Alan Farina: The next Blue Jays pitching phenom?

With the recent departure of Tim Collins to the Atlanta organization in the Yunel Escobar/Alex Gonzalez trade, the Blue Jays will need a new reliever to backfill the “phenom” position that Collins left behind.  Enter Alan Farina, the new Tim Collins save for the extraordinary strikeout numbers.

The 5’11” 190-pound Farina is a 4-pitch pitcher, possessing a fastball that maxes out at 94mph, an average slider, inconsistent curve and above average changeup.  He has great poise on the mound and is very aggressive in attacking hitters.

Alan Farina was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 3rd round (115th overall) out of Clemson in the 2007 amateur draft after the righty went 6-3 with a 3.77 ERA, 72 Ks in 57.1 IP.  Farina was assigned to single A Auburn of the New York Penn League in a relief role. Farina struggled after being promoted to Lansing in 2008  and then to Dunedin in 2009 due to shoulder (impingement) and elbow (partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament) injuries. 2010 is the first season that Farina is 100% healthy and he began the ’10 season in Dunedin.

I saw Farina pitch an inning in spring training and he didn’t look all that impressive to me.  He induced a groundball, got a fly-out and struck out a lefty on a fastball on the outside corner.  However, all of the Jays prospects on hand to watch the game were whispering to each other “ooOOooOOOh Farina is in! Check it out, it’s Farina!!”

Farina came out of the gates hot in Dunedin and immediately stabilized their bullpen while helping to lead the team to a first-half first-place finish, guaranteeing them a spot in the playoffs.  In 36 innings for Dunedin, Farina allowed only 19 hits while striking out 46 and walking 11.  He only allowed 5ER for a sparkling ERA of 1.24 and a BAA of .156.

After Dunedin secured a playoff spot, Farina was promoted to AA New Hampshire.  He’s pitched in only 5.1 innings since being called up but has continued his success. Just look at his numbers below.

Farina was placed on the 7-day DL following his last appearance on July 3rd.  I haven’t been able to discern what the injury is, but I hope it isn’t related to his old elbow and shoulder injuries.

All you heartbroken Tim Collinsophiles out there take solace.  There is a new pitching phenom in the Jays system to obsess over.


Update

Alan just finished his first Arizona Fall League season with stellar results.


ESPN’s Keith Law saw Farina in the AFL and doesn’t quite agree that he is the next Blue Jays pitching phenom.

“Farina was 89-92 with an average cutter, didn’t show another pitch.  Middle relief type.”

Written By

has written for Mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Callum on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (@callumhughson)

  • Matthew

    He’s about to turn 24 and just now cracking double A? I think we should really wait for a much bigger sample size before declaring him anything more than a fringe prospect. Guy came into the season with a career pro era of 5.01, averaging 5.6 walks per nine. At the end of his early twenties and repeating A ball does not inspire confidence.

    • “Farina struggled after being promoted to Lansing in 2008 and then to Dunedin in 2009 due to shoulder (impingement) and elbow (partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament) injuries. 2010 is the first season that Farina is 100% healthy and he began the ’10 season in Dunedin.”

  • Blake

    Give the guy a break he has been hurt. When not hurt it sounds like he is good.

  • Matthew

    I’m not writing him off, but it’s going to take more than a half season of overaged dominance for me to start wondering if he’s the next “Blue Jays pitching phenom”. In fact, if he were healthy and not dominating in Dunedin he wouldn’t even be on the fringe.

  • Brian

    I dont believe you can judge somebody on their age. If they are having success at even an age fifty in double-AA there is no reason not to give him a shot. 24 is a young age, and he is in double most likely because of his previous injuries he has had. This season proves to me why I was a big follower of when they drafted him in the 3rd round in 2007. I am an avid clemson fan, where he played baseball, and we could count on him shutting things down. His most memorable game wa against the number 2 in the country FSU. He came in behind by like 5-6 runs, all the pitchers were getting hit up, and he comes in there and shuts them down for 4-5 innings with only a hit or so. They wound up winning that game because of him. I have seen him pitch in a high-A game and he is lights out. His fastball read 96 on one of the guns. That game he pitched in, he struck out the 2,3,4 batters in order. Give the man a chance. Because he is obviously showing what he is capable of doing if he is healthy.

  • chris

    Yeah, I check the game logs of the games he pitched in, and 4 out of the 5 runs he gave up were in the first two weeks of the season. He went a month without giving up a run and two months of only giving up one run. His start in Double-A is sounding promsing so far. He is on the 7-Day DL so it cant be anything to worry about, otherwise it wouldnt 7-day it would be longer.

  • Tribbey

    Al-Daddaaayy!!

  • KP-55

    I hate to make this comparison – actually no I don’t – but I know of one pitcher who is effective with just a cutter: Mariano Rivera.

  • Eric Lamb

    I played with Alan when were 18 and 19 in Community college at DBCC. He was lights out then and I have followed him since and he is still lights out. If he can stay healthy he is the next go to guy for the Jays!!! No doubt in my boy Skip!!!

  • Bacca

    Just wait…. Get em Aldaddy !!