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Rule 5 pick Joe Biagini wishes for success with Blue Jays

Joe Biagini will likely picth out of Blue Jays bullpen to start 2016 season

Rule 5 pick Joe Biagini wishes for success with Blue Jays

December 16, 2015

Joe Biagini

Joe Biagini was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rule 5 draft. (MiLB.com)

Many felt the Toronto Blue Jays would address their pitching need during the Winter Meetings last week. With a lot of great pitchers being snatched up quickly through the free agent market, a lot of people thought the Jays would address their bullpen need during the Rule 5 draft.

Doing just that on Friday, the Blue Jays picked up right-handed pitcher Joe Biagini from the San Francisco Giants organization. The 25-year old hurler was the 10th player selected that day and was instantly added to the Blue Jays 40-man roster.

Biagini could easily be a back of the rotation starter, or a reliever at the major league level. Viewed more as a bullpen option for the Blue Jays next season, the righty admits he’ll be ready to pitch in any role that’s presented to him next spring.

“I’ve always been comfortable as a starter, because I like the weekly preparation routine,” explained Biagini. “But I also enjoyed my time as a reliever. I’ll be excited for any opportunity and will do my best to exceed at whatever position I’m offered.”

The prospect jumped back on scout’s radars after an excellent 2015 season in the Eastern League. Biagini maintained an impressive 1.12 WHIP in 130 2/3 innings pitched as a member of the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The righty also posted career bests in ERA at 2.42, H/9 ratio at 7.7, and BB/9 ratio at 2.3. All of which are great signs for Biagini’s future, as he was performing in a league more suited for hitters.

It was definitely a risk on the Giants part to leave Biagini exposed to potential teams. But with a logjam of quality arms in their minor league system they were left with a tough decision on who to add to their 40-man roster and who to leave open to other franchises.

Despite being left off the list, Biagini has no hard feelings towards the Giants. In fact, the righty grew up a fan of the club and is very thankful for everything the organization has done for him in terms of molding him into the pitcher he is today.

“I truly believe the Giants are a first class organization and there are so many great people that I met and learned from during my time there,” stated Biagini. “I struggled my first couple years and the Giants continued to give me opportunities to improve. As a Giants fan growing up, I thank God for the chance to play for that organization for four seasons.”

Finding continued success with his pitch repertoire. Biagini features three pitches, which includes: a sinking fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. While his three pitches have brought him tremendous achievements in recent seasons he’s still focused on advancing his game some more as he admits he’s working on expanding his repertoire for future campaigns.

“I am currently toying around with a cutter/slider,” explained Biagini. “While I’m working on it, I’m not sure how much I’ll use the pitch in the future.”

Known primarily for his fastball and changeup, Biagini has the ability to dial up his sinker to the mid-90’s. The prospect is also extremely proud of his changeup. Believed to be a vital pitch for professional pitchers, Biagini is satisfied with his above-average feel for the changeup.

“I’ve been told I have natural sink on my fastball,” said Biagini. “I just try to be aggressive and keep it low in the zone to get groundballs.”

“I first started throwing what is similar to my current changeup in a summer league during college,” Biagini added. “I use it a lot to throw off the hitter’s timing and it seems to be especially effective when the hitter is in an advantage count.”

Obviously Biagini will be making a transition come spring training as he’ll be meeting a bunch of new teammates in the Blue Jays system. Despite not knowing many players in the organization he’s sure he’ll be comfortable with everyone he meets.

“I haven’t had the chance to find out if I know anyone personally on the Blue Jays,” stated Biagini. “But my Dad told me he played against and with Chris Colabello’s Dad in Italy. I’m sure all the guys are very nice as well.”

Reporting to his first Blue Jays spring training in February. Biagini feels he’ll be well prepared for the challenge that will be placed in front of him as he’ll work hard to prove the organization made the right decision in selecting him last week.

“I do a lot of workouts during the off-season,” stated Biagini. “I have a trainer I’ve used since I played college baseball. It’s worked in the past and I expect it to again.”

Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays definitely hope they found a great young pitcher that will be part of their organization for years to come in Joe Biagini.