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Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: No. 3, Randall Delgado

3. Randall Delgado, RHP
B/T: R/R 2011 Age: 21 Ht: 6'3" Wt: 165
2010: (A+)
20 GS, 117.1 IP, 2.76 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 9.2 K/9, 0.5 HR/9
(AA) 8 GS, 43.2 IP, 4.74 ERA, 20 BB, 42 K, 2 HR

Randall Delgado was signed by the Braves out of Panama in 2006 and made his debut at the age of 17 in 2007. He has made a quick and consistent rise through the minors since, all the way to a spot on the 40-man roster and No. 3 placement on most Braves prospect lists.

Delgado made his stateside debut at Rk Danville in '08, recording a 3.13 ERA and 10.6 K/9 in 69 innings. His full season debut went just as well at A- Rome in '09, recording a 4.35 ERA (3.20 FIP) and 10.2 K/9 in 124 innings at 19 years old.

His climb continued to A+ Myrtle Beach to begin 2010, and his great numbers continued. While his K/9 took a bit of a hit, it's only natural as he faces better competition, plus it's not like 9.2 is terrible or something. He also dropped the walk rate by a considerable amount from mid-3s to 2.5 BB/9, and the home run rate even dipped a little. This earned him a promotion to AA Mississippi for eight starts. His ERA isn't the best indication of his performance considering he posted a 3.38 FIP and 42 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. He did see a climb in walks, but the sample size is pretty small, and there's nothing to indicate this is a trend.

Delgado features a fastball ranging in the low-90s with the occasional 95-96, including downward movement. He also has a good curveball and changeup. While neither is a plus pitch, they are both serviceable and will maintain success in the upper levels. He is also said to have a great slider, though I have yet to see it.

Delgado is tall and thin, and at 20 years old he projects to fill out some. He has shown signs of being a workhorse in the rotation and has proven durable thus far. If his stuff continues to play well in the upper levels, his control remains solid and the strikeouts don't dip much further, he will be in the majors in no time. Just because he is now on the 40-man roster doesn't mean he's guaranteed a call up in 2011, but the chance of seeing him a time or two is there. The hope and plan is for Delgado to be Julio Teheran's partner in crime, and he certainly projects as a possible #2 starter.

Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) Sustain Strikeouts in Upper Levels 2) Walks 3) Off-Speed
Destination in 2011: Half at AA/Half at AAA; possible cup of coffee in majors
ETA: 2011
Ceiling: No. 2 Starter
My Prediction: No. 2 Starter

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.