In conjunction with my friend Colin Garner over at The Redbird Daily, we present to you our combined list of the Top 30 Prospects in the Cardinals organization! Every other day for the next two months, From January 28th until March 29th, we will be presenting you with an exhaustive evaluation on each of the top 30 prospects in the organization starting with prospect #30 and counting down to prospect #1. This is our combined list, not our own individual lists. For additional information on how we came these rankings, CLICK HERE. Without further delay, we present...
Prospect #28, RHP Alvaro Seijas
Age At The Start Of The 2018 Season: 19
Signed Out Of Venezuela In July of 2015
2017 FIP - 3.60
Kyle Reis (Prospect #27 On Personal List, Prior To Combining Lists With Colin Garner)
What I Like about Seijas is how he finished the 2018 season. His total stat line for 2017 was less than encouraging, so what you are really looking for are signs of a bust out. While the "bust out" didn't exactly happen, he did get much better over his last seven starts.
Take a look at his stat line for those last seven starts:
While some of those stats aren't exciting, you see improvement. The improvement from an 18 year old that's still trying to figure out how best to use his stuff is a great sign.
The six innings pitched per start is a great sign. The two HR against is a great sign.
The slash line against is concerning, but all were a huge improvement over his first five starts. What I like most about Seijas is his stuff. His fastball is good and lives in the 93-95 MPH range. This video below is two years old, but It's a very impressive pitch and it's only getting better:
You can really see the ball dance. Then again, that might be the video. I'm going to chalk it up to fastball movement.
His changeup is still very much a work in progress but there is a lot of potential there. With enough seasoning and development, His curveball, while still at the level of an advanced teenager, is a potential plus pitch.
I could see the fastball/curve mix becoming a real bear for hitters. Like with most young pitchers that are learning (and you'll hear me say this a ton during this list, so get used to it), trusting his fastball is going to be the big thing for Seijas. It's good. Really good. He needs to use it more.
One thing that I love is the trajectory that Seijas is on. He'll enter the season as a 19 year old and I'm willing to bet, without doing the ground work, that he ends up in Peoria to start the season. At least, that's where I'd start him. While his 2017 season wasn't exactly great, I believe that he is ready for the challenge and I think the Cardinals are in a position where they need to have a player with the potential of Seijas (and Johan Oviedo) pitching at that level. The Cardinals have been aggressive with him to this point. I don't see a reason to stop being that way with him now.
Everywhere you look, Seijas is listed at 5'8. That's inaccurate. He's closer to 6'0-6'1, and he'll like your tweet every time if you point that out. Also, his last name is pronounced "say-haas". Yes, I'll continue to butcher that.
What I don't like about Seijas is his motion. It's violent. It' over the top. It's worrisome. Take a look:
This video is from 2015. He's bulked up and grown since then. He's also cut out a lot of his lower half "shimmy". However, that arm is still as violent and as over the top as ever. I feel like all we can do is hope that the arm holds up.
I'm also not naive enough to think that the OPS against of .732 over those last seven starts, when he was pitching at his best, is any type of encouraging. That's very bad. He's too talented of a pitcher to be allowing that many base runners and that much hard contact.
Also, as I mentioned a bit above, Seijas has to learn to trust that fastball more. It's really really good. Learning to use it and trusting it will be the difference for him as he works to reach his ultimate potential. Like with many other teenage pitchers, refinement of his secondary stuff is greatly needed. He's a kid and he still has a lot of growing to do. It's a long and volatile road to the majors and it's eaten many-a-talented prospect alive.
If I'm comparing Alvaro Seijas to anyone it's Brewers RHP Jhoulys Chacin. If he winds up in the bullpen it'll be something similar statistically to Reds relief pitcher Brad Boxberger with an ultimate ceiling of Sergio Romo. If he reaches his eventual ceiling as a starter it'll be something similar statistically to RHP Anibel Sanchez . There's a TON of work and development that needs to happen for him to get there, but that's the potential that Seijas possesses.
As always, these articles can't be done without Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. All of these Top 30 scouting reports are equally as reliant on the skills of Cardinalsgif's and NChill17. It's a pleasure to do this list with my friend Colin Garner at The Redbird Daily.
Thanks For Reading!
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