Prospect Profile: Jair Jurrjens

A little spoken of youngster, Jair Jurrjens quickly made a name for himself by dominating in the Gulf Coast League at just 18 years of age. Jurrjens didn't have quite the same success at the next level, but that shouldn't temper the enthusiasm Jurrjens has generated throughout the organization.

Jair Jurrjens
Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-1 Weight: 165
Born: 1/29/1986 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Jurrjens was signed by the Tigers as a 17 year old out of Curacao. Signed as a bit of a project, the Tigers are prepared to be patient with the still developing hurler. Working primarily as a reliever in his first 7 games with the Gulf Coast League Tigers in 2003, Jair posted some very impressive numbers for someone so young, logging 28 innings with a 3.21 ERA, 20 strikeouts and only three walks. During a return trip to the GCL in 2004, Jurrjens dominated his competition, forcing the organizations hand in promoting him to Oneonta of the New York-Penn League. While Jair struggled some against more advanced competition, he still maintained solid strikeout rates, low walk rates, and didn't give up any homeruns. The exposure to older hitters was good experience for Jurrjens, as he will likely be in the mix for a spot with West Michigan this season.

Scouting Report
Jurrjens combines a solid, average fastball (88-92 mph), with good breaking pitches that simply lack consistency. Despite his inability to routinely place his off-speed pitches, Jurrjens is able to keep from walking hitters due to his high pitchers intelligence. Jair understands pitching theory and takes well to instruction, lending to his advanced poise and maturity on the mound. At only 19 years old, Jurrjens still has room to fill out and mature physically, and could add 3-4 miles per hour on his velocity. If he is able to improve his present command, Jair could move quickly. Because of his youth, there is no reason to advance Jurrjens too fast, but if his performance warrants, the organization would be foolish not to challenge him.

Performance

Year

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

2004

GCL Tigers

4-2

2.27

6

6

0

39

10

39.2

0.88

2004

Oneonta

1-5

5.31

7

7

0

31

10

39.0

1.54


Health Record
Jurrjens has experienced no significant injuries.

The Future
After only 7 starts with Oneonta, Jurrjens sits squarely on the fence between a return trip to short-season ball and his first taste of a full-season schedule. The West Michigan staff is likely to be crowded with older pitchers that would likely suffer more from being held back, lending to the distinct possibility that Jair could be headed back for another tour with the O-Tigers. Either way, 2005 could be a breakout year for Jurrjens, forcing his way onto the Tigers prospect scene. Jair's combination of youth, poise, and room for additional development and growth, leave room for plenty of imagination about what is to come. Keep your eyes peeled, as Jurrjens appears ready to bust on the scene and make a name for himself this summer.


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