Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 12/15/1989 (2014 Opening Day Age: 24)
Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, 2006 (re-signed, 2013)
Ranking History: #144 (2008), #124 (2009), #138 (2010), #44 (2011), #67 (2012), #78 (2013), #41 (2014)
Background: Signed as an international free agent in 2006, Palacios spent three years in the Venezuelan and Dominican Summer Leagues, including a 2008 (served in 2009) suspension for violating the Minor League Baseball performance-enhancing substance policy by testing positive for metabolites of Nandrolone. Since coming stateside in 2010, Palacios has performed well, including ERAs of 2.79 and 3.08 in the Gulf Coast League and New York-Penn League, respectively. He hit a minor bump in the road in 2012 with West Michigan and posted a 3.70 ERA in 23 stars with a sharp decline in his strikeout rate, but he rebounded with a 3.07 ERA in 134-2/3 innings in the High-A Florida State League in 2013. Eligible for minor league free agency following the 2013 season, the Tigers re-signed Palacios before he hit the open market.
|2013 Wilsen Palacios Stats - Pitching|
Body: Tall, lean frame; broad shoulders; has appearance of room for additional strength but unlikely to realize those gains at his age and level of development; long arms and fingers; strong lower half; solid body.
Delivery/Mechanics: Repeats delivery well; stays high on drive leg; high arm slot that is nearly overhand; creates good angle with arm slot; upright throughout; has a tendency to pull out of delivery and lose line to the plate; shows aptitude for correcting problems on the fly; mechanical profile is solid and stable.
Fastball: PConsistent 90-92 from high slot with good angle; reaches 93-94 regularly throughout starts; solid above-average pitch with some wiggle; pound zone with pitch; steep cut through the zone thanks to long arms and high arm slot; quality primary offering; above-average overall; minimal projection remaining; could play up to plus in short bursts. Grade – Present 5+/Future 5+
Curveball:True overhand CB; high-70s/low-80s velocity; tight spin; consistently stays on top; good depth; typically sharp with dramatic bite; occasionally loses snap and spins one up there; solid-average pitch at present; chance to be above-average or plus with improved consistency and command. Grade – 5/5+
Slider:Fourth pitch; arm slot precludes classic SL snap; still generates good spin and some movement on pitch; change-of-pace pitch that can be set up well with FB; combines angle with some downward movement to induce groundballs; unlikely to miss many bats with pitch; needs work; below-average at present with fringe projection. Grade – 4/4+
Splitter: Consistently rates as second best pitch; looks like FB out of the hand; difficult to pick up; bottom drops out as it approaches the plate; frequently thrown as chase pitch out of the bottom of the zone; will elevate occasionally for a called strike; very good pitch; above-average at present and can show plus with regularity; would play up and play very well in shorter stints when complimented by slightly more impressive FB. Grade – 5+/6
Control/Command: Repeatable delivery; consistent arm slot; deliberate strike thrower with FB and CB; shows ability to move splitter in and out of strike zone; SL command rates worst of the four pitches but still typically around the zone; improved ability to manipulate location of FB in 2013; can work east-west and now north-south; stays away from working FB up the zone to maintain angle and difficulty squaring; projects for at least plus control, above-average command.
Other: Quiet confidence on mound; good presence; intelligent pitcher; mixes pitches well; will pitch backwards and forwards; still developing pickoff move but has made strides; 50-50 on fielding position; will fall off at times and leave himself out of position to make plays back through the box.
Summary: Quality four-pitch mix; three pitches with average or better grades; SL is fourth useable pitch; FB and splitter can play up in short bursts; CB is quality slower pitch; mixes well; shows intelligence and confidence on the mound; has arsenal to start but may fit better as FB-SPL reliever where he can miss more bats.
Risk: Moderate risk; no resume in higher minors; doesn't miss a ton of bats; lacks upside as SP; likely reliever profile long term.
Projection: Should continue to develop as SP at Double-A in 2014 but profiles better as a 7th inning arm that relies heavily on FB and splitter with occasional CB mixed in; ETA as SP is late 2015; ETA as RP could be 2014; darkhorse to contribute to Tigers bullpen next year.
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