Balazovic came on strong down the stretch as a high school senior, having impressed in his swing through Extended Spring Training with the Canadian National Team and popping onto the radar of crosscheckers at the right time. Just 17-years-old at the time of the 2016 draft, the Ontario native signed with the Twins in the fifth round for an above-slot $515K bonus. Balazovic is still only 20 despite this year being his fourth at the pro level, and he recently got called up to the Florida State League after a dominant start to the season repeating Low-A.
Balazovic limits walks well despite moving parts in his delivery, that funkiness only adding to his natural deception. His fastball has steadily ticked up each year, now topping out at 96-97 mph and sitting comfortably in the 93-to-95 mph range. His delivery has good natural extension, creating late ride that causes the heater to get on hitters quickly. Balazovic doesn’t display as much current command as he has control, but with plus velocity and a lively overall fastball, there’s less pressure to be pinpoint within the zone. The main off-speed is a slider at 80-to-84 mph, a solid to above-average future pitch with flashes of sharp two-plane action. His 87-to-89 mph changeup is too firm at present and needs refinement, though it shows glimpses of late dive that suggest he can develop an effective third speed with improved separation.
The tools are here for a future big league starter, and it’s enthusing Balazovic has both stayed healthy and consistently gotten better each of the last few years. Especially considering his background as a cold-weather prep arm, it’s reasonable to project up a bit more even from where his stuff is now. With continued development of his changeup and command, Balazovic could fit as a mid-rotation starter down the road.