Pittsburgh Pirates: Luis Oviedo Impresses in Return to the Mound

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Sunday afternoon right-handed reliever Luis Oviedo made his first appearance with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 17 days and the Rule 5 Draft pick impressed

Back in December’s’ Rule 5 Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected right-handed reliever Jose Soriano with the top pick in the draft. While Soriano is currently on the shelf due to Tommy John surgery he could join the Pirate bullpen by the end of the season.

Another player the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired during the Rule 5 Draft was right-handed pitcher Luis Oviedo. The Pirates acquired Oviedo via trade after he was drafted by the New York Mets. After being acquired, Oviedo quickly become a consensus top 30 prospect for the Pirates.

In his limited work with the Pittsburgh Pirates the 21-year-old Oviedo has flashed some serious potential. He has looked much more confident and comfortable pitching to MLB batters than any 21-year-old, especially one who had never pitched above the High-A level, should.

Additionally, Oviedo has flashed pitches with plus potential. His fastball has averaged a healthy 94.1 MPH this season. Opposing batters are 2-for-7 with 4 strikeouts against his slider and 0-for-5 with 2 strikeouts against his curveball.

While Oviedo has struggled in his limited MLB action he has certainly flashed his potential. Sunday afternoon this potential was on display as Oviedo pitched 2 scoreless innings a 3-0 Pirate loss against the St. Louis Cardinals.

In Oviedo’s 2 innings of work he allowed just 1 hit and walked a pair. Of his 2 walks, this included an intentional walk. So, he only issued 1 un-intentional walk. He also struck out a pair in his 2 innings pitched.

On the season Oviedo has limited opposing batters to an average exit velocity of 87.8 MPH, this is nearly a full MPH below MLB average. So, even when opposing batters have connected on Oviedo’s pitches it has not been a health connection.

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As we have discussed a ton the 2021 season is more about the future than the present for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This certainly applies to Oviedo who could play a big part of the Pirate future with his potential as a pitcher. This makes it good to see strong outings from Oviedo.