When the Mets drafted Jesen Therrien in 2010, he decided not to sign, figuring that he could do better than being a 36th round pick. Just one year later, the Phillies took Therrien in the 17th round of the draft and he signed his first professional contract, albeit too late to pitch that summer. The following summer, Therrien was a member of the Gulf Coast League Phillies, where he would stay for two seasons, posting a combined mark of 2-8 with a 4.30 ERA in 24 games, half of which were starts.
The Phillies decided that Therrien was better suited to pitch out of the bullpen and he's made just one spot start in the minors since 2014, pitching as a reliever in 92 minor league games. Overall, Therrien has put together a career record of 14-12, 3.64 in the minors over five seasons.
Even though he had success in 30 games with Clearwater in 2015, the Phillies put him back in the Florida State League to open the 2016 season and he pitched in 27 games for the Threshers before getting the call to head for Double-A Reading. He pitched in 11 games with the Fightins and put together a 3.71 ERA, not bad for his first stint at that level.
As a starter, it often appeared that Therrien was forcing his secondary pitches and using them a little too much at times, almost trying to find a way to throw them for strikes. Since moving to the bullpen full-time, he relies on a decent, but not overpowering fastball that he can get up to the 95 mile-per-hour range when he pumps it up, but usually is around 93, with decent movement. Ironically, he's more relaxed with his off-speed pitches, which the Phillies have worked with him to develop and he's not got a change-up that that he can throw with good deception and is willing to throw at pretty much any point in the count. He's also got a slider that still lags behind, but is good enough that hitters at least have to be aware of it and when he uses it effectively, keeps them off-balance.
One area that Therrien struggles with is control. Last season, he walked 4.4 batters per nine innings and in his career, he's walked 3.6 per nine. Many times, he can work around those walks, because he also struck out 12.3 batters per nine last season and he gets a lot of groundball outs to help his cause.
If Therrien gets past the control issues, he'll instantly become a much more effective reliever. The scary part is that as he continues to move up the ladder, hitters won't be quite as likely to chase pitches and if he's not more consistent in keeping his pitches around the strike zone, it's going to be difficult for him to get hitters out on a regular basis.
It's likely that Therrien will be back at Double-A Reading in 2017 for at least a chunk of the season.
Jesen Therrien career stats
|Minors (5 seasons)||14||12||3.64||136||13||269.1||137||109||1.307||8.1||0.5||3.6||8.2|