Surprise, Arizona —— Entering play on Thursday night, Texas Rangers right-handed pitching prospect Jean Casanova is 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in eight games (three starts) for the Arizona League‘s AZL Rangers, with 29 strikeouts against 23 hits and ten walks in 22.2 innings pitched in 2017. I observed the Waukegan, Illinois native in his August 8 start at home against the AZL Cubs; below is Baseball Census‘ full Jean Casanova scouting report, including video.
Jean Casanova Scouting Report — Video
Our video of Texas Rangers right-handed pitching prospect Jean Casanova shows his game pitches across that entire August 8 start against the AZL Cubs, where he worked into the fourth inning before being removed:
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Jean Casanova Scouting Report — Notes
A slightly-built righty with a big fastball early on Tuesday night, Jean Casanova started out the game sitting 91-94 mph with good arm-side run and relatively advanced command of the pitch to both sides of the plate. However, the natural arm strength readily apparent early wasn’t backed up with stamina; by the third inning, Casanova was down to 88-90 mph with his fastball, and in the fourth, when he was lifted for a reliever, he was sitting 86-88 mph. Consistency in his velocity will come in time as he builds arm strength and physically matures, of course. From the standpoint of raw arm strength, though, the Texas Rangers righty is above average and should only build out a bigger fastball in time as he ages and grows into his lanky frame.
Casanova couples the fastball with an 80-83 mph changeup, and a 76-79 mph slider. Both pitches are average now, with decent life to each and specifically some late downward movement on his changeup when it’s thrown down in the zone. Couple those two pitches with his fastball movement (lively at either 94 mph or 86 mph) and nothing Jean Casanova throws is straight; whether that later manifests itself as a strikeout repertoire or more a sinker/slider look will be determined in time, but right now there’s little he throws that is flat, and that bodes well for his short-term future, especially if he can control all three pitches down in the strike zone.
This is the second summer Casanova has spent in the Arizona League, and it’s clear he’s been through the professional process for a while; his command is advanced for this level, and he has an understanding of how to set up and sequence hitters, even if he doesn’t quite yet have all the physical tools to execute on that plan. Long term, I think he’s probably ticketed for the bullpen, and while it’s likely he’ll become organizational depth, physical maturity and a bump in velocity would seriously help his profile going forward. Casanova really, really brought it in that first inning on Tuesday night, and if that sneaky velocity continues to develop, he could yet become a workable late-inning hard sinker/slider type. That may prove to be a long shot, but as is the case with so many AZL guys, only time will tell.