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Blue Jays vs. Royals: Drew Hutchison Could Keep Kansas City’s Bats Quiet

Drew Hutchinson Toronto Blue Jays

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals play the second game of a home series with the Toronto Blue Jays tonight, and I’m taking a closer look at who will be starting the game for the away team.

Drew Hutchison was a highly-ranked prospect in Toronto’s system before losing the end of the 2012 season and then some to Tommy John surgery. He rehabbed through the minors before returning to the MLB club this year, and now he’s’ showing promise almost every time he takes the mound.

Hutchison will be strangely content to pitch at Kauffman Stadium tonight, as his 2014 numbers indicate that he’s far better on the road than at home. So far this season, he’s allowed two runs in 16.2 innings on the road, and allowed eight runs in only 9.1 in Toronto. His BAA shrinks from an even .300 in Canada to just .242 in the States. After getting off to an average start, he may not be the talk of the league, but Hutchison has a real chance to excel in the Jays’ rotation in 2014.

Scouts say this 6-foot-3, 23 year-old right-hander can accurately place his fastball on either side of the plate and add sinking or cutting action at will. That fastball is his most important tool, but he also bring to the mound a slider and a changeup that can often result in much-needed strikeouts. Hutchison actually struck out 44 percent of all the batters he faced during this year’s Spring Training.

He has a 3.46 ERA in the regular season with a 1.38 WHIP and a .265 BAA. Only five Royals have at-bats against Hutchison, but they all came back in 2012 and nobody saw him more than three times in his one career start against KC. Aside from one bad start against the New York Yankees this year that resulted in him only pitching 3.1 innings and allowing six to score, he’s survived at least 5.1 innings and allowed two runs or less in every other 2014 appearance.

The Royals still have their problems against little-known pitchers, but the presence of the dominant Yordano Ventura on the mound for the good guys should keep this game close at the very worst.

Doug LaCerte is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DLaC67, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.