Hot Starts: South Atlantic League Pitchers
The last article went over hot starts by South Atlantic League hitters, this one highlights the top pitchers over the first two weeks. This is by no means a definitive list and in no particular order, just a quick update on which prospects are starting off the season red hot.
SP (PIT) – Age 20 – 16.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 32 K, 3.24 ERA, 0.96 WHIP
A good way to get your name on this list is to rack up 32 K’s through your first 3 starts. Escobar was signed as a much smaller 16-year-old out of Colombia in 2013. His milb.com page lists him at 6-foot-1, 155 pounds which is laughable to anyone who’s seen him this year. While he’s not exactly Carlos Zambrano, he’s definitely filled in much closer to 200 lbs. With filling out his frame the power stuff has come strong. While he’s still learning how to harness a mid-90s fastball and power curve, minor league hitters are struggling mightily to catch up.
At just 20 years old and starting his first year of full-season baseball, staying healthy and consistent will be a huge key for Escobar. While it’s nice to see him put up these gaudy strikeout numbers, he needs to learn how to pitch for a night where he might not have his best stuff. At this point, he’s only walked 2 batters in 16.2 innings, but he’s been a bit wild at times and helped a bit by some overzealous swings. There is something to be said about a pitcher who generates a lot of swings and misses while still being out of the zone, though I’m not sure how much of it is intentional with him.