2017’s performance made Luis Oviedo look like a top prospect. 2019 did the opposite and the scouts dropped out. What do we have here?
- Born: May 15, 1999
- B/T: Right/Right
- 6’4″, 170-lbs
- Signed by the Cleveland Indians in 2015 out of Venezuela.
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
One of these lines is not like the other…
Clearly 2019 is either an outlier, or A-ball batters exposed Oviedo.
He has had his command issues all along, and last year it got worse. But the lack of strikeouts, the inability Oviedo had for putting batters away, gave him more balls in play and the elevated WHIP.
He showed balance against both types of hitters. Worse WHIP against lefties, but more strikeouts, so it was the hits that hurt him there.
Again, a mostly balanced chart.
2017 he looks great.
2018 he starts out great and then looks like a world-beater, and people are nabbing him left and right. Then he misses some time with lower back issues, and drops a bit, but not to worry, right?
2019 starts off right where he left off, and then he stepped off a cliff before creating a new floor. Then his year is cut short again with lower back pains. And really, he had back issues all year, which probably explains what we see above.
The thing is, this kid knows how to pitch. He has the potential to have four average or better pitches, but only if the stuff shows up, and last year it didn’t. His pitches just weren’t as reliable. Maybe it was the back issues throwing him off.
- Rotowire: Not on their Top 400.
- BaseballHQ: Not on their Top 100.
- Fangraphs: Not on their Top 120.
- Fantasy Six Pack: Not on their dynasty list.
- Prospects365: Not on Ray Butler’s Top 200.
- Imaginary Brick Wall: #389 on the Top 487.
- Fantrax: Not on the Top 250.
He needs better command, especially if he isn’t going to blow hitters away.
He needs to hone his pitches more.
What’s up with the back pain?
If A-ball hitters did that to him, what will AA hitters do?
Everywhere you go, you see Oviedo listed at 170 pounds, and at 6’4″, that’s worrisome. But everywhere you go you find out that he weighs more than that, and that’s why videos of him do not make him look like a string bean. So, uh, if everyone knows he doesn’t weigh 170, can we just get him to stand on the scale for us instead of us insisting he eat a cheeseburger?
If his velocity gets back on his FB, it could be a plus pitch, but realistically this is a guy who should get by on keeping batters off balance. Pitchability is his thing, and he’s got the pitches to make it work, but only if he is getting the most out of them. Maybe if healthy. Maybe in 2021.