Inside The Dugout: Jay Rainville

Jay Rainville, who was tearing up the Midwest League for the Beloit Snappers, got a promotion to the Fort Myers Miracle this week. The right-hander posted an 8-2 record for the Snappers, and had not lost since May 10. Now in the pitcher friendly Florida State League, Rainville will be filling the void Nick Blackburn left after being promoted to Double-A New Britain.

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Jay Rainville was recently promoted from Low Single-A Beloit to High Single-A Fort Myers. At the time of his promotion, Rainville was tearing up the Midwest League. As the Snappers' ace, Rainville was 8-2, with a 3.77 ERA.

Having not lost since May 10, Rainville had reeled off six straight winning decisions. At 19-years old, the right-handed phenom is fast-tracking his way through the organization.

Drafted as a supplemental first round pick in the 2004 draft, Rainville played his high school ball at Bishop Hendricksen in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. At 6'3'', 220 pounds, he draws comparisions to future Hall-of-Famer Roger Clemens.

He began his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Twins last summer, throwing 34 innings and striking out 38 batters. Most impressive was the fact that he only allowed three walks, and had a 1.83 ERA. Although an exit physical showed a weak shoulder, Baseball America rated him the Twins 15th best prospect.

With Beloit this season, Rainville hasn't shown any signs of having a physical problem. Batters were only hitting .243 against him, and he did not have many bad outings. In 12 of his 16 starts, Rainville allowed three or less earned runs.

July has been his best month of the season. In three starts, he is a perfect 3-0, and is boasting a 2.81 ERA. He has struck out 17 batters in 16 innings this month, and is handcuffing batters to the tune of a .197 batting average.

Rainville will next test his skills in the Florida State League. Known for being a pitcher friendly league, Jay will take the place of Nick Blackburn, the Miracles' former ace who is now hurling for Double-A New Britain. He should make his first start either Sunday or Monday.

Why he's good: Rainville has two plus pitches. He throws a 91-94 MPH sinker, and a power curve that already ranks as one of the best in the organization. He needs to work on his changeup if he wants to stay in the rotation, and if he doesn't, he will probably be a short reliever. A former National Hockey League prospect, his aggressiveness is what makes him a high ceiling guy.

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