Born : December 10, 1994 in Nagua, DO (Age 18)
Acquired : Via International Free Agency in 2011
Bats : Right. Throws : Right. Height : 6'1''. Weight : 177 lbs.
Baseball America Ranking : Not listed.
Fangraphs Ranking : 12 (now 10, due to the Dickey trade.)
Baseball Prospectus Ranking : 10
MLB.com Ranking : 20
Minor League Ball Ranking : 13 (now 11)
2012 Stats and Analysis :
GCL Blue Jays (R)
Bluefield Blue Jays (R)
Right-handed pitcher Alberto Tirado could possibly be the Blue Jays #1 breakout prospect of 2012. Especially since he was signed for such a small amount of money in international free agency, no one was expecting big things from him. Tirado has even made it on to the top 10 in some prospect rankings, as well as making Baseball America's top 20 prospects in the entire Gulf Coast League.
As far as the stats go, it's no lie that Tirado was dominant in the GCL, working a stellar 2.42 FIP, with a nice walk rate, and the BABIP being right around average. It was another story in the Appalachian League though. The standard stats would indicate that he was great (2-0, 2.45, 0.82), but if you look deeper, you notice that he wasn't actually very good at all. His K/BB ratio was at 1:1, and his FIP was all the way up at 4.47, more than 2 full points higher than it was in the GCL. How did his standard stats look so good, you may ask? Well, it was thanks to his BABIP. Anytime your BABIP is below .200 (let alone .150), you are extremely lucky. Lucky to the point where pitching badly makes you look like a Cy Young Winner. With that being said, Tirado only pitched 11 innings in Bluefield, a sample size that's too small to fully judge his performance, not to mention that he is playing in rookie ball, where stats mean next to nothing
Tirado is built with a very thin, athletic frame, and has very long arms. You can expect him to put on a few pounds, as he continues to fill out his frame. His fastball reaches 95 mph, but it isn't too overpowering. Look for the fastball velocity to increase even more, because after all, he is just 18 years old. He works his secondary pitches in very well. He has a slider, which is apparently his second best pitch behind the fastball. The reason that his slider is so successful is because he recently switched from a 3 quarter arm slot to a low-3-quarter arm slot, that added some extra bite to the pitch. His other pitches are a curveball and a change-up, which aren't perfected, but will improve with development. He is one of those prospects that you have to be careful with. Many in the organization are excited, but rushing him would be a big mistake.
Where Will he be in 2013, and ETA? Projection?
Tirado will likely begin 2013 in Extended Spring Training. From there, he will either go back to Bluefield, to play in the Appalachian League, or to Vancouver in the Northwest League, depending on how the brass of the organization sees how he is progressing. By August, you could see him in Lansing, although it is doubtful.
You could see Tirado in the big leagues as a September call-up in 2015, but that's the best case-scenario. Realistically, there are some bumps in the road when you are a minor leaguer, so a realistic ETA would be 2016, and I wouldn't even be too surprised if he arrived in 2017. After all, he is very raw, and no one knows what he has in store for us in years to come.
I really think that his ceiling is a #2 starter. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say that he is the prospect that makes Jays fans forget about losing Noah Syndergaard and Justin Nicolino. I expect big things from Alberto Tirado, and I think you should too.