Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Carreno was signed as a 16-year old out of Venezuela in October 2007. Being signed after the season held Carreno back from making his professional debut until 2008 in the Venezuelan Summer League.
As a 17-year old in the VSL, the 6-foot-1 right-hander posted an impressive 2.82 ERA in 12 starts. He allowed just 35 hits in 54 1/3 innings, while walking only 15 and showing advanced feel and control for his age.
The Tigers kept Carreno in the VSL in 2009 and while he still logged 45 2/3 innings, he did miss time in the middle of the season with blister problems. Despite that, Carreno still allowed less hits than innings pitched, and walked only six batters all year; helping him post a 1.07 WHIP and a strikeout to walk ratio of over seven.
Still a teenager in 2010, the Tigers brought Carreno stateside and held him in extended spring training until the New York-Penn League opened in late June. Working as a key member of the CT-Tigers rotation, Carreno made 14 starts and logged a career high 64 1/3 innings. Though his walk total spiked to 33, he still struck out more than eight batters per nine innings and finished with a 4.76 ERA as one of only nine regular starters under 20 in the league (teammates Clemente Mendoza and Rayni Guichardo also fit in this category).
Signed as a scrawny 6-foot-1, 170 pound right-hander, Carreno has put in a tremendous amount of work to fill out his broad shouldered frame. Since signing, Carreno has bulked up to good 215 pounds with thick legs and a barrel chest.
Even with the added bulk, Josue has maintained his range of motion and quick arm, and has added velocity. Previously armed with a fastball that sat 86-88 mph, he now consistently works in the 89-91 range and will get it up to 94 at times during his starts. His fastball has good natural sink.
Prior to coming stateside and adding velocity, Carreno showed command of his fastball that bordered on earning 50-grades as an 18-year old. With the increased strength and velocity, he is now learning to re-harness his stuff. Most people that have seen him multiple times over the last three years believe he will get back to that point, and ultimately could have plus command.
Carreno also throws a high-70s curveball that can flash as a solid-average pitch at times. He shows feel for spinning it but lacks the consistent release point to make it a truly effective weapon. In one start last summer he got the feel for it early and it was a true out-pitch for him all night.
His arsenal is rounded out with a below-average change-up that has some fade to it. He keeps his arm speed up well and it has a chance to at least be a show-me pitch down the line.
There might be another tick or two of consistent velocity in Carreno's future, which could have him sitting 92-93 down the line. If that comes to fruition and he regains the command he previously showed, he has the potential to reach a number three starter ceiling. Without such progress, he could still fill out the back of a rotation as a workhorse type.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG SS-A
The only thing that has caused Carreno to miss time has been the blister problems in 2009; a problem that did not resurface in 2010. He has yet to even approach 100 innings in a season, which will make his first taste of full-season ball a big test.
After what should be considered a rousing success as a teenager in the NYPL, Carreno will have an inside track on a rotation spot in West Michigan in 2011. Barring injury or some unforeseen poor performance, he should be in the rotation all season long.
Carreno is in the midst of a lot of change right now, with the most notable being adjusting to the new body he has worked hard to craft, and learning how to pitch with added velocity. In the confines of the always pitcher friendly Midwest League, Carreno could put up some impressive numbers, but he is still likely two to three years away from even making a remote impact on the roster in Detroit.
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