TOP NL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE RHP Luis Escobar (LoA West Virginia – Pittsburgh) 20 years old 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, Win Season Stats: 1-0, 1.64 ERA, 11 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 23 K in 2 starts
- Escobar comes into the 2017 season ranked #28 by Baseball America. The native of Colombia experiences a repertoire that might be best suited from the bullpen. A plus low 90’s fastball (tops 97) with late life and a near plus curveball. Any improvement to his change-up could raise his floor as a back-end starter. Escobar’s second outing of 2017 shows that the slender (6’1″ 155 lbs) right-hander could reach that potential. This is Escobar’s second UTR NL Pitcher of the Day mention after tallying 12 K’s over 5 innings on April 9th.
- Menez is my “Ones to Watch” pick for the Giants. He was SF 14th round pick in 2016 and was promoted to San Jose in early August after only 26 innings in the rookie leagues.
TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE RHP Shane Bieber (LoA Lake County – Cleveland) 21 years old 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, Win Season Stats: 1-1, 2.53 ERA, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 18 K in 2 starts
- The 2016 4th round pick was dominate again last night in setting a career-high with 11 strikeouts over Lansing (Toronto). He currently has 18 K’s over his first starts (10.2 IP) and still has yet to issue a walk. Limiting free passes isn’t new to Bieber, who had excellent control coming out of UC Santa Barbara. The surge in strikeouts is a surprise and will rocket him up the prospect ranking if he can maintain. In college, the 6′ 3″ 195 lbs righty only averaged slightly over 7 K per nine innings. He lacks a plus pitch, but locates his 88-91 mph fastball with outstanding command. He pitched 134.2 innings at UCSB last Spring, so care was taken during his pro debut at Mahoning Valley in only pitching no more than 3 innings per outing.
- Ranked #23 by BA