Scouting Yordano Ventura
Royals pitching prospect Yordano Ventura has often flown under-the-radar as a prospect simply because of the sheer number of top pitching prospects throwing for teams at higher levels of competition. That’s not the case anymore…
Body Type – Under 6-feet with lean frame…very athletic.
Fastball – Can reach triple digits, but is most comfortable in the mid-90s. Pitch is explosive with very good life.
Curveball – Shows a sharp, hard break when he doesn’t overthrow it. Potential plus offering.
Change-Up – Can generate great separation in velocity from his fastball, but can be inconsistent in terms of arm speed and action. It’s this pitch that will likely dictate whether Ventura’s future big league role is as a starter or reliever.
Ventura probably has the best pure arm in the Royals organization. They signed him on the cheap out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, and he’s generated a nice return for the organization.
Ventura’s speciality is that he misses bats at a high rate. He struck out over 25% of all batters faced in both 2010 and 2011. Last year he bumped that number up to over 30%. He also throws strikes on a pretty regular basis, something you don’t see that often with pitchers like Ventura. That said, he did show somewhat of an adjustment period after a promotion to Double-A.
Where he must take the next step is with his command. He’s not particularly good at locating within the strike zone, and he’s prone to leaving balls up in the zone. It’s why, despite how good his stuff is, he allowed a high average on balls batted in play. When his fastball is working down in the zone, it runs away from right handers. As a result, he’s capable of getting ground balls despite his height.
Ventura has a repeatable delivery and an extremely fast arm. He will overthrow at times, which causes his fastball to rise.
Ventura is off to a strong start with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. I’d like to check in on him later in the year with a video breakdown.
Best Case Outcome – Strong No. 2 starter, but he could very well end up in the bullpen as a closer-type reliever.
More Likely Outcome – No. 3 starter.
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