Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: No. 6, Arodys Vizcaino

6. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
B/T: R/R 2011 Age: 21 Ht: 6'0" Wt: 189
2010: (A-)
14 GS, 71.2 IP, 2.39 ERA, 1.1 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 0.1 HR/9
(A+) 3 GS, 13.2 IP, 4.61 ERA, 3 BB, 11 K, 1 HR

Arodys Vizcaino was signed by the Yankees in 2007 out of the Dominican Republic. After a 2.13 ERA in A- in 2009, he was traded to the Braves as part of the Javier Vazquez deal. In his stint at A- Rome, he showed why he was considered the main piece in that trade. The only thing holding him back is injury concerns.

Vizcaino put up tremendous numbers in his 14 starts for Rome in 2010, including a 1.99 FIP. He gave up just one home run in 71.2 innings, and he only walked nine. It was a great beginning to his Braves career at 19 years old, and it earned him a promotion to A+ Myrtle Beach. However, he only made three starts before going down with a partial tear of his UCL, the elbow ligament that requires Tommy John surgery. He was able to avoid surgery and pitched a couple innings at the end of the season, but the scare is there.

Vizcaino throws a mid-90s fastball with movement and a plus curve that rates as one of the best in the system. The curve will profile as his out pitch, and it racks up most of his strikeouts. It should continue to do so in the upper levels. His third pitch is a developing changeup that is average at best, and if he is able to develop it further, he will have a major league starter's arsenal.

The issue with Vizcaino is his mechanics. His delivery puts a tremendous amount of stress and pressure on his arm, and many felt the injury was bound to happen. Add to that his average frame that doesn't project for great durability, and Vizcaino will continue to have that cloud hanging over him. When you have a pitching prospect whose main concern is elbow stress, you have no idea what his future will hold. He could become a top three starter alongside Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, or he could suffer from injuries and stick in the bullpen. It's impossible to say, but we do know Vizcaino's potential, and it's very high.

Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) Health 2) Changeup 3) Full Season
Destination in 2011: Majority at A+; late promotion to AA
ETA: Late 2012 or 2013
Ceiling: #2-3 Starter
My Prediction: #3 Starter

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