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2023 Arizona Diamondbacks Reviews: #21, Drey Jameson

The high octane 2022 Debut Darling had a strange 2023 that ended in misery

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Dr. Drey. Drey Day. The man we all somehow trusted with a baseball more than anyone else in April. The man who may have been misused and suffered for it... Drey Jameson.

Overview

  • Rating: 5.38 out of 10
  • 2023 MLB Stats: 15G (3GS), 40.2 IP, 3-1 Record, 3.32 ERA, 1.426 WHIP, 132 ERA+
  • 2023 MiLB Stats: 5G (5GS), 28.0 IP, 4-0 Record, 5.79 ERA, 4.429 WHIP in Reno
  • Date of birth: August 17, 1997 (26)
  • 2023 Salary: $595,170
  • 2024 status: Controlled through 2028 via arbitration - will spend all of 2024 (and possibly the beginning of 2025 on the IL recovering from Tommy John Surgery)

Vote breakdown

Unfortunately for all of us, Jameson’s 2023 was incredibly short. He pitched a total of 68.2 innings between Reno and Phoenix. By July 7 he was injured and would not don a Diamondbacks’ uniform again until 2025... This was after a strange confluence of events to begin the year.

In Spring, it was publicly stated that Jameson, Nelson and Henry were fighting for the fifth starter’s spot. Despite showing quite well, Jameson lost the position to Nelson and the team chose to use him in the MLB bullpen rather than the AAA rotation. By mid-April he was at least starting some games in Phoenix, but was demoted to stretch out and develop on April 24. He was back in Sedona Red on May 27, but was once again a reliever. He kept that role until his elbow injury on July 6. He attempted to rehab the elbow without Tommy John Surgery, but ultimately failed and went under the scary knife on September 17, 2023. The timing of the injury is unfortunate for player and team as he will miss the entire 2024 season, but theoretically should be back before Opening Day 2025.

The bigger issue regarding the injury is that Jameson not only accrues MLB service time since he was on the Big League roster at time of IL placement (likely costing the team some control although perhaps they get a year back a la Corbin Martin), but he also has minimal MLB experience overall, so even when he’s back, the need for further development is still large. His future as a starter is gone. And frankly his ceiling is significantly lower as well unless he is the type of player who pitches well into his 30s... A massive what could have been.

Despite the yo-yoing between baseball levels and role on the team, Jameson pitched well enough in 2023. His MLB record is still pristine (albeit in small sample size danger zone). If you view him as a reliever moving forward, he has about a full season of experience under his belt! And it’s been a great showing. If he can build his MLB K% back up to peak MiLB rates, he’ll be great! Same with lowering his BB%. In his favor: the BABIP has been fairly high so far, but reasonably so, so there may not be much room for improvement there.

Either way, we have more than a year to see what the future holds for our former starting pitcher prospect of note.

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