We continue our year-end look at the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays with the pitchers who made two or fewer starts.
Righty Oscar Brito led the DSL Blue Jays in appearances with 19 and posted a very solid season in his first in professional ball. Brito, 20, threw 32 innings for the Blue Jays and had a 3.66 ERA and 1.38 WHIP although his strikeout rate of 14.0% and walk rate of 10.5% can be improved upon. Still, the high walk rate looks more like a command issue rather than one of control, seeing that he only hit two batters and had just two wild pitches. Without seeing Brito, however, it’s impossible to tell. At 6-foot-5, Brito has the type of the frame that the Jays like but he may need another year of seasoning before coming to the US.
Tying for appearances with Brito, 6-foot-3 Venezuelan righty Luis Mendoza had far more innings, throwing 55 2/3 frames for the DSL Blue Jays in his second professional year at the age of 20. Mendoza had a 3.07 ERA and strong, 1.19 WHIP that benefited from a 6.7% walk rate but his 10.9% strikeout is very low for a pitcher looking to make it to the US next year.
18-year-old Emmanuel Reyes had a very successful first professional season. The 6-foot lefty threw 37 innings in 17 appearances (including three starts) and had a 2.68 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Much of that high WHIP comes from 22 walks (13.7% of batters) but he managed to strike out 21.1% of batters, showing that he has something, whether it’s some zip on his fastball, good offspeed stuff or some deception that helped fool batters. Reyes could come to the US next year, or the Jays could work with him in the Dominican to temper his 10 wild pitches and four hit batters to go alon with the 22 walks.
The Jays signed 18-year-old Venezuelan righty Jesus Colman to a contract back in March and he didn’t disappoint, becoming the DSL Blue Jays’ de facto closer, leading the club with four saves. Colman had a 2.05 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, giving up just 15 hist in 26 1/3 innings but also walked 13 (for a 12.8% rate) and struck out only 19 (18.6% rate). Colman is another of the younger pitchers who could jump to Florida or be held back another year in the Dominican but the fact that he threw just one wild pitch last year and hit three batters could indicate that his walks came from command issues or even poor umpiring rather than wildness.
Juan Bautista made 14 appearances with the Blue Jays, averaging just over two innings per outing, throwing 28 2/3 innings on the season. Bautista, 20, had some solid numbers in his first pro season, with a 2.83 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 15.5% strikeout rate and 9.8% walk rate. At just 5-foot-11, Bautista’s got the odds stacked against him and will probably spend another year in the DSL unless he’s got some great stuff hiding behind those numbers.
20-year-old Adams Cuevas made his pro debut this year with the Blue Jays, working mostly as a piggy-back reliever, averaging over four innings per appearance with three starts and seven games finished. He threw 49 innings in 12 outings, with a tiny, 0.55 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, giving up just 26 hits and 12 walks with 45 strikeouts (6.7% walk rate and 25.1% strikeout rate). A 6-foot righty from the Dominican, Cuevas’s excellent season puts him on the fast track to a North American debut in 2017.
18-year-old righty Alvaro Galindo made the jump to the Gulf Coast League this year after throwing 43 1/3 innings with the DSL Blue Jays. On the island, Galindo posted a 0.62 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, striking out 27.1% of batters while walking 7.1%. Galindo is a good case in how difficult the transition for Latin American players can be when coming to the US. In 21 2/3 innings in the GCL, Galindo had a 6.23 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP, walking 12 batters and striking out 13. Still, he wasn’t hit particularly hard, giving up just one home run among 19 hits. Galindo is still quite young and will likely pitch in the Fall Instructional League and get the opportunity to get more acclimated to the North American lifestyle next year.
Wilton Mueses, 21, made only eight appearances with the DSL Blue Jays but pitched just six innings. He walked 14 and struck out eight, giving up four hits and seven runs (six earned).
19-year-old Claudio Galva struggled somewhat in his seven appearances for the GCL Blue Jays, but still had a 3.86 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 16 1/3 innings. In his first professional year, Galva started late after signing on July 1 and had a stint on the DL before he saw his first action on July 26. Galva struck out 14.3% of batters and walked 8.6%. His mediocre numbers and missed time likely mean a return to the DSL in 2017.
Felix Cornelius was a late sign (July 6, 2016), and only threw seven innings for the Blue Jays. The 18 year old didn’t debut until August 1 and struggled to the tune of five runs (four earned) over seven innings with nine walks and four strikeouts.
An overage (21) sign by the Jays at the end of July, Pedro Loficial made three appearances with 6 2/3 innings this season. Loficial, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound righty, allowed just one run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts in his limited look.
Danilo Manzueta, 19, is a 6-foot-3, righty whom the Blue Jays signed in late July. The Jays must be excited about him, seeing as they got him three games and 10 2/3 innings of work despite not making an appearance until August 10. Manzueta gave up four runs (3.38 ERA) but only eight hits and two walks (for a 0.94 WHIP) while striking out six.
Tommy Henriquez, 21, pitched twice early in the season before getting shut down after his five-strikeout outing on June 15. He struck out eight batters in just four innings, giving up three runs (two earned).
Nicolas Cabarcas, a 17-year-old righty from Colombia, signed on February 1 but only got into one game and failed to register an out, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk on June 15. He didn’t pitch again this year, likely due to injury.
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