Jays’ pool of pitching talent inspires Wojciechowski

DUNEDIN, Fla.— According to Baseball America, the Toronto Blue Jays have one of the deepest talent pools of pitchers in all of Major League Baseball and have a reputation for developing quality arms.

Of the projected starting rotation for the upcoming 2012 season, only Brandon Morrow wasn’t drafted by the Blue Jays and groomed in their minor league system.

With the Jays farm teams loaded with emerging talents such as Deck McGuire, Chand Jenkins and Drew Hutchinson – all of whom are on the cusp of making the big league squad, it would be easy to assume that there’s not much room for growth for their younger pitchers.

For Asher Wojciechowski however, the talent in the Jays’ system actually makes him more competitive and driven to improve.

“When you’re playing with the best it just brings out the better parts of you,” said the 22-year-old prospect. “I’m a very competitive person and being around guys who are also good pitchers and competitive it brings out the best in you.”

Wojciechowski was the Blue Jays supplemental draft pick in the 2010 MLB draft, going 41st overall.He played his first full season of professional baseball last year with the Dunedin Blue Jays, playing Single A ball.

Last year the Charleston, S.C., native had his ups and downs. He struggled mightily in the middle of the season but was strong otherwise.

He attributes these struggles on the mound to the adjustments he was making. Changing his arm slot and some pitching grips that he was unaccustomed to, “it was a change I’ve never had to do and that was a rough month and half.”

Preparing for his second full season of pro baseball, Wojciechowski has left all of his struggles behind him. After July, the tall right-hander went 6-0 with 2.94 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 34 innings of work. “(Last year) I finished strong so I’m really confident going into this year.”

Even with his success at the end of last season, the Blue Jays prospect continues to work hard and improve his pitches. Like most pitchers in the Jays system, Wojciehowski continues to develop his change-up to compliment his mid-90’s fastball and power slider.

It’s his stuff on the mound and his confidence in himself that was certainly what led to his high draft position with the Jays. Now, he is just working hard, harnessing his talent and awaiting his call to move up the minor league ladder.

“I don’t know the timeline on that. It’s all based on performance … so I’m just going to go out there and play the best that I can and hopefully everything goes well.”

With his ability to handle adversity, adjust accordingly and stay mentally prepared to go along with his raw talent, Wojciehowski is becoming a dominant member in the arsenal of strong pitchers budding in the Jays farm system.