Dominican Prospect League alumni in the Bluejays pipeline!
Born: Dec. 10, 1994. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-1. Wt: 177. Drafted: Dominican, 2011.
Signed by: Marco Paddy/Domingo Toribio.
Background: The Jays signed Tirado for $300,000 in 2011 as part of a deep international crop. Tirado, who has the highest upside of any pitcher on a deep Rookie-level Appalachian League staff, helped pitch Bluefield to the Appalachian League playoffs in 2013.
Scouting Report: The athletic Tirado is an unrefined pitcher whom scouts can dream on because he has some of the most electric stuff in the lower minors. He has a thin, wiry build, long limbs and a loose arm that is lightning quick, and the ball explodes out his hand. His fastball sat 92-96 mph with late life and touched 98, and he is working a sinker into game action. Tirado has two sliders, the harder of which (high 80s) could become a true swing-and-miss offering. He can get around on his sliders, causing them to flatten. His changeup is ahead of his breaking ball, which some believe has the higher long-term ceiling and plus potential. Both offspeed pitches improved substantially in 2013. Tirado has below-average command, with a tendency to overthrow, and has trouble staying on line to the plate, rushing his delivery and lacking balance at release.
The Future: Tirado has No. 2 starter upside if he can maintain his electric stuff over extended innings and refine his delivery. He has a chance to earn a spot in the low Class A Lansing rotation in 2014, likely after starting in extended spring training.
Born: Dec. 13, 1994. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt: 188. Drafted: Dominican, 2011.
Signed by: Marco Paddy/Hilario Soriano.
Background: The Jays had the second-largest expenditure ($7.57 million) during the 2011 international signing period, and Lugo was one of three seven-figure signings ($1.3 million). He led Rookie-level Bluefield in home runs, hitting .297/.317/.469 and earned a promotion to short-season Vancouver.
Scouting Report: An above-average athlete, Lugo is a natural, pure hitter with supreme hand-eye coordination, feel for the barrel and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He had the third-lowest strikeout rate of any Appy League teenager (13.9), which leads scouts to project him to be an above-average hitter. Lugo has surprising power, plus raw power that could enable him to hit more than 20 home runs annually. His see ball-hit ball approach leaves him impatetient, walking in 2.2 percent of his plate appearances in 2013. He excels at driving balls on the inner half but has struggled at times with pitches on the plate’s outer half. Defensively, Lugo has good, dependable hands with smooth actions at shortstop. His arm is plus but he’s a fringy runner.
The Future: While he has worked diligently to improve his lateral quickness and range, Lugo may fit better at third base long-term than at short. He will compete for a spot at low Class A Lansing but could return to Vancouver in 2014.
ANOTHER PROSPECT TO WATCH!
Richard Urena is yet another exciting product of the international pipeline. Reports are that Urena may have the best chance to stick at SS of the current Latin American SSs (Lugo, Barreto, etc.). He is a smooth, agile defender with good quickness and a lithe body. The larger questions center around his bat, as he has an unusual setup with his hands very low in his setup. Think at least half way down his torso. This is obviously a very tough position to hit from. His glove will carry him.