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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The '13 Prospects of Christmas- #13- Vincent Velasquez

by Jared Webb @webberoo11

Everytime I read a top prospect ranking, I'm SHOCKED when the top 25 guys aren't all Astros.  "How can this be?!" I think to myself.   OK,  so maybe I am a little bit biased towards my hometown team. 

2013 seems to be the year of the Astros.  The baseball guru, Jeff Lunhow, has assembled a farm system that is ready for war. Power arms? 'stros got that.  Big sticks? Houston has 'em.  Slick fielders?  Take your pick.   

When I was asked to put together a top '13 prospect for 2013 list, I had to sit and really contemplate my choices.  It's hard to not fall in love with players with tons of tools, but you can't overlook the solid "ballplayers".  With that,  I'm gonna shut up and give you the goods starting with #13.

#13 Vincent Velasquez RHP 6'3" 185 RHP 20 yrs old
I know what you're thinking, "Vinny V is your #13?!?!".  You're dang right he is.
 I sit around and read a lot of draft reports, scouting reports, and home and garden magazines(OK,  the last one in that list is just for me.)  Everything I read about Vinny V says that he has a filthy curve and change  with a solid fastball to boot.  In 2012, he came back from Tommy John surgery  and gained two mph on his fastball which sat in the low 90's.  
 Most prospects spend a majority of their time developing off-speed pitches, but Vinny V has the stuff already.  He was #3 in K's in Tri-City(51 strikeouts in 45 2/3 IP) and gave up fewer hits than the two pitchers ahead of him in strikeouts.  Developing command is going to be essential for Velasquez, but at 20 years of age there is time for that.  For him, it's all about learning how to use his stuff on a consistent basis and staying healthy.  Look for Vinny V to start the season at LoA(Quad Cities).  Depending on his progression with the River Bandits, he could very well skip Lancaster.   
 This guy could be one of the Astros most overlooked prospects, so,  open your eyes and start looking.   
Ceiling: #3 Starting Pitcher 
Floor: Late Inning Reliever
c2012 Jared Webb. Used with permission.

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