Tigers Prospect Profile #31: Josue Carreno

After a very successful season with the VSL Tigers, Mauricio Robles made the jump straight to West Michigan. After showing even better than Robles did in Venezuela, will Carreno return to Venezuela because of his youth?

Josue Carreno
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-1
Weight: 170
Born: 6/26/1991
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Carreno's background is very limited, having just signed in October 2007, and having made his professional debut in the VSL in 2008. As a 17-year old on Opening Day, Carreno came out of the gates and fires quality start after quality start for the Tigers. In 12 starts, Carreno logged 54 1/3 innings and yielded only 35 hits and 15 walks, while striking out 39. His middling 2-4 record was a by-product of a poor team behind him, and his ability to keep the ball in the yard (only two home runs allowed) and his 2.82 ERA and 0.92 WHIP are far more indicative of his ability with the club.

Though he largely took advantage of a tremendous hitters environment at home, Carreno did improve as the season went along; posting his best numbers in his busiest and final month (five starts and 25 1/3 innings) of his first season.

Scouting Report
Carreno is a solid athlete that is still growing and developing strength on his frame. He has solid mechanics that he repeats very well for someone of his age and experience level. His fastball was below-average for much of the season, working at 84-87 mph, but it has plenty of projection for added velocity down the line. He throws a very heavy ball that is difficult to lift, and he commands it well to both sides of the plate and at the knees.

He backs up his fastball with an average change-up that has excellent arm speed and promising movement to the arm side. At times he flashed some sink on his change-up, but it was inconsistent and unreliable. He gets a nice differential in speed between the change and fastball, and it works well to keep both right-handers and left-handers off balance.

Josue's curveball was a below average pitch at the beginning of the season, but made progress as he consistently tried to work the pitch into game situations. He demonstrated an ability to spin the pitch, and it shows average potential long term.

Carreno must work to hold runners and learn to keep his mechanics consistent from the stretch. He lost some command while in the stretch, and lacked the ability to work down in the zone consistently. His groundball tendencies give him some margin for error, but more advanced hitters will be able to take advantage of elevated mistakes. Scouts were hopeful about his ability to adjust to pitching from the stretch, citing his athleticism and work ethic as positive attributes in this regard.














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Health Record
It's early in his career, but Carreno has yet to experience any injuries of note. He needs to add some bulk to his frame to ensure some level of durability as the innings begin to mount in subsequent seasons, but that should come with physical maturity and a professional training program.

The Future
Carreno will return to the VSL for the 2009 season, and he will be looked upon as an integral part of the starting rotation. This is an aggressive ranking for a young player with only fifty innings under his belt, but his heavy fastball and early command of his pitches are both positive signs for his future. If Carreno's change-up and curveball gain consistency, he could step forward and become a more serious prospect.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.

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