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DSL Pitchers to Keep an Eye On

Posted by Pitz , 20 June 2015 · 1,917 views

miguel de jesus brusdar graterol carlos suniaga luis bellorin alexis tapia
I've been a Twins fan my whole life. About 6 years ago I started paying more attention to the minor league system, and found myself getting excited about the potential of young guys. As I started to pay more attention, I found myself looking further down the pipeline to the Dominican Summer League stats to see who might be the next guys to show up on prospect lists. Of course information is pretty scarce on a majority of these players and scouting reports seems non-existent except for the higher bonus guys. While scouting box scores and stat lines is always precarious, one guy caught my eye. That player was mentioned by Miguel Sano as one to watch for this most recent spring - Alexis Tapia. Tapia will likely be heading to the Appy League next week, but has pitched 2 innings in relief for Fort Myers this year as well. And while he certainly has a work a lot to prove given that he is still in the rookie levels, I am pleased to see him getting some attention.

Why did he catch my eye in 2013 in the DSL box scores? A combination of his size (6'2" 190ish) and an excellent K/BB ratio (31/5). Tapia showed well in the GCL last year as well and hopefully the 19 year old will continue to develop and give Twins fan another pitcher to dream on.

As I look at this years DSL squad and some of the early season returns, there are a few pitchers with similar characteristic to those that drew my attention to Tapia. Of course, we are still dealing with extremely small sample sizes, but so far so good. While Huascar Ynoa gets more attention due to his larger signing bonus, here are a few others to keep an eye on: (Click on their name to go to their respective MILB player pages)

Brusdar Graterol: The 6' 1" 180lb Venezuelan righty has pitched 10 innings across 3 outings and amassed 15 strikeouts to just 1 walk, an impressive start for the youngster who is still only 16 years old!

Carlos Suniaga : Another Venezuelan righty, Suniaga turned 18 last month and is 6'2" 187. In 12.2 innings he has struck out 11 and walked only 1.

Miguel De Jesus : Miguel is a bit older at 19 and comes from the Dominican Republic. He's 6'2" 175 and also throws right handed. He has been dominant though, with 22 K's and only 1 BB in 15.2 innings. His WHIP is a ridiculous 0.45 and he has yet to allow a run. Due to his older age, perhaps we could see De Jesus make a few appearances in the GCL this season.

Luis Bellorin : Luis is another Venezuelan. He's 17 years old 6'1" 167. He's a bit smaller and his walk numbers aren't quite as good as the others on this list. In 14.1 innings, he has walked 6 and struck out 12. Again, the numbers aren't quite as exciting, Luis is unique to the others in an exciting way due to the fact that he's a southpaw.

It will be interesting to see how these young guys develop. Obviously, they've got a long way to go to even get on the prospect radar, let alone a big league roster. However, their numbers this year suggest the Twins have done a pretty good job of adding some upside arms in the international market.

  • Dman, nytwinsfan, formerly33 and 2 others like this

Of course dealing with small sample sizes is dangerous as numbers can be altered quite significantly in one outing. On the day I posted this, Carlos Suniaga had a rough outing giving up 6 hits 1 BB and 5 ER in 1 inning of work. His K/BB numbers are still strong though despite a now quite ugly ERA/WHIP.


Brusdar Graterol also pitched an inning in the game - giving up a hit while adding 2 K's to his impressive total.

    • nytwinsfan and formerly33 like this
Thank you Pitz. Really, really appreciated. And whether you do so on your own, or with Seth and Parker and others, I'd love to read and learn more. If and when you have something to report of course. I know news from the DSL can be a bit intermittent. I and we also know news of these kids is like reading about the local high school team at times, and trying to speculate who might make it. Hell, scouts have a hard enough time trying to tell the Twins which 18 yo American HS player to draft, much less sign a 16-17 yo South American kid with hole in glove and hole in both shoes kid to sign.

I don't have a Baseball America subscription to read the full article, but both Graterol and Bellorin signed for 6 figures. I haven't found any exact numbers anywhere, but if anybody has any info, feel free to post.