JOHN STILSON, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: July 28, 1990
Drafted: 3rd Round, 108th overall pick, 2011 (Blue Jays)
How Acquired: Minor League Free Agent
College: Texas A&M University
WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE
|When the Jays drafted him in 2011, Stilson came with a low-90s fastball, and a change and slider that were regarded as plus pitches. He came with some cautionary notes, though, as he’d had a torn labrum that he recovered from by rehabbing rather than having surgery. He also had a high-effort delivery that left him with command issues. He moved to relief early in his career and saw his velocity jump to the 93-97 mph range. Stilson seemed to be on the fast track to the majors by 2013, but had labrum surgery in mid-2014 and, except for one rehab game, didn’t return until 2016. He’s not a groundball pitcher and has had sizeable platoon splits the last two years. The Pirates signed him to a minor league contract after the 2017 season.
Stilson signed too late to play in the 2011 season. The Jays moved him up aggressively, sending him straight to high A in 2012. He pitched reasonably well there as a starter, although not as well as the ERA suggests. He got a mid-season promotion to AA and moved to the bullpen halfway through his time there to keep his innings down. He had more trouble with his control in AA. Baseball America rated Stilson the Jays’ seventh best prospect after the season.
Stilson missed the first six weeks of the season with a rib cage injury, after which the Jays sent him to AA. After two games there, they promoted him to AAA. He enjoyed his best pro season there. BA ranked him #21 on Toronto’s prospect list.
Stilson returned to AAA, but didn’t pitch as well as the previous year. In late June, he went out for labrum surgery.
Stilson made one rehab appearance in May, but didn’t pitch again all year.
The Jays sent Stilson back down to AA, where he spent nearly the entire season. He pitched reasonably well, but not great, with mediocre walk and K rates.
Stilson pitched most of the season in AAA and made progress over the previous season.
It doesn’t look like Stilson recovered fully from the labrum surgery, but he’s a reasonable flier for the Pirates. He’ll no doubt serve as bullpen depth in AAA, where the Pirates will have a lot of capable pitchers among whom to divide the innings.
|2018: Minor league contract|
|Signing Bonus: $500,000
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2018
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 11, 2009: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 19th round, 582nd overall pick.
June 7, 2011: Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round, 108th overall pick; signed on August 13.
November 6, 2016: Became a free agent.
December 19, 2017: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates.