Rangers Prospect #9: Omar Poveda

At 19 years of age, 6-foot-4 pitcher Omar Poveda is one of the most promising young pitchers in the Rangers organization. Rangers Insider takes an in-depth look at the Venezuelan hurler.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Omar Poveda
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: September 28, 1987
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Omar Poveda is one of the first products of the Rangers' renewed effort in Latin America. A native of Turmero, Venezuela, Poveda is both projectable and polished for his age.

The 6-foot-4 Poveda made his stateside debut with the Rookie League Arizona Rangers in 2005. Though he had a lofty 5.71 ERA, the righty showed good control and the ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone. Poveda walked 12 hitters and allowed just one home run in 52 innings.

The Rangers displayed their confidence in the right-hander when they sent him to Single-A Clinton at just 18 years of age. While Poveda was playing full season ball in the Minors, most players his age were competing at the high school level.

Though his 4-13 record with Clinton won't show it, Poveda pitched well for the majority of the season. The tall youngster walked just 37 hitters in 149.1 innings while fanning 133. Poveda showed flashes of brilliance at times, but seemed to wear down toward the end of the season.

Poveda, who turned 19 last September, also received a midseason spot-start with Double-A Frisco. Poveda yielded just one earned run in five innings, allowing four hits and walking four.

Repertoire: Fastball, Changeup, Slider.

Poveda's fastball, which sits between the upper-80's and low-90's, should gain velocity as his tall frame continues to fill out. However, the right-hander's best pitch is his changeup. Poveda's change is extremely advanced and allows him to keep hitters off balance. His slider is well behind his change, but it could turn into an average third offering in time.

Projection: Scouts would say that Poveda has a perfect pitcher's body. The hurler stands tall at 6-foot-4, allowing him to throw the ball to the plate on a downward plane. On top of that, Poveda should gain muscle as he matures, leading to more velocity on his fastball and greater endurance. Poveda has a chance to become a middle of the rotation starter if his slider can develop. Judging by the poise and maturity that he has shown to date, it is difficult to count against that happening.

2007 Outlook: The organization could choose to advance Poveda to the High-A California League or have him repeat Clinton. With the confidence that the club has shown in Poveda so far, it appears likely that he will begin the season with High-A Bakersfield. On the other hand, Poveda is still very young and the Rangers may prefer for him to get a refresher with the L-Kings.

ETA: 2010.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
2005 AZL Rangers (RK) 2-6 52.0 64 12 56 5.71
2006 Clinton (A) 4-13 149.1 167 37 133 4.88
Frisco (AA) 0-1 5.0 4 5 1 1.80

Future Rangers Top Stories