sox really took good care of me, but I understand why they couldn't keep me," Vermilyea said at the time.

"The bullpen was deep, and gave a couple of pitchers big money to go there. I knew there was just no room for me. I just went to camp with the hope of pitching well and making it a hard choice for them to let me go."

Manager Tery Francona was impressed with the right hander.

"He keeps the ball down and induces ground balls. He also has the ability to make batters swing-and-miss.

The Blue Jays were extremely happy to get Vermilyea back and when the chance occurred they didn't hesitate.

"We're happy to get him back," said Dick Scott, director of player development for the Blue Jays.

"Jamie had a shot of making their team, but we knew it was going to be hard for any young pitcher to earn a spot in their rotation," said Scott. "Talking with J.P. Ricciardi, and Dane Johnson, we all wanted him back. Jamie throws strikes, is not afraid to go after hitters and doesn't get into too many deep counts. He's very efficient."

Repertoire: Fastball, slider, splitter, curveball, changeup

Fastball: Vermilyea has a solid fastball that tops out at 93 MPH with outstanding late movement, and sinking action to it. His fastball was clocked at 86 mph early in his collegiate and professional career, but he worked hard to increase his velocity in the minors.

Other Pitches: Vermilyea also features a slider, splitter, curveball and a changeup. His slider is in the 79-82 MPH range with sharp breaking action, and a late bite. He has a good feel for it, and is one of his plus pitches. Another plus pitch for him is his splitter, which he throws in the 81-84 MPH range, and is another pitch that he has a good feel for, and feels comfortable throwing it during any count. The right-hander also mixes in a curveball and a change-up which he throws in the upper 70s to low 80s. His change-up is a developing pitch for him, but he maintains his mechanics and is very deceptive on the mound.

Projection: He struggles with his delivery from the stretch because he lacks balance, but he has average arm speed through a loose easy 3/4 slot and gets good extension in back and out front. Vermilyea can be used as a starter or a reliever, but most scouts believe his best role will be as a long-reliever or a middle reliever.

2007 Outlook: Vermilyea will begin the 2007 season with Triple-A Syracuse.

ETA- 2007: It will be tough to break through with Toronto baring injuries, but most scouts believe the right-hander is ready for his breakthrough to the big leagues.

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