Prospect Profile: Alexander Vizcaino
As we inch closer to Spring Training, I’m taking a look at another prospect who is starting to get noticed more. Alexander Vizcaino still has a way to go, but he took a big step forward this past season, landing himself as 13th on the Yankees MLB.com prospect list. The hard-throwing righty hasn’t taken the normal path for a Dominican pitcher, but things may be starting to pay off and he could start moving quickly up the ladder.
Name: Alexander Vizcaino Birthdate: May 22, 1997 Position: Pitcher Height: 6’2 Weight: 160 Bats: Right Throws: Right
If Vizcaino can make it to the Majors he would epitomize the underdog story. He was drafted by the Yankees as their last player in the 2015-16 international class. He was already almost 19 and signed for just $14,000. Despite his advanced age, Vizcaino spent most of 2016-2018 in Rookie ball. He made eleven appearances (six starts, 35 innings) in the Dominican Summer League after signing. Vizcaino then spent 2017 with the Pulaski Yankees, where he made eleven starts and had a 3-5 record and 5.79 ERA. He struck out 49 batters over 51.1 innings and walked just 23.
In 2018, Vizcaino started back in Pulaski, making 11 starts and holding a 4.50 ERA over 54 innings. He struck out 55 and walked just 21 with a 1.30 WHIP. He made one start with the Charleston RiverDogs, but got shelled for six runs on eight hits and two walks in just four innings. That experience didn’t seem to faze him, as Vizcaino started last season back in Charleston as part of a very impressive rotation. In Vizcaino’s first full season of professional baseball, he made 16 starts for Charleston and five for Tampa. With the Riverdogs, the young hurler went 5-5 with a 4.41 ERA, but most notably he struck out 101 batters and walked just 27 over 87.2 innings. He made five starts with Tampa and had a 4.28 ERA, striking out 27 and walking 11 over 27.1 innings.
Vizcaino’s fastball found more speed this past season, sitting at 94-98 mph and occasionally hitting 100. He has a devastating changeup, which has some splitter movement to it. While his changeup comes in at the low-90s, Vizcaino has a curveball that sits in the low-80s and has improved over the past season. It still needs work, but shows signs of potential.
One fo the biggest improvements Vizcaino made was in his command. The increase in his K/9 with Charleston last season was 10.37, while his BB/9 was down at 2.77. If he can continue to work on his command and solidify his curveball as a reliable off speed offering, Vizcaino’s ceiling could be as high as a mid-rotation starter. If not, he could still find himself coming out of the bullpen in the big leagues in a couple years. 2020 shold be a big year for Vizcaino. If he can continue to develop as he did in 2019, he could be a fun dark horse to watch over the next couple years.