Right-hander Cesar Valdez was acquired from the Diamondbacks Thursday to complete the Zach Duke trade. Detailed below is a small scouting report on the Pirates new pitcher.
The Scouting Scale/Methods:
“For each tool (hitter) or individual offering (pitcher), a scout assigns the player a grade on a numerical scale that runs from 20 to 80 in five-point increments. 50 is major-league average, and 80 represents the top available score. The sides of the tool bell curve are extremely steep, and there’s not much space beneath the curve’s tails. In other words, there are very, very few players with 80-caliber tools, and lots of prospects whose tools score a 50. Because of this, scouts may also assign qualitative descriptors (e.g., “fringe-average,” “solid-average”) to modify scores of 50 that don’t quite warrant a bump down to 45 or up to 55.”
Jason Parks, BBTiA
Skinny frame, listed at 6’2”, 200 lb.
Fastball – Present 45 | Future 45
Valdez has a fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper 80s, rarely hits 90. Has good sinking action to generate ground balls. Does a good job locating the pitch.
Curve – Present 50 | Future 55
Valdez has a curveball that is closer to a slurve than a traditional curveball. It is a pitch that has improved with experience and has the potential to lock-up major league hitters.
Change-Up – Present 60 | Future 65
Changeup has tumbling action similar to a splitter. It is a plus pitch for Valdez with tremendous command and control.
Control – Present 55 | Future 60
Valdez has above average to plus control. He has a strong feel for the strike zone.
Poise – Present 50 | Future 50
Presence on the mound reminds me of Edwin Jackson.
Valdez could become a back of the rotation starter, but is likely to spend more time as a swingman out of the bullpen. He’ll serve as depth out of AAA Indianapolis.
Jesse Behr is the executive assistant for Baseball Prospectus and you should follow Jesse on Twitter