PLAYER: Randall Delgado
SIZE: 6'3", 180
OPENING DAY 2010 AGE: 20
BORN: February 9, 1990 in Las Tablas, Los Santos, Panama
LIVES: Las Tablas, Venezuela
HOW HE BECAME A BRAVE:
Randall was signed as a non-drafted free agent on July 18, 2006 by Luis Ortiz.
The Braves signed Delgado for $50,000 three years ago, right after his 16th birthday. The Mets actually offered $50,000 more, but Delgado wanted to be a Brave. He's got a fastball that sits at 91-94, topping out at 96, along with a very good changeup and a curveball. Delgado's lanky frame allows him to throw on a good downward plane. He gets the ball up at times, and that's when he runs into a little trouble.
2009 IN REVIEW:
Atlanta decided to send Delgado straight to Rome, even though he was only 19 and could have easily been sent back to Danville for a second season. But after finishing second in the Appy League in strikeouts in 2008 (81 Ks in 69 IP), the Braves decided Delgado was ready for the jump to Rome. In April, Delgado did fine, posting a 3.31 ERA in four starts, with 17 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. He had some struggles in May and June, starting nine games and having an ERA of 6.51. But then he calmed down and had a terrific second-half run. Delgado was 4-3 in his final 12 starts of the season, with an ERA of 3.05. Delgado finished with a 5-10 record, and the bad two months pushed his overall ERA up to 4.35. But in 124 innings, Delgado allowed 123 hits and struck out 141, seventh most strikeouts in the South Atlantic League.
Delgado will move up the ladder and start the 2010 season in High-A Myrtle Beach. The Braves major league rotation is already crowded, so there's no real reason to rush Delgado. Plus, the minor league rotations above Delgado are going to be packed as well. It's very possible Delgado could spend the majority of the 2010 season in the Carolina League, and then if he does well we could see him get a few turns in the Double-A rotation before the end of the season. The Braves love his potential, and many scouts debate who is actually better – Delgado or Julio Teheran. That's how impressive Delgado was last season – good enough to be in that conversation. Delgado is considered a potential middle-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. He just needs time. Delgado needs more innings to refine his breaking ball, and at the same time ensure his command is better. But the stuff is there; it's just a matter of getting him the experience to get him ready.
Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on
WFSM Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, Georgia and The Braves Show Talk Show. Shanks writes a weekly baseball column for The Macon Telegraph and is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. You can email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/billshanks.
PLAYER PROFILE: Randall Delgado
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