Adbert Alzolay, RHP, CHC

In honor of Adbert Alzolay’s fine first start of 2020 for the Cubs, let’s see how he got here.

Video courtesy of FanGraphs
  • Born: March 1, 1995
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’1″, 208-lbs
  • Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2013 out of Venezuela

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:

One thing that immediately stands out is the IP column. Injuries have kept Alzolay from pitching many innings the last couple of years, and that’s why he has been at Triple-A for the past two years. Indeed, his strikeout rate doubled from 2018 to 2019, even as the walk rate continued its slow slide upwards. But with that high K rate, it kept the WHIP under control.

Lefties hit him a bit harder at Triple-A, and that should be kept under watch.

But his spray chart is fairly well balanced.

Noting the injury gaps, we see how his AAA time in 2019 started at 2018’s low level, but then kept on improving and improving all the way into July, before he began to tire. Note that Alzolay started a couple of games for the Cubs in 2019 as well, with mixed results.

His FB is a two-seamer that can reach as high as 97.

His curve is his best pitch, with great spin rate and which he can command down in the zone.

His changeup needs work. If he is to become a major league starter, that third pitch has to be at least average. If not, he could be a nice force out of the pen with that FB/CB combo.

The Scouts

Warnings

He’s been injured.

He walks too many.

He needs a third pitch to improve in order to stick as a starter.

Conclusion

Yet there he was, putting up a nice effort. He has talent, and he is ready, at age 25, to contribute at the major league level. But in 2020, it’s about showing he is healthy, trying to improve his pitch command, and perhaps bullpen work would be best for this year. Take a good start when you get it, and we definitely got that on August 19th.

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