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Ian Churchill Building Off his College Season in Dunedin

Ian Churchill Building Off his College Season in Dunedin

August 24, 2022

Photo credit: University of San Diego Athletics

Left-handed pitcher Ian Churchill was the Toronto Blue Jays’ 10th round pick (308th overall) out of the University of San Diego a month ago. For Churchill, the moment was both exciting and unexpected at the same time.

“It was great,” said Churchill. “I had no clue I’d be drafted on the second day. Being a fifth year in college I was kind of hoping for a free agent contract or something. But to get drafted on the second day was pretty awesome. It was definitely a crazy experience. It was just me and my mom in the kitchen watching it on my laptop, so she was there to celebrate with me.”

Churchill’s draft stock rose after a great season at San Diego. Pitching 54 innings for USD in 2022; Churchill racked up 57 K’s and maintained a WHIP of 1.06.

And his great season has carried over to the early stages of his professional career.

Pitching 3 2/3 innings so far for Low-A Dunedin; Churchill has a WHIP of 1.09 and opposing hitters are only batting .167 against him.

Currently using a four-pitch mix of a 4-seam fastball, a sinking fastball, a slider, and a changeup in his repertoire; is helping Churchill keep hitters off-balance.

The lefty is keeping them off-balance by tunneling his slider and changeup off of his 4-seamer.

“I throw my changeup more than my slider, but I think they both tunnel well,” explained Churchill. “I throw my changeup in pretty much all counts for a strike. I’m always trying to get better with my slider and work them off my fastball. My fastball is my best pitch.”

And Churchill likes his 4-seam fastball more than his sinker, “I like my 4-seam a lot,” Churchill added. “They both move a lot, but I think my 4-seam has some ride through the zone. I kind of use that to get a ground ball if I need it.”

Working out of the bullpen in his first professional season, Churchill talks about that role.

“You never know when you’re going to go in and it keeps you on your toes,” said Churchill. “I think I play my best when I’m not trying to think too much. I think being in the bullpen is an easy and relaxed place. Everyone is talking about the game and when that phone rings your name might get called.”

Be sure to follow Ian Churchill’s season, as he continues to pitch well out of Dunedin’s bullpen.