Scouting Notes: Delgado Cruising in Triple-A

The Braves are no strangers to exciting young pitching prospects. And, with the presence of super prospect Julio Teheran it's easy to overlook someone like Randall Delgado. But, after a spot start in the big leagues in June and a couple dominant Triple-A outings, Delgado is becoming a true blue chip prospect in his own right. On Thursday night, I was in attendance to scout the 21-year-old righty.

One thing that's clear about Delgado from seeing him in the past is that it's apparent very early on in ballgames what type of performance he'll have. When he's spotting his changeup and curveball early on he's going to be difficult to hit the whole night. That was the case on Thursday night against the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees.

Delgado worked early and often with his changeup, which now grades out as a clear plus offering. He threw his changeup at 80-84 mph, showing good diving action away from left-handed batters. The righty was able to throw this pitch early in counts as well as late in counts to finish hitters off, so the conviction and confidence to go to it in any situation were definitely there.

One of the most difficult challenges for a hitter facing Delgado is just how similar his changeup and fastball look coming to the plate. Of course that's the goal of every changeup but it's not always the case. The spin of the two pitches match beautifully and he was able to blow his fastball by hitters up in the zone in situations where it appeared they were thinking changeup. And, his fastball was a big weapon as usual on this night. He worked at 92-94 mph, reaching 95 a handful of times. It shows some late life through the zone, and unless it's by design he tends to stay out of the upper quadrants of the zone.

After seeing Delgado a couple years ago and then again on this night, it was evident how much he's matured as a well rounded pitcher. This maturity showed up in how he mixed his pitches. Staying aggressive with his plus fastball early on and mixing in his changeup, we began to see the breaking ball more and more as he neared the end of his outing. And, this pitch also showed plus potential. His overall command and feel might be a bit better with his changeup, but the flashes of plus depth on his power curveball were very impressive.

Thrown at 78-84 mph, you could make the case that some of his breaking balls resembled slider action more so than a curveball. Regardless of that, it was an impressive swing and miss pitch for him late in his outing against Scranton. He likes to start this pitch at the hip of righty hitters and bring it back to the inside corner. This proved effective for him although he did get away with a few mistakes up and out over the plate that he wouldn't get away with in the big leagues.

If Delgado can throw the ball the way he did on Thursday night in Scranton, he's ready to pitch in the big leagues right now. He mixes three quality pitches very well, has the fastball to get away with some mistakes, and he's attacking hitters very aggressively in Triple-A. Something also worth noting is that he held steady around 94 mph with his fastball into the seventh inning. If he can avoid reckless mistakes with his secondary pitches and learn to expand the zone more, he has the look of a number two type starter at the next level.

Scouting Baseball Top Stories