TCN 2016 Cards Prospect #38: Alvaro Seijas

Does the 16-year-old have what it takes to be the next big thing in the Cardinals international pitching pipeline?

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile

Hometown: Maracay, Venezuela

2015 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NA RHS 10,10,98 6-1 175 R R 2015 FA

Selected 2015 stats

Has yet to make his professional debut.

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (48): Alvaro Seijas was a huge question mark in the community vote. Freshjmm and I (PadsFS) were on him earlier than most, picking him in the late 30’s of the vote. In the end, Seijas ended up at #48, due to his lack of pitching for the team at all.

During the vote, freshjmm mentioned that Seijas was the second-best rated pitching prospect on the international market this year. I posted that Seijas allegedly hits 94 MPH with control on his fastball, as a 16 year-old. Desmetlax12 posted that he trusts the Cardinals international pitching scouts to make a great choice, much as they have in the past. - Jeremy Byrd

Derek Shore (45): The international market was light on pitching this past July, but the Cardinals landed the cream of the crop in the entire class on July 2nd. Seijas became The Cardinal Nation’s first Latin prospect to debut in the top 40 without throwing a single professional inning.

Seijas, 16, is 6-foot-1, 175 pounds and according to scouting reports, has a fastball that sits 88-92 and reaches 94 mph. It is expected to spike as he matures into an adult. Although his physical projection is limited, Seijas’ biggest advantage may be his overall athleticism that the Cardinals emphasize in the development of their pitchers ala Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes and Luis Perdomo as international examples.

His father played professional basketball in Venezuela for over a decade, and Seijas has competed for his state basketball team in several Venezuelan tournaments. On the diamond, Seijas has experience against top talent and trained at former big-leaguer Carlos Guillen's academy.

Seijas’ curveball flashes occasional plus with good depth but he has better command of his fastball at present. He also has a feel for a changeup. Seijas has some effort to his delivery and utilizes a long arm swing, but at 16 years of age those aren't necessarily downsides because scouts still project him as a starting pitcher with an advanced strike-throwing ability.

I believe Seijas should get an invite to Cardinals minor league spring training next February and March as they so often do for a select number of Dominican prospects at the Academy. Following the spring, Seijas will report back to the Dominican and debut as a professional in 2016.

Brian Walton (38): It is clear I am the most bullish of this group early on about Seijas (SAY-haas), the Cardinals’ highest-bonused international signing this year, at $762,500, roughly one-third of the organization’s allocation. I have the advantage of having seen the teen and spoken with him during fall instructional league camp.

More importantly, I was able to get the first-hand impressions of his pitching from coaches and player development personnel who had been working with Seijas in camp. This is crucial since he is so young and few have actually seen him pitch as a professional. Informal talk is that Seijas could become “the next big thing” from the organization’s successful international pitching pipeline.

Seijas’ July 2nd contract is for 2016, meaning he has yet to play in an official game. Of course, that does not mean he is out of action, as once US instructs ended, he joined one of the Cardinals’ two Dominican instructional league teams currently competing.

Understandably, Cardinals director of international operations Moises Rodriguez is delighted about his club getting Seijas on board.

“Seijas was probably the signing we were more excited about,” Rodriguez said. “Starting pitcher, profiles with good arm strength at a young age. He can spin a breaking ball and we can see him being electric pretty soon. His stuff is really sharp for a 16-year-old. He throws strikes and has a repeatable delivery. He showed some really good things this summer after we got him into the academy after signing him.

“We are excited. We are glad he is on our side and we were able to get him.”

Seijas’ very participation in US instructs despite no professional experience suggests to me that he has a good chance of pitching stateside in 2016. Perhaps it will be like with our number 40 prospect David Oca, who came over to the 2015 Gulf Coast League after four starts in the Dominican Summer League, which begins play a month earlier than the GCL. Of course, Seijas would have to earn it, but the potential is there.

For reference, Alex Reyes is the last Cardinals international assignee to begin his professional career in the US, pitching in Johnson City at 18 years of age in 2013. In 2010, Carlos Martinez pitched one season in the DSL, also at the age of 18, before coming stateside. Seijas will be 17 during the entire 2016 season.

Our 2016 top 40 series continues: To see the entire list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. This includes the top 40 countdown and nine in-depth, follow-up articles. Most of the latter are exclusively for members of The Cardinal Nation.

Not yet a member? Join today for as little as $7.95 after our seven-day free trial and be able to read all of our exclusive St. Louis Cardinals major and minor league content year-round.

© 2015 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories