Eric Alonzo, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'2
WT : 210
DOB : August 28, 1991 (24), in Buford, Georgia
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA)
Acquired : Drafted in 40th Round of 2014 MLB Draft
Last Year's Ranking : #67
Being a 40th round pick usually brings some concern to your stock as a prospect. The Los Angeles Angels may have gotten a steal in a recent draft, taking Eric Alonzo in the 40th round. Alonzo, one of the most precise pitchers in the system, has proved that he belongs in professional ball, and is beginning to shine in separate affiliates bullpens.
Alonzo is one of the most precise pitchers in the Angels system, hitting the strike zone with ease. Alonzo has command of five different pitches, which allows him to force weak contact while pitching to the contact, and keeping base runners at a low.
Alonzo has a pair of fastballs, both seeing improvements every time he takes the mound. Alonzo has a low 90's four-seam fastball that sits primarily 89-93 after making mechanical adjustments to stay closed longer and gain full velocity. He also has a cutter, which is new to his arsenal, but is becoming one of his better pitches.
Alonzo has a pair of breaking ball offerings in a slider and curveball, both somewhat fringy. Both the slider and curve come in at a sweeping motion, but are roughly 10 miles per hour apart from each other. Alonzo uses his curve to set up his slider, which has a late break and heavy drop. He can command his slider to both sides of the plate, pitching away from right-handed batters and in to left-handed hitters.
Alonzo also contains a changeup in his arsenal, but it still has too many inconsistencies to be considered an average pitch. It's weakened through his professional career, and is rarely used. It sits roughly 5-10 MPH slower than his fastball.
Scouting Report from Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
At Mill Creek High School, Alonzo hit .320 with four home runs as a senior, along with a 2.13 ERA and 8-1 record, winning all three playoff games he pitched in. Alonzo was named an All-County honorable mention twice during his prep years, and was named the March and April Player of the Month his senior year.
Alonzo pitched two years at Middle Georgia State, helping the program to two regional appearances and two conference tournament titles, one being a regular season title. Alonzo finished his final year at MGS with a 2-2 record, 3.38 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 14 games.
Alonzo transferred to Georgia Southern, where he held a 3-4 record and 3.61 ERA over 27 appearances. In 52.1 innings, Alonzo struck out 42 while walking only 16, and helped lead GSU to a SOCON Conference Tournament victory from the loser's bracket, going to the Florida State Regional Tournament.
Alonzo saw 11 of his first 16 professional outings go scoreless, helping him to a 2.01 ERA and 1.277 WHIP in his first taste of pro ball. With runners on base with two outs, Alonzo held bats to a .167 average, and .394 OPS.
This past season, Alonzo split time between both Single-A affiliates, posting a 3.71 ERA and 1.168 WHIP. If not for a four earned run outing in July, Alonzo would have held a 2.73 ERA at the Low-A affiliate. Alonzo walked just five batters in 43.2 innings.
2015 was a big sign as to what Alonzo's career will hold. The Angels coaching staff must think highly of him, putting him in big game scenarios and teaching him new pitches to get him to that next level.
2016 should mean some time in High-A Inland Empire, and most likely, a full season in doing so. It's cliche, but what Alonzo does at the high levels will truly show what path his career will take, and whether he has what it takes to make it all the way to the top.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.