Friday, February 24, 2012

Prospect Countdown: #14 Noel Arguelles

#14 Noel Arguelles

Age: 22
Position: LHP
Height: 6-3
Weight: 215
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent on 1/7/10
From: Guira, Cuba

In 2010, the Royals landed Cuban defector Noel Arguelles with a 5 year, $6.9 million commitment. That year the Royals believed that Arguelles was a top international talent and by adding him, Cheslor Cuthbert, and Orlando Calixte they had grabbed three of the top five international players available. A couple of years later we see how fickle the market can be for young Latin American players.

After signing, Arguelles wasn't able to pitch an inning in 2010 thanks to a shoulder injury. The injury, which was believed to be the result of fatigue, came from pitching basically year round, while showcasing his talents for teams. Since the injury, Arguelles' velocity, which used to sit firmly in the low 90s, now ranges in the upper 80s.

Arguelles has plus command. His curve ball and change are generally said to be average offerings so the key for him will be the return of his velocity. If in 2012, the velocity can be back at his pre-injury level his ceiling is that of a mid rotation starter. If the velocity never returns, his ceiling is as a #5 or in long relief. Arguelles should open the 2012 season in Northwest Arkansas.

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