• Steve Potter

10/28/2020 : Looking for Big Arms - Potential Minor League Free Agents of interest


Seems like most every team has an arsenal of power arms in their bullpens ... often times they are fellas most fans haven’t heard much about. This year’s Rays used a dominating crew of relievers to drive their way to the World Series and the 2020 champion Dodgers also featured a bevy of powerful relievers ... ...


Since I’ve got a bit of time on my hands I thought I’d scour the minor league systems of each of the other 29 clubs to identify potential Rule 55 minor league free agents that might fit with the Phillies as part of a power pen arsenal, with both immediate needs and short term development in mind ... here’s a look at the American League Eastern Division.


None of these players are free agents yet ... I don’t know their exact contract status but do know they are Rule 55 eligible if they have not already signed on for 2021 or get added to the 40 man roster prior to free agency declaration ( five days after the World Series ends ).


Just some names that might be of interest is all ...


Tampa Bay :


Sam McWilliams - 25 year old RHP ( 6’7” 230 ) - was the Phillies 8th round draft pick in the 2014 draft out of Hendersonville, TN. He was traded to the Diamondbacks in 2015 in the Jeremy Hellickson deal, traded again to the Rays in 2018. McWilliams is a big arm who’s fastball sits in the 94-96 range consistently ... he was in the Rays alternate training camp group this season. After a successful 2019 campaign at AA Montgomery he was promoted to AAA Durham where he struggled. Has always been a starting pitcher but might be a good bullpen candidate at the big league level. If not placed on the 40 man roster or re-signed to a minor league contract this offseason will be his first as a minor league free agent.


New York :


Domingo Acevedo - 26 year old RHP ( 6’7” 240 ) - was primarily a starting pitcher till the 2019 season when he moved to the bullpen. Had a strong stats season at AA Trenton as a reliever ... his FB sits 92-95 ... earlier reports on him were that on occasion he reached upper nineties and even triple digits. He possesses a plus changeup and uses a slider as a third pitch. Spent the summer at the Yankees Alternate training camp site. Has battled the injury bug over the past few years ...


Daniel Alvarez - 24 year old RHP ( 6’2” 190 ) - has mid 90’s fastball capability ... generally sits below that in the 92-94 range and also features a change up and curve ball. He was the AA level Trenton Thunder’s closer in 2019 converting 21 saves in 24 chances and posting a 2.31 ERA in 58.1 IP with 76 K’s and 23 BB. He spent this summer at the Yankees alternate training site. If not placed on the 40 man roster or re-signed to a minor league contract this offseason will be his first as a minor league free agent.


Toronto :


Emerson Jimenez - 25 year old RHP ( 6’1” 160 ) - is a converted shortstop originally signed by the Colorado Rockies in 2011. He was released by the Rockies and signed by the Blue Jays in 2017. Initial appearances on the hill saw reports of a 99 mph heater but he generally sits in the mid 90’s and also has a slurve as a secondary delivery. He pitched very well in the Florida State League in 2019 for Dunedin posting a 2.84 ERA in 38 games saving 3 of 4 chances. Might be a diamond in the rough 🤔


Baltimore :


Marcos Diplan - 24 year old RHP ( 5’11” 200 ) - was originally signed by the Rangers in 2013, traded to Brewers in 2015, to the Twins in 2019, claimed off waivers by the Tigers in 2019 and by the Orioles in 2020. He’s got a big arm, mid to upper 90’s fastball with a plus slider ... reminds me of White Sox hurler and former Phillies minor leaguer Jimmy Cordero. Another potential diamond in the rough ... minor league numbers aren’t impressive but from what I gather the stuff can play.


Francisco Jimenez - 26 year old RHP ( 6’1” 160 ) - has a live arm with FB that can reach 97 but generally sits 94-96. He’s pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen since signing with the Orioles out of the Domincan in 2011. Lack of consistent secondary stuff has been an issue but with a baseline FB of 94-96 with a little tweaking he could become a power pitcher that could pop.


Diogenes Almengo - 25 year old RHP ( 6’2” 190 ) ... he can rush the FB into the upper 90’s consistently but has also battled control. Pitched at the Advanced A level in 2019 as the closer for Frederick in the Southern League converting 13 of 16 save opportunities ... if can harness the control and command a potential triple digit FB is seemingly within his reach.


Boston :


Stetson Allie - 29 year old RHP ( 6’2” 244 ) ... rushes the FB consistently in the 98-100 mph range with a slider than bites in the low nineties. His issue has been both command and control as he walks far too many. Was a second round draft pick of the Pirates in 2010 as a first baseman/pitcher and didn’t become a full time hurler till 2017 after signing with the Dodgers as a free agent. He signed with the Red Sox in February of 2020. Big time arm ... if can be harnessed ... fellas popping triple digits are still rare 🧐


Robinson Leyer - 27 year old RHP ( 6’2” 175 ) ... live arm with a fastball that sits 97-99 and a plus slider in the mid 80’s. He made his major league debut this summer but didn’t fare well. He was originally signed by the White Sox in 2011, traded to the Reds in 2018, signed as a free agent by Mariners in 2019, released by Mariners and signed by Red Sox in June and again in December as a free agent. He’s battled control and command throughout his career but is also a big strikeout producer. Has the velocity to pitch in the show with both FB and slider.


Will now move on to the American League Central Division to dig for some potential gems.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️




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