If there is one New York Yankees prospect that has flown under the radar, it would be right handed starter, Alexander Vizcaino. Vizcaino was signed as an international free agent when he was almost nineteen which is late for elite international prospects. Another tell was the fact that the Yankees signed him for just $14,000, but that low risk/high reward investment might be paying off for the Yankees. Vizcaino has a really dynamic fastball/changeup combination. Reminds me a lot of current Yankees reliever, Tommy Kahnle. Vizcaino’s fastball sits in the mid-90s but he did hit triple digits a few times in 2019. His changeup sits in the low 90s with incredible drop to it. Scouts have graded both pitches as “Plus Plus” pitches when he’s on top of his game. 2019 was a turning point for this young Yankees pitcher.
Coming out party
Vizcaino made 21 stars in 2019 where he had a 6-6 record with a 4.38 ERA. In the 115 innings that he pitched, Vizcaino struck out 128 batters, but he had a WHIP of 1.31 and opponents were hitting .261 off of him. The strikeouts came off the heels of his two top pitches, but in watching him, it seems like his breaking ball is one of the main issues for Vizcaino at this stage. In watching tape, his slider doesn’t seem to have a lot of sharp break. The pitch has a tendency to either hang in the zone where it’s easier to hit, or is so far out of the zone it’s easier to lay off. Vizcaino definitely has incredible arm talent, but the lack of a true breaking ball is hurting him currently. Now honestly I’m nitpicking when it comes to the Yankees seventh ranked prospect. Vizcaino climbed there after the 2019 season because scouts saw his devastating two pitch combination. As is, he’s projected to be a mid-tier starter but a very high end reliever. 2019 was definitely a coming out party for the right hander from the Dominican.
Reliever or Starter?
You could probably guess that when 2020 starts, I’d really like to see Vizcaino continue to develop his slider. He’s ahead of the game right now with two devastating pitches, but he needs a third if he wants to be a starter. To me, the Yankees need to use this season to figure out where they want to go with Vizcaino. In all honesty, he could be in the majors as a high leverage reliever sooner rather than later, but if they want to develop him as a starter, he’s got a ways to go. He needs to work on his command a little, but the raw arm talent cannot be questioned. The Yankees farm system is loaded with arms, but Vizcaino’s arm might intrigue me the most. Not many prospects have two plus plus pitches like Vizcaino which is why watching him progress will be very interesting. Time will tell if he’s a starter or reliever, but there’s a lot of reason to be excited about Alexander Vizcaino.