2015 LoA South Atlantic League All-Stars – UTR Pitchers

By Jim Brown

The HiA Florida State League will play their All-Star Game this evening and the UTR’s named to that roster can be found here. On Tuesday June 23rd, there are three more AS games on-tap. I already covered the UTR Pitchers for the HiA California/Carolina game and below are the hurlers for the LoA South Atlantic League, affectionally known as the SALLY. I will follow-up with the arms that will be making appearances in the third game for the LoA Midwest League All-Stars.

North Division

Ariel Jurado (Hickory – Texas) 19 years old

  • Jurado is the UTR darling for 2015, just like Kendall Graveman was last season. It’s highly doubtful that the Hickory right-hander will ascend as quickly as Graveman did for Toronto, but he’s definitely on the way. Jurado was listed near the bottom of the TPS system (.135) after his 2013 season in the DSL. He was brought to the States last year, and I fully admit, the 19 year-old wholly missed my radar. The Rangers organization handled him with kid gloves over his 14 appearances, which none qualified on my tracking spreadsheet. Well…the curtain is up now, as the All-Star is currently 9-0 with a 2.07 ERA (League leading 0.92 WHIP) and 54/7 K/BB rate over 61 innings. These stats are a no doubter.

Joey DeNato (Lakewood – Philadelphia) 23 years old

  • DeNato didn’t miss my radar last season. He hit it hard, coming out ranked as the top UTR relief pitcher in the Phillies system with a .074 TPS. The 19th round pick in 2014 has fly-ball tendencies (0.59 GB/FB%), but has only surrendered two home runs in 68 innings from 43 appearances. DeNato was named as a Phillies UTR-OAS after last season.

John Fasola (Hickory – Texas) 23 years old

  • Under the Radar gold is Fasola, in being a 31st round selection in 2014; and having the success that he’s built thus far. Another 2014 UTR-OAS, the Ohio native currently leads the SAL with 13 saves. In 51.2 innings as a pro, the right-hander holds 12.9 K9 and 1.4 BB9…not bad for the 936th overall pick.

Yeudy Garcia (West Virginia – Pittsburgh) 22 years old

  • Yeudy has made 15 appearances so far, and was moved into the West Virginia rotation on May 14th. In 7 starts, three have been worthy of mention on my daily tracking sheet and has appeared on the site twice. He makes the SAL All-Star roster in his first season in the U.S. after one season in the DSL.

Yohander Mendez (Hickory – Texas) 20 years old

  • One way to make the A-S roster?…..how about a 24.1 IP scoreless streak. The international free agent signee in 2011 is being stretched out and made his first start this past Sunday.

Alexis Rivero (Lakewood – Philadelphia) 20 years old

  • Rivero qualifies as a UTR as another international free agent sign in 2012. He hasn’t made any UTR mentions yet and doesn’t have any eye-popping stats, but is currently 3-0 with 6 saves over 32.2 innings.

Austen Williams (Hagerstown – Washington) 22 years old

  • Williams’ teeters as a UTR prospect as 6th rounder (2014) and further weakened his status in seeing a recent spot start at Triple-A Syracuse. He returns back to Hagerstown and takes over the role as staff ace when fellow UTR Phillips Valdez was promoted to HiA Potomac. The right-hander currently has the second-best ERA (1.96) in the South Atlantic League. In the SAL, Williams has a 6-1 record over 10 starts, with 51 strikeouts in 55 innings.

South Division 

Helmis Rodriguez  (Asheville – Colorado) 21 years old

  • Rodriguez was signed as an international free agent back in July 2010 and has progress nicely through the system, cracking the Rockies Top 30 prospect list. The TPS system hasn’t been kind to the left-hander over the last two season, as he ranked near the bottom with a .175 TPS….a +.027 increase from 2013. Strangely, on the other side of my system, he ranked at #7 amongst all Rox UTR’s. Something is amiss and Rodriguez could prove to be an enigma if he quietly climbs up the ladder. As a “One To Watch”, he’s not there yet, but could be a flier.

Mario Alcantara (Greenville – Boston) 22 years old

  • Alcantara is putting it together in 2015. After seeing his ERA sail over 8.00 in 2014, the right-hander went to work on his offerings and is currently 2-1 with 3 saves and 2.04 ERA in 18 appearances. He has had issues with his command since turning pro as a 17 year old in 2010, but may have turned a corner and has plenty of time to work out the kinks as a now 22 year old. Continued work and progress could make him a decent middle reliever.

Pedro Fernandez (Lexington – Kansas City) 21 years old

  • The right-hander has been ranked in the Royals Top 20 over the last two season. The organization has high hopes for the young Dominican. They got aggressive with him in 2013 when he saw action in the DSL and AZL and then the jump to Lexington in 2014. Last season overwhelmed Fernandez which is why is repeating in the SAL for 2015 to get back on track.

Kyle Kinman (Rome – Atlanta) 24 years old

  • The 24 year old maybe old for the SAL, but leniency is given since he was drafted in 25th round in 2014. He’ll drop-off the UTR map after this season, as he turns 25 year old this September. Kinman was a UTR-OAS after last season, mainly because of the strikeout numbers (43 K’s in 29.2 IP), which is what highlighted the Braves’ attention while Kinman was college senior.

Zach Lovvorn (Lexington – Kansas City) 21 years old

  • It took me while before I realized that Zach’s last name had two v’s in his last name and not a w. The 6th round pick in 2012 has made two mentions so far this season. The right-hander has been eating innings for Lexington, as he has gone past the 5th inning in 10 if his 12 starts.

David Roseboom (Savannah – New York Mets) 23 years old

  • Roseboom was a four year starter while at U. of South Carolina (Upstate), but projects as a left-handed arm (LOOGY) out of the bullpen. He was drafted in the 17th round in 2014 and my system predicts a high-ceiling for the 23 year-old. After the 2014 season, Roseboom’s TPS score (0.65) ranked amongst the likes of Akeel Morris (.043) and Brad Wieck (.053), who was recently sent to the Padres as PTBNL to complete a trade.

Matthew Strahm (Lexington – Kansas City) 23 years old

  • Another reliever that ranked near the top the TPS spectrum for the KC Royals is this 21st rounder in 2012. Strahm missed the 2013 season and worked his way back in the Pioneer League last season. The lefty posted respectable peripherals and was named to my post-season UTR-OAS list.

Jerry Vasto (Asheville – Colorado) 23 years old

  • Vasto didn’t register in the TPS system last season, as he suffered an undisclosed injury after facing 3 batters and missed the rest of the season. This all occurred after he was drafted by the Rockies in the 24th round in 2014. The left-hander’s name has appeared numerous times on my daily tracking sheets. If I were name a relief pitcher of the month, Vasto would have be tagged for April and May within the Rox system.
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