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Sox claim Emilio Vargas

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https://www.prospectslive.com/lists/2018/9/29/arizona-diamondbacks-top-30-prospects

11. Emilio Vargas, RHP

Age: 22 (8/12/96)

Highest Level: AA

143.2 IP, 2.88 ERA, 3.72 FIP, 10.65 K/9, 3.07 BB/9, .227 AVG. - A+/AA

Vargas is the definition of a late bloomer. The 2013 IFA had a true breakout campaign while pitching for Visalia in the California League. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Vargas has the ideal pitchers frame. He’s got the athleticism to repeat his delivery with the size and strength to go deep in games. His fastball is 91-94 and can tick up higher. His low 80’s slider is a plus pitch coming out of that three-quarters arm slot. His changeup isn’t a reliable pitch. It’s too firm and has little movement. I’m very interested to see how Vargas rebounds from a homer-prone 35 inning stint in Double-A. ETA: 2020

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https://www.azsnakepit.com/2019/1/25/18197755/diamondbacks-top-prospect-10-rhp-emilio-vargas

Name: Emilio Vargas

DOB: 8/12/1996 (Age 22)

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 200

Acquired: 2013 International Free Agent

Position: Starter

Most Notable Tool: Mid 90s Fastball

Season Stats: 26 G (25 GS), 9-8, 2.88 ERA, 143 23 IP, 170/49 K/BB, 13 HR, 1.20 WHIP, 40.6% GB rate between A+ Visalia and AA Jackson

2018 Season Summary: Vargas has always been an under the radar type prospect, putting up solid numbers across the way but never standing out, until 2018 where he broke out in a big way. The development of both his slider and change-up resulted a 31% strikeout rate in the Cal League and reducing his walk rate to 9%. That earned him a promotion to AA where he got shelled in his first three starts before settling in and turning in 3 amazing starts to close the season. Vargas did not pitch in the Fall League due to already exceeding his innings number from 2017 by 40, but did earn a spot on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Tools: Fastball 55/60, Slider 50/55, Change-Up 40/50, Command 45/50

Vargas has always had a solid fastball, but now his slider has turned into a solid swing and miss pitch for him now. The change-up is looking more and more like a reliable third pitch, although looking at his Visalia splits he had an easier time with LHH than RHH. Command isn’t quite there yet, but again I would also like to also stress that it has improved greatly. Walks are down, strikeouts are up, and batters in the Cal League had a tough time squaring him up

Upside: Vargas has the ceiling of a middle of the rotation starter, but has multiple successful career possibilities. If the command does not improve enough to be a successful starter, then he’s a prime candidate for a reliever conversion. If starting doesn’t pan out, then his pitches should play up in a reliever role as a 1-2 inning shutdown guy. The continued development of the change-up is the key difference between those two career outcomes.

Risk: The biggest risk is that his command regresses to pre-2018 levels and causes a setback in his development at the AA level or cause him to be unsuccessful at the MLB level. The only thing I could see preventing Vargas from reaching the majors will be injuries. 2019 will be a big year for Vargas to prove that he is MLB starter material.

Likely 2019 Assignment: Vargas will most likely start the year with AA Jackson, where he made 6 starts to conclude the 2018 season. The challenge there will be for Vargas to continue to improve his command and maintaining a high strikeout rate (> 25% K and < 9% BB will be the numbers I look for). A good 2019 season pretty much cements him as a future core player as well as earning a cup of coffee with the MLB team.

ETA: 2019 Season

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Baseball Prospectus Scouting Report: Arizona Fall League Scouting Report from October 2019.

https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/54685/notes-from-the-field-still-live-in-arizona-spencer-howard-more/

Emilio Vargas, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Vargas’ slider looked a lot more polished than it did when I last saw him at Visalia over the summer. Shifting shapes from 77 to 84, the pitch fooled many hitters, and he messed with timing with impressive finesse. His command has improved, as well, and he threw a 92-93 fastball mostly for strikes. The way the fastball leaves his hand is deceptive to hitters, as it has a lot of life to it and it moves more than it looks like it’s going to. Encouraging look. – Jen Mac Ramos

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2 hours ago, Buehrle>Wood said:

24 yea old never appeared above AA. Eh.

Because there was no minor league season. 2020 was technically his age 23 season. So he had a solid season at AA at age 22.

Edited by Vulture
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I would love that LaRussa thought highly of him from his DBack's days and had Katz look at some video to see if he found anything mechanics wise to fix and unlock potential...but they aren't that functional yet, right? 

Edited by EloyJenkins
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The timing of this move is rather interesting. Their 40 man roster is set now with this move and the purchasing of the contracts of Sheets, Johnson and Burger so if they sign a major league player before the non tender deadline, they would need to designate a player for assignment or place a player on waivers. 

Edited by maloney.adam

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2 minutes ago, maloney.adam said:

The timing of this move is rather interesting. Their 40 man roster is set so if they sign a major league player before the non tender deadline, they would need to designate a player for assignment or place a player on waivers. 

Not really to be honest haha. And they have Zavala, Rodon, Mazara, Ruiz they could cut...take your pick.

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4 minutes ago, maloney.adam said:

The timing of this move is rather interesting. Their 40 man roster is set so if they sign a major league player before the non tender deadline, they would need to designate a player for assignment or place a player on waivers. 

Until you sign said player, you might as well use your roster spots.  Plus Rodon & Mazara will almost certainly be non tendered putting us back at 38 in no time.

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5 minutes ago, manbearpuig said:

Not really to be honest haha. And they have Zavala, Rodon, Mazara, Ruiz they could cut...take your pick.

 

4 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Until you sign said player, you might as well use your roster spots.  Plus Rodon & Mazara will almost certainly be non tendered putting us back at 38 in no time.

Ok makes sense now. Thanks for clarifying.

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19 minutes ago, The Grinder said:

I guess this is low risk thing? Possibly high return? That being said I'm skeptical 

What is there to be skeptical of? Arizona placed a guy that the White Sox scouts liked on waivers. The White Sox claimed him. This sort of thing happens every offseason for every team. 

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27 minutes ago, The Grinder said:

I guess this is low risk thing? Possibly high return? That being said I'm skeptical 

It's a low risk, medium reward. The scouting reports seem to show a mid to back end starter ceiling. 

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Just now, southsider2k5 said:

It's a low risk, medium reward. The scouting reports seem to show a mid to back end starter ceiling. 

He’ll almost certainly be used as a reliever

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Just now, Chicago White Sox said:

He’ll almost certainly be used as a reliever

With the roster we currently have, starter at Charlotte seems the most likely to me. Going to guess the pen is already filled for the most part, with a closer and maybe another reliever to come.

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I like this move. Very Jose Quintana vibes and seems like a solid under-the-radar move for a nice role player. I doubt he sticks as a starter, but moving to the pen and possibly adding a few mph to that fastball is intriguing. Also, I've seen reports he throws a split-change, which might be why BA now claims his change is his better off speed now (which conflicts with earlier reports from 2018).

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Ok, so this guy can be put on a minor league roster?   What type of acquisition requires a player to stay in the majors for a whole season?

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Just now, Leonard Zelig said:

Ok, so this guy can be put on a minor league roster?   What type of acquisition requires a player to stay in the majors for a whole season?

Was this guy snagged in the rule 5 draft? I thought the same thing. 

I see no reason to dislike this move.

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