Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Prospect #25: RHP Johan Oviedo
Previously Unranked at midseason
International signing during the 2016 period
WHY TO GET EXCITED
It's all about what Oviedo has been doing lately. Dating back to June 8th and spanning 13 starts, Oviedo has held hitters to a batting average against of .219 while posting an ERA of 3.39. He's done this while striking out 71 in 69 innings and only allowing 2 home runs. He's done this while lowering his walk rate.
Oviedo is a big boy with an aggressive motion. He's smooth, but big and strong to the plate. At 6;6" and a body around the 230 lbs mark if I had my guess, he's a creature barreling down at hitters.
He's still only 20. There is still a ton of time for him to develop into the mid-to-top of the rotation arm that he's capable of being. There's a lot of work to be done to get to that point, but time is on his side.
Oviedo throws a curve ball with good movement and change up that can be above average at times. He'll need to continue to refine command of both pitches, but both have the chance to be good.
Oviedo's velocity has started to tick back up. It's still in the 93 MPH range with a 3 MPH variance, but there have been times over the last two season where it completely craters and lives in the high to mid 80s.
He's been one of the most winning pitchers in the minors since the beginning of July
Even when his command is failing him he's still racking up the strikeouts.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
It has been a rocky season if you are just looking the 2018 total statistics for Oviedo.
His big and, often times, those pitchers have the most trouble repeating their delivery. This is the case with Oviedo. He's done a tremendous job lately to clean it up and that's been key to his success.
Even over this stretch of 13 good starts, Oviedo has reduced his walk rate to worrisome 4.3 per 9 innings. On the season it's 6% and both numbers are terrible. Oviedo possesses a true control issue. He's done well to clean it up but he needs continue on this path.
As I mentioned, Oviedo has been know to lose velocity on his fastball. He can get away with it sometimes because of his size and downward plane, but he needs to keep the velocity up as he continues to move through the system.
All of his pitches need work. Everything that he throws gives you plenty to dream on but it all needs refinement.
I'm very excited that I get to add Oviedo to the list. I'm a big fan of his and he's earned it. Here's to hoping that his recent success and small gains in the control department are permanent.
Thanks to Fangraphs for the stats.
Thanks For Reading!!