‘Tees Toledo makes stellar comeback

By Jason Arndtmanatees
Brewers Farm Report

Closer Tommy Toledo’s season with the Brevard County Manatees can be considered a significant victory for more than just notching the second most saves in a Manatee history with 20.

The right-handed pitcher from Tampa overcame setbacks at the start of his college career where he declined to sign with San Diego after the Padres drafted him in the third round of the 2007 draft out of high school.

His decision to attend University of Florida was to improve his stock in the MLB Draft and gain a college education, which he met half away according to his own personal expectations.

Toledo

Toledo

The freshman was named to SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll but had difficulty maintaining a steady earned run average (4.40) in 2008 for the Gators.

Toledo discovered in the winter he required surgery on a torn labrum and sidelined him for the entire 2009 season.

“I could tell something was wrong. My velocity had come down, I wasn’t able to control the ball and I wasn’t getting warm and ready as quick as I usually do. It was just something that I battled through my freshman year.”

Despite a tough freshman year, the pitcher produced solid starts including a seven inning game where he allowed one earned run and six hits against the Ole Miss Rebels – which snapped a road losing streak of more than a decade.

The Tampa native attempted a comeback in 2010 but was sidelined again after being hit by a liner on the mound and broke multiple bones in his face – and by observers – considered himself lucky it did not hit him in the eye.

The injury came after he posted a 2-0 record with 15 strikeouts in 13.5 innings – and tabulated a 1.98 earned run average.

Tommy Toledo in an appearance with University of Florida. Credit: Florida Times-Union

Tommy Toledo in an appearance with University of Florida.
Credit: Florida Times-Union

Major League scouts still had Toledo on their radar screen in 2010 evidenced by the 32nd round selection by Minnesota just a month after returning to action, but the hard thrower believed he could rise above his present situation.

In his first game since the line drive, the pitcher threw a scoreless inning and according to GatorSports Nation in 2010, it was an emotional return.

“It was a special moment,” UF head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said of Toledo’s return. “The players were excited to get him back out there. As a coach, you get a little choked up. He was chomping at the bit. It was great to see him out there, and obviously he will be a huge part of our success down the stretch.”

Steady rise with Milwaukee

It was the third time which proved the charm for Toledo when Milwaukee selected him with the 11th round pick in 2011.

The pitcher posted a 6-3 record with a 3.99 earned run average in 38.1 innings. He also compiled a productive K:BB rate of 32:10 in his final season for the Gators.

His stint with Helena brought growing pains and took nearly the entire season to produce his first victory in an August 30 game against Billings.

Toledo pitched 5.1 innings allowing two earned runs with four strikeouts to achieve his first win as a professional in 2011.

The following season with Single A Wisconsin brought improvement demonstrated by a 7-1 record with six saves for the Timber Rattlers. He additionally struck out 31 compared to 11 walks in 37 innings.

His performance with Wisconsin brought him to High A Brevard County by the end of the 2012 season and led him to post a 2-1 record in 11 games for the Manatees.

Despite a few rough outings, he accomplished three consecutive scoreless outings and four overall.

Second Place All-Time

In 2012, Casey Medlen broke the Manatees’ record with 22 saves to break now-Milwaukee Brewer Rob Wooten’s 18 saves set in 2009.

Toledo nearly reached the mark the following season with 20 saves and posted a highly respectable 2.11 earned run average in 55.1 innings for the Manatees.

The pitcher showed an increase in location demonstrated by a phenomenal 44-18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2013.

Additionally, he held opponents to 43 hits to give him a WHIP of 1.102 on the season. The right-hander produced nearly 30 scoreless outings and went on to finish second All-Time in Brevard County’s 20-year history.

Top Ten ‘Tees

Single-Season Saves Leaders

R

Player

Saves

Yr

1

Casey Medlen

22

2012

2

Tommy Toledo

20

2013

3

Rob Wooten

18

2009

4

Doug Pettit

14

1994

4

Tim McClaskey

14

2001

6

Omar Aguilar

13

2008

6

Tim McClaskey

13

2000

8

Bill Hurst

12

1995

8

Paul McCurtain

12

1999

8

Roque Mercedes

12

2011

8

Corey Frerichs

12

2010

8

Roy Corcoran

12

2003

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