Prospect Profile: Jair Jurrjens

Jurrjens had been moving along quietly through the system until last season, when he settled in as the ace of a good West Michigan staff. His next test will be to do the same at High-A Lakeland in 2006. Check inside to see what makes him one of the top young starters in the system.

Jair Jurrjens
Position: Right-Handed Pitcher Height: 6-1 Weight: 170
Born: 1/29/1986Bats: 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 Tigers challenged Jurrjens with an assignment to full-season West Michigan in 2005, and he excelled, proving to be the staff ace despite his young age.

Scouting Report
Jurrjens combines a good fastball (90-92 mph), with good breaking pitches that simply lack consistency. Jair has made strides in controlling not only his fastball, but his off-speed pitches, and should continue to refine their consistency more. His fastball is slowly gaining velocity, and touched 94 on some occasions throughout the 2005 season. As Jair gets older and continues to mature physically, he could consistently reach the 94-95 range with his heater. Jurrjens is a heady pitcher that understanding pitching theory and his job on the mound well. He fields his position like an experienced veteran, and is constantly trying to be a leader when on the field and in the dugout. His makeup and desire make him a better pitcher than his "stuff" currently projects. He is still very young and still has time to continue developing, but his future is already very bright. Without added velocity, Jurrjens likely projects as a middle of the rotation starter.

Performance

Year

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

H

BB

SO

IP

2005

West Michigan

12-6

3.41

26

26

0

132

36

108

142.2


Health Record
Jurrjens has experienced no significant injuries.

The Future
After an exciting and successful season at West Michigan in 2005, Jurrjens will move on to Lakeland for the upcoming campaign. At only 20-years old, Jair will be one of the youngest players in the Florida State league in 2006, but his age has not proven to be a deterrent to this point in his career. Jurrjens has been working hard on an advanced offseason strength and conditioning program that should allow him to remain stronger during games and throughout the season. Look for Jair to add additional velocity late in games, as well as for him to display increased consistency with his control. With continued improvement, Jurrjens should begin to emerge as the next top pitching prospect in the Tigers system in very short order.


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