TigsTown Scouting MLN: More Latin Players

The minor league season is underway, but there are still plenty of newbies to the organization down in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. Get their scouting reports inside!

Sergio Collado – Right-Handed Pitcher
The 22-year old Collado missed the last the end of the 2007 and the entire 2008 season battling shoulder injuries. Prior to injuries, he spent two years pitching in the Dominican Summer League, where he compiled a 1.62 ERA and 5-0 record in eleven appearances (10 starts). Though there are plenty of questions about his stuff with shoulder injuries now the reality for Collado, he has shown excellent potential in the past. At times, his fastball has reached 95-96 mph, though he routinely sat in the 91-92 range with average movement down in the zone. His breaking ball has yet to take a definitive shape, but has shown as more of a slider in the past, and flashed as an average pitch. Coming back from injury, there is no telling what his stuff will look like, but if it begins to approach pre-surgery levels, he could be a nice bullpen type, though he will need to move quickly.

Eduardo Gonzalez – Right-Handed Pitcher
Gonzalez is a 20-year old that already has three seasons of professional experience, and his fourth will again come in the Venezuelan Summer League in 2009. After spending two years in relief, Gonzalez tied for fifth in the league in games started (13), though he was touched up a bit in the process. Despite an excellent pitchers frame, Eduardo offers only a fringe-average fastball at this time, sitting at 87-88 with good movement. He has some projection in his frame, though his mechanics may limit what he is able to ultimately develop. He also mixes in an average curveball that some scouts believe could become much more, and a fringy change-up on which he maintains his arm speed well. Gonzalez works around the strike zone and largely pitches to contact. He competes very well and understands the art of pitching. He'll need added velocity out of his frame to become a real prospect, but he's a guy with a durable arm that can compete at the minor league level.

Wilsen Palacios – Right-Handed Pitcher
After a rough debut as a 17-year old in 2007, Palacios made huge strides in 2008; including a sharp spike in his strikeout rate, and a decided cut in his hits against rate. Those gains were realized with a significant jump in his stuff between the two seasons, and he could be in line for another jump in performance this year. His fastball can work consistently from 93-95, while touching 96 with excellent late life. Palacios' command of the offering within the strike zone must improve, but it is a power pitch that gives hitters fits with a good downward plane. His backup pitch is a slider that is above-average with good bite, and he can command it pretty well. Wilsen is a true reliever type that attacks hitters and relishes the late inning pressure.

Sandy De La Cruz – Right-Handed Pitcher
.Despite three full and one partial season in the DSL, Sandy isn't very close to coming stateside at this point. While he has the arm strength to pump fastballs from 90-93 mph, he hasn't yet refined a breaking ball or off-speed pitch that he can rely on in game situations. Sandy has toyed with several different breaking balls, but none have clicked to date. His change-up can be thrown, but it is far from a reliable pitch. There is some additional projection remaining in the 21-year old right-hander's body, but he'll need something with a wrinkle in it to make it stateside and become a legitimate relief prospect.

Crucito Moreno – Right-Handed Pitcher
Another right-hander facing shoulder problems, Moreno is a 20-year old with three-plus seasons of work in the Dominican. In 2007, Moreno ranked second in the DSL with nine wins, all coming in only 24 relief appearances. After a delayed start to the 2009 season, Crucito was shut down in late June with shoulder pain, and he went under the knife later in the summer. Moreno is extremely aggressive on the mound, and prior to the injury he fiercely attacked hitters with a low-90s fastball and a breaking ball that flashed as average. His assertive mentality on the mound, and unwillingness to back down from hitters in any situation, could lend well to a high leverage bullpen role, but he must first return to health and show the same raw stuff he did in 2007.

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