Acquired: Drafted in the MLB Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 8, 2016 (TOR). Originally drafted in the 20th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft (KCR).
Most Recent Stats at Time of Debut
|2-4 with a 2.25 ERA in a 20-inning rehab assignment spread over three levels (High A Dunedin, Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo). Sparkman struck out 12 batters and walked five.|
Info & MLB Debut Date
Reinstated from the 60-day disabled list by the Blue Jays, who optioned RHP Chris Smith to Triple-A to make room for Sparkman on the 25-man roster.
MLB Debut Date: 06/30/17
|June 1, in a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox. Sparkman made his debut in the top of the 11th inning with the Blue Jays trailing 5-4. He would allow two hits and a walk but wasn’t charged with a run in two-thirds of an inning. Sparkman threw 22 pitches, 13 for strikes. Coming on in relief of Aaron Loup, Sparkman inherited runners on first and second with one out in the inning. Sparkman allowed both baserunners (Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Xander Boegarts) to advance on stolen bases while facing his first batter (Deven Marrero). Marrero would single home both runners on a 2-2 count. Sparkman then allowed a pop-fly single to Mookie Betts and a walk to Andrew Benintendi to load the bases. Sparkman would right the ship against Dustin Pedroia, getting the Red Sox’s second baseman to ground into an inning-ending double play.|
|A MLB Rule 5 Draft pick by the Blue Jays before the 2017 season, Sparkman suffered a compound fracture of his right (pitching) thumb during a spring training fielding drill. That injury sidelined Sparkman for three months, and he returned to the mound on June 1. After 20 rehab innings at three different levels, Sparkman finally got an opportunity with the Blue Jays. He will need to remain on the Toronto 25-man roster all season or be offered back to his original organization, the Royals. Until this season, Sparkman had spent his entire career with the Royals, starting out as a 20th-round selection out of Wharton County J.C. Sparkman immediately caught the attention of the Royals’ player development staff, and he earned a spot on the High A Wilmington Blue Rocks’ roster at the start of his first full pro season in 2014. He posted a 1.56 ERA in 121 innings for the Blue Rocks that season and was named the Carolina League’s Pitcher of the Year. In 2015, Sparkman began the season with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, but his season lasted only four starts before he injured his elbow and lead to Tommy John surgery. Sparkman returned in 2016 in time to throw 60 1/3 innings over four levels for the Royals, but Kansas City left him exposed in the MLB Rule 5 Draft and the Blue Jays snatched him with the 13th overall pick. He features a low-90s fastball to go along with a curveball, changeup and slider.|