Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP BAA A
Listed at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, right-hander Edgar De La Rosa is an intimidating mammoth beast physically. He's got a strong frame, solid core, broad shoulders and long muscular limbs.
On the mound De La Rosa delivers the ball from a standard 3/4 arm slot. He's a power arm, there's certainly effort in his delivery, but nothing too concerning or taxing on his arm. De La Rosa struggles with his glove side mechanics; his release point and landings were a bit of a bear for him as well. After releasing the ball, he falls pretty hard to the first base side, regularly off-balance, often spinning into a pirouette. As humorous as that is to observe, it's advantageous to his future success that he somehow remedy the mechanical flaw. While the synopsis of his mechanics must seem like an absolute train wreck, truth be told, he's simply a young uncoordinated kid, still growing into his gigantic body.
De La Rosa showcased his entire four-pitch arsenal over the evening tilt against the Cleveland Indians Class-A affiliate. His 4-seam fastball lacked movement and sat 91-to-93, maxing out and hitting a reported 94 mph on a more accurate scout's gun. Previously bringing heat in the mid-to-high 90s, manager Larry Parrish informed me that De La Rosa has dialed it down a bit in an attempt to better command his repertoire. The 22-year-old mixed in a 2-seam fastball with a tad more movement and a tick less of velocity. He also featured a low-80s slider and sprinkled in a few mid-80s change-up. Perhaps I caught him on a bad day, but neither off-speed pitch left me filled with joy.
Despite firing a reported 50 of his 70 pitches for strikes, De La Rosa noticeably struggled with command. De La Rosa did sequence his pitches well, but did not appear to keep hitters off balance much. He was not afraid to attack the inner-half of the plate or to go up in the zone. However, De La Rosa missed his spots a regularly, resulting in quite a few well-struck line drives and loud outs.
Another oddity in De La Rosa's game was his move to first. Despite having a quick and deceptive move that resulted in a pickoff in third inning, De La Rosa's footwork appeared troublesome. Charged with a balk in the same inning, De La Rosa struggled this season, allowing eight balks over his 22 starts.
All things considered, at the end of the day De La Rosa finished with a win and a decent, respectable line: 5 IP 2ER 6H 0BB 4K.
De La Rosa fits the mold of a prospect that will break your heart. It is easy to dream on what could come to fruition if everything clicks for the soon-to-be 23-year-old. His strong physical frame and past elite/plus-plus velocity oozes potential.
That being said, without command of the high-octane velocity that we've seen in the past, De La Rosa is nothing more than a project. His secondary offerings lag behind developmentally and the mechanics were noticeably in disarray. General consensus here at TigsTown and elsewhere in Tigers' prospecting is that De La Rosa is better suited in a relief role. As gloom as this overall analysis may seem, don't get it twisted, there is plenty to be excited about when evaluating this young man's game. Expectations however, must be tempered.
James Chipman is the Senior Lakeland Correspondent for TigsTown. Be sure to follow him on twitter @JAYRC_TigsTown.