Position: Right-handed Pitcher Height: 6-0 Weight: 175
Born: 7/7/1984 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Figaro joined the Tigers after signing out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager, spending two seasons tossing innings in the Dominican Summer League. During his second season in the league, Alfredo posted a 1.87/1.06 (ERA/WHIP) line, while striking out over eleven batters per nine innings, and managing to notch an 8-2 record.
The Tigers finally felt it time to bring Figaro stateside for the 2006 season, where he continued his pitching dominance. Alfredo did not allow an earned run until August, and only allowed three all season, en route to a magnificent 0.70 ERA and a 3-1 record. Figaro's efforts for the GCL Tigers earned him the TigsTown Pitcher of the Month Award for July, as well as the TigsTown GCL Pitcher of the Year honor.
Figaro does not have the arsenal to overpower hitters, but thrives with outstanding command and a tremendous understanding of how to set up and finish hitters. He commands three average pitches to all parts of the strike zone, and is willing to throw all three pitches in any count. Alfredo's fastball regularly sits in the 88-91 range, and he has touched 93 once in a while. He only generates minimal movement on his fastball, but his ability to locate it compensates quite well.
His curveball and change-up are solid-average offerings, but don't project to get much better. He maintains good arm speed on his change-up easily deceiving hitters. His advanced understanding of pitching strategy allowed him to dominate raw hitters, but he would benefit from a step forward with at least one of his pitches. With his current arsenal, Alfredo projects as more of a long reliever or spot starter. His frame is slight and added muscle may benefit his velocity enough to increase that projection.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP AVG R
Figaro has been healthy thus far, and he repeats his clean mechanics with ease. His average athleticism and reluctance to over-throw should serve his health well down the road.
If he is able to come into camp ready to rock-n-roll, Figaro will have a chance to open the season on the West Michigan pitching staff, likely in the bullpen. He will start next season at age 22, and an aggressive approach may be prudent so the Tigers can determine what they have. Whether he debuts with the ‘Caps, or waits until the O-Tigers open in June, Figaro should continue his trend of getting outs and not walking batters.
I expect a continued dip in his strikeout rates, and subsequently I expect his overall performance to tail off a little bit. Figaro is a long shot to approach Detroit, and should be viewed with a skeptical eye until he succeeds against advanced hitters.
Mark Anderson covers the Tigers' minor league system and all of minor league baseball for TigsTown.com. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.