This morning the Tampa Bay Rays promoted right-hander Tyler Sturdevant to the big league roster. The 30-year-old minor league veteran has never appeared in the majors but he does have a long track record of professional success. Let's take a look.
Sturdevant was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 27th round in 2009, from New Mexico State University. A native of Littleton, Colorado, Sturdevant posted a 6.79 ERA in 183 innings over three years of college ball, his career interruped by Tommy John surgery in 2007. However, the Aggies play in an extremely difficult environment for pitchers, a fact which the Indians accounted for in their scouting. In pro ball Sturdevant was much more successful, emerging immediately as a successful relief pitcher and reaching Triple-A very quickly in 2011.
A shoulder injury cost Sturdevant the entire 2013 season but he came back strong in '14, posting a 2.65 ERA with a 54/17 in 57 innings in the high minors. He returned to Triple-A in 2015 (3.16, 30/10 K/BB in 31 innings) but missed 50 games with a PED suspension. For 2016 he signed with the Rays as a free agent, posting a 1.56 ERA with a 21/8 K/BB in 17 innings before his promotion.
Sturdevant is listed at 6-0, 185. He relies primarily on a fastball in the low-90s and a hard-breaking slider which is tough on right-handed hitters. He has a change-up but it is a show-me third pitch. He has shown he can dominate Triple-A when his command is working; in the majors he projects as a ROOGY or middle reliever.
This Indians Baseball Insider video is more than three years old, but that's still newer than all the other publicly available video on Sturdevant.