Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Jordan Jankowski!

Even with the Dodgers cruising, there is no rest. The front office continues to make moves, and it won't necessarily have any bearing on this season. They know better than most that in order to continue their competitive advantage -- building the deepest team in the league -- they must look at development as a year-round thing. Even with the playoffs looming there's no better time than now to be thinking about next season. The Dodgers, sensing an opportunity, grabbed recently waived right-handed relief pitcher Jordan Jankowski from the Houston Astros. He is 28-years old and was immediately sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City. You can follow Jordan on twitter here: @JJ_Jankowski33. BTW, Jordan can't sing. Go here to check out what I mean. Per a Dodgers press release:
Jankowski has gone 24-16 with a 3.46 ERA in 233 games (28 starts) in six minor league seasons in the Houston organization, striking out 509 in 421.0 innings and limiting opponents to a .228 batting average. He made his Major League debut on May 24 against the Tigers and allowed six runs in 4.1 innings in three big league games with the Astros this year before being designated for assignment on Monday.
The Pennsylvania native spent the majority of the 2017 season with Houston’s Triple-A Fresno, going 2-3 with a 5.13 ERA in 37 games. He was originally selected by the Astros in the 34th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Catawba (NC) College.
On a side note, Jordan Jankowski shares the same first name as his wife -- Jordan. I kid you not! So, please welcome Jordan & Jordan Jankowski to the club. As for what Jordan brings to the table, John Sickels at Minor League Ball wrote the following at the beginning of this season:
Jankowski was rated as a Grade C+ pre-season, although he didn’t make the Top 20 Houston Astros prospects list for 2017. He would have ranked in the 25-30 range. He had a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings for Fresno this year before the promotion, with a 22/9 K/BB. 
Listed at 6-1, 225, Jankowski is a right-handed hitter and thrower born May 17, 1989. His fastball isn’t elite, generally right at 90-91 MPH, but he can mix in a decent slider and has developed a splitter since reaching the high minors. 
He’s maintained high strikeout rates and has shown he can manage the difficult Pacific Coast League. Overall he projects as a useful middle reliever.
So, Jankowski gets a ton of strike outs, but has yet to see it translate in to effective outings at higher levels, yet. Per Connor Byrne at MLB Trade Rumors:
A 34th-round pick of the Astros in 2012, Jankowski made his major league debut earlier this year and fared poorly across 4 1/3 innings, surrendering six earned runs on seven hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. Jankowski hasn’t produced great results in 40 1/3 Triple-A frames this season, either, with a 5.13 ERA, 5.13 BB/9 and a 36.8 percent ground-ball rate. The 28-year-old has averaged nearly 12 strikeouts per nine at that level this season, however, adding to his impressive bat-missing history in the minors. In 174 1/3 lifetime Triple-A innings, Jankowski has fanned exactly 12 hitters per nine, against 4.5 BB/9, and posted a 3.87 ERA.
When you can strike folks out at that kind of pace the Dodgers are gonna notice. After all, he obviously has the kind of stuff that causes batters to swing-'n-miss. They just got to work on his walk rate and minimizing batted balls put into play.

In honor of his addition to the club I made the above fantasy Baseball card of him. I used the 1979 Topps Baseball card design with a pic taken from (Staff photographer Elizabeth Conley).

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