Former MLB Left-Hander Jairo Labourt Joins Explorers
Jairo Labourt will be playing in his ninth season of professional baseball and his first with the Sioux City Explorers. Labourt is a native of the Dominican Republic, he was signed at just 17 years old as an international free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011.
Standing at 6’5, 234 pounds, Labourt is a big left handed arm for the X’s. He was mainly a starter in the five seasons that he spent with the Toronto Blue Jays. Labourt spent three seasons in rookie ball before making the jump to Low-A and A ball Lansing in 2014. That season Labourt saw the most action in Low-A Vancouver where he made 15 starts, put together a 5-3 record and an ERA of 1.77. He struck out 82 batters in 71.1 innings of work, good for a K/9 of 10.35.
In 2015 Labourt made the jump to High-A Dunedin, while there at just 21 years old he established himself as a prospect in the Blue Jays organization. He made 18 starts with a 2-7 record and a 4.59 ERA. He struck out 70 batters in 80.1 innings of work. Armed with a sinking fastball, a whiff inducing slider and changeup Labourt was named to the 2015 World All-Star team. In the game against the team USA All-Stars he tossed a perfect bottom of the fifth inning, striking out a pair and getting game MVP, Kyle Schwarber, to ground out.
2015 however proved to be the final season with the Blue Jays for Labourt. He was shipped off at the trade deadline with fellow Blue Jays prospects Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Cy Young award winning pitcher David Price. Labourt finished out the 2015 season with High-A Lakeland in the Tigers system making seven starts for the Flying Tigers.
After the 2016 season with Lakeland that saw Labourt split time between the starting rotation and the bullpen, 2017 was a banner year for the hard throwing lefty. During the 2017 season Labourt went on a true meteoric rise through the Tigers minor league system. It only took him eight games to be promoted to Double-A Erie. He only needed 21 games in Double-A to get the promotion to Triple-A Toledo. All in all, during the 2017 season between three different levels of the Detroit Tigers minor league system, Labourt made 45 trips to the mound posting a 2.17 ERA, four saves and struck out 79 batters in 66.1 innings of work.
All of the success rewarded Labourt with the ultimate promotion to the big league club. He made his big league debut on September 1, 2017 against the Cleveland Indians, tossing a scoreless inning in a 10-0 Indians victory. Labourt stay in the big leagues however was brief, appearing in six games for six innings, totaling an ERA of 4.50, striking out four but walking seven.
Labourt would then be designated for assignment by the Tigers in February of that off-season and was claimed by multiple teams before ultimately landing with the Chicago White Sox. The 2018 season was spent in the Dominican Summer League, going 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in five appearances and one start. Labourt took the 2019 season off, before agreeing to terms with the Explorers for 2020.