Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prospect Countdown: #3 Yordano Ventura

3. Yordano Ventura Right Handed Pitcher

Age: 22
Position: RHP
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 140
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as International Free Agent
From: Samana, Dominican Republic

Paden Bennett (5):  Yordano Ventura is one of my favorite prospects in the Royals organization. "Ace" Ventura has filthy stuff featuring a fastball that can reach up to 102 mph to go with an improving curveball and a solid changeup.  Ventura is a power pitcher although he doesn't look the part.  Listed at 5'11" and 140 lbs he doesn't look like a pitcher that will blow a 100+ mph fastball right by you.  "Ace" doesn't look like a guy that would be a big strikeout pitcher; but he is.  Yes, Ventura is a strikeout, power pitcher who a lot of Royals fans would've loved to see him in the rotation in the 5th spot.  However, going to Northwest Arkansas is the right decision because their is absolutely no need to rush this kid because he's just not completely ready yet.  It won't be long though, I expect to see Ventura in AAA pretty quickly this season and with an injury or two to a rotation starter in KC who knows he could make an appearance at the K.

Joe Cox (5)Yordano Ventura worked off his coming out party in A ball in 2011 to have another impressive season in 2012 split between high A and AA.  The 21 year old right handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic has rapidly become one of the Royals better prospects, and one of the more exciting right handed arms in the minors.  Despite Ventura’s small stature some scouts give his fastball that can reach 100 MPH and 80 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale.   He also profiles potential plus secondary pitches in a curveball and change-up.

One the field, Ventura has consistently limited walks, strike people out consistently and limit home runs.  Over a career high 109 innings last season he compiled 130 strike outs and a 3.62 ERA while walking only 32 batters.  The biggest question mark for Ventura will continue to be his durability, as his small frame (5-11, 140 lbs) could mean he may make the switch to a relief arm down the road.  If healthy, there is no reason to suspect he won’t to be impressive in the minors in 2013.  I would suspect he makes it to AAA at some point during the season and could be in the talks of making the team by opening day 2014.

Damion Mandalas (6): The hype surrounding Yordano Ventura this spring has almost create a sort of bubble effect. On the inside are those asking "where the (expletive) did this guy come from?" and on the outside are the Royals fans that know how to use Twitter. Ventura definitely impressed this Spring, but the Royals are making the right choice in opening him in Northwest Arkansas.

Given the state of the Royals rotation, there is zero reason to rush Ventura. I do believe he will move quick from here on, but it isn't hard to see the benefits from having him spend the entire season between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. Of course, if the Royals are in the race and they need another bullpen arm, it might make sense to allow Ventura the opportunity to pitch in the pen in September as a way to acclimate himself to the Major League level. His 102 mph fastball? I'm sure it will play.

I've been a huge Ventura fan for awhile now. I like Zimmer, but I don't know that there is a pitcher with a higher ceiling in the Royals organization than "Ace". The Royals have had problems getting pitchers past the Double-A level, so it will be interested to see how Ventura performs in the Texas League in 2013.

Dan Ware (6):  "Ace" Ventura, yet another familiar face to the Springdale natives, will be on the mound for the Naturals to start off 2013.  Rated #85 on this year's Baseball America's Top 100 prospects, compiled decent numbers while playing in three different uniforms in 2012, logging most of his innings in Wilmington.  16 of his 23 starts were with the Blue Rocks, posting a 3.30 era, 76.1 IP, 98 Ks and 28 BB.  He impressed the Royals enough to get the call up to the Naturals, earning him 6 starts, which probably didn't go as planned for Yordano.

In 29.1 IP, he posted a 4.60 era, while striking out 25 batters and walking 13.  His K/BB ratio certainly took a nose dive after making the jump from Single-A to Double-A, but it's nothing to get worked up over.  Along with his powerful fastball, also rated the best in the Royals organization by B.A., he also contains an improving curve and changeup that are rated as a 60 and 55, respectively.  It would have been awesome to see Ventura win the 5th spot in the rotation, but even starting off in Northwest Arkansas, if he can get hot quickly, we'll more than likely see him by season's end, whether it's injury issues in Kansas City (Heaven forbid) or just a call-up.

Total Points: 102

No comments:

Post a Comment