This is another slow day when it comes to news from this franchise. When I was perusing the transactions on this date, one name jumped out that some of you may recognize, but others will not: Mike Hinckley. Hinckley was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays on this day in 2010.
Hinckley burst onto the scene in 2008, but I remember him most for being one of the top prospects in the organization during the last year that the team was in Montreal. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2001 Draft, four spots after Ryan Theriot and two spots ahead of Jeremy Guthrie. The 3rd round that year also included Jack Hannahan and Scott Hairston. It wasn’t a round for the ages, shall we say.
Hinckley, since he was drafted was one of the top-100 prospects in baseball, according to Baseball America. He was 96th in 2003, 60th in 2004 and 29th in 2005 when he was the top prospect in the organization. He was a left-handed pitcher who many saw as being the best control pitcher in the organization. His minor league numbers plateaued, however and he never lived up to his potential.
He finally made it to the Majors in September, 2008 as a 25 year old and pitched in 14 games and looked to be well on his way. He allowed eight hits and three walks while striking out nine over 13.2 innings and allowed only one unearned run meaning that his ERA in his first season was 0.00. He opened the 2009 season with the Nationals and pitched in 14 more games. He pitched 9.2 innings but his control failed him. He walked 11 batters compared to three strikeouts and allowed five runs for a 4.66 ERA. His last game was on May 6. He allowed a walk and a hit, allowing two of the three runners he inherited to score and both runners he let on base also scored. He never pitched in the major leagues again.
On May 15th, he became a free agent and signed with the Texas Rangers the next day. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles following the 2009 season and with Toronto after the 2010 season. He reached Triple A with Toronto in 2011 but did not pitch professionally in 2012. A sad story of a once-promising prospect who never lived up to the potential.