The countdown continues with No. 10, a right-hander with a plus fastball.
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||No. 10 – Yorman Bazardo, RHP
| Ht/Wt: 6-2/180
| Bats/Throws: R/R
| Acquired: Traded from Florida to Seattle in July, 2005.
| Signed By: Marlins' scout Miguel Garcia (2000)
After starting the year in Carolina of the Southern League, Bazardo tossed 2 and 2/3 uninspiring frames for the Marlins prior to the trade that landed him in the Seattle organization.
Bazardo's long, lanky build assists the Venezuelan in bringing his velocity to the mid-90s. As a 19 and 20-year-old in Class A, the right-hander flashed a plus change, showing advanced pitchability and quality mound presence. He knows how to use his sinking fastball to create early swings and quick innings.
Bazardo was inconsistent last summer, taking a step back with his secondary pitches as well as his fastball. The club has little worry that it's a physical problem and believe that it may have just been a down year for his arm. He lacks perfect mechanics and his struggles with his slider and change in '05 could be the result. He tends to have more trouble missing bats than he should with his stuff.
Tools: Scouting Profile
In 2004 Bazardo was among the Marlins' top few prospects after impressing scouts with a fastball clocked as high as 98 mph. It's unlikely that he rediscover that kind of velocity, at least not in a starter's role, but he still sits 89-92 with good action and command and could stretch back toward the mid 90s.
"I wouldn't be worried about his velocity," said an American League Central scout. "It's not uncommon to see a kid his age slide up and down the speedometer some, but he'll need to get some of it back to regain the status of a frontline starting pitcher."
Perhaps his most important pitch, Bazardo's slider showed promise in the second half of 2004 but didn't retain that same level of development last season. He must maintain a consistent arm slot to improve the depth and break of his slider, which has the makings of a strikeout pitch.
With continued progress Bazardo's changeup may become his best pitch, one he can go to in any count. He tends to overthrow the pitch at times and can use it too often, but has a good feel for setting hitter's up for the off-speed barrage.
"He can throw it a lot more effectively than he did a year ago," said a National League scout. "It was a plus pitch last year ('04) and he was getting some good hitters way out front. I don't see any reason he can get back to that."
Bazardo has walked just 80 batters in almost 400 innings of work as a professional, though the 47 he issued in 142 innings last season was a career high. He isn't likely to fall apart at any point and have problems throwing strikes, but he will miss within the zone and give up hits in bunches.
Bazardo's mechanics have been known to be inconsistent at times, but the biggest concerns are in his arm action with his changeup and improving his arm slot with his slider. He does stay on top of his pitches too much, but most pitching coaches believe that is an easy fix and one he'll likely take on in 2006.
Bazardo has the raw stuff to make it as a big-league starting pitcher, but needs to learn to finish off hitters when he gets to two strikes. If he receives the proper development time he could turn into a No. 3 or 4 starter in the mold of a Pedro Astacio. If all else fails, he could slide into the bullpen where he projects as a solid setup man.
2006 Projection: 155 IP, 165 H, 4.40 ERA, .275 BAA, 48 BB, 116 SO
MLB ETA: 2007
MLB COMP: Armando Benitez (SF), Ramon Ortiz (WAS)
InsideThePark.com's Top 20 Prospects are based on the player's long-term value to the Seattle Mariners organization.
All players that have not exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched at the big-league level are eligible. Service time is not considered.
The Scouting Scale grades are based on a combination of the payers' current and potential future skills.