Johan Oviedo, RHP, STL

Johan Oviedo got his first major league strikeout today in the first inning against Chicago. What can we glean from his minor league record to tell us how his major league career might go?

Video courtesy of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Derrick Goold)
  • Born: March 2, 1998
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’5″, 245-lbs
  • Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016 out of Cuba.

The Numbers

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:

Scouts will tell you that he is an unfinished product, and we see that above. His inconsistent mechanics show up in his poor walk rate, year after year. That elevates his WHIP, and trouble has followed.

The good news: That strikeout rate is improving, and it’s doing it while climbing levels. There is talent here.

In Double-A he faced almost the same number of righties as he did lefties, and the lefties gave him a bit more trouble.

In Class A Advanced, it was the opposite.

Not a big difference here either.

More of a thrower than a pitcher, you can see him learning his craft over the three-year-period. He really struggled, but in 2018 you can see him trying to get his head above water. In 2019, at the highest level yet, he really started to improve.

A mid-90s FB is his best pitch, and at the moment the only one that is plus. His curve can be plus as times, and his change-up needs more work if he is going to remain a starter and be successful as a starter.

The Scouts

Warnings

The scouts are not focused on him at all.

His walks are atrocious. He started his second inning of his first major league start by walking the first two batters, and later issuing a wild pitch. That’s no way to go through life, son.

His third pitch needs work.

Conclusion

This is a guy who, if it all comes together, could be as high as a #3 type of starter in the majors.

This is a guy who, if it all falls apart, could be a middle reliever with a good fastball.

He’s still young, he has time to get it all worked out. But we need to see better command of his pitches. Everything else will flow from there.

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