Mesa, Arizona —— Entering play on Wednesday night, Chicago White Sox right-handed pitching prospect Bryan Saucedo is 2-1 with a 5.88 ERA in nine starts for the Arizona League‘s Arizona League White Sox, with 30 strikeouts against 28 walks and 40 hits in 41.1 innings pitched so far in 2017. I observed the tall righty in an August 13 start on the road against the AZL Cubs; below is Baseball Census‘ full Bryan Saucedo scouting report, including video.
Bryan Saucedo Scouting Report — Video
Our first video of Chicago White Sox right-handed pitching prospect Bryan Saucedo shows his game pitches across that entire August 13 start against the Arizona League Cubs, where he was cruising through his first five-plus innings of work before running into trouble and being removed in the sixth inning:
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Bryan Saucedo Scouting Report — Notes
A tall righty with impressive natural strength and a formidable build, especially should he remain a starting pitcher, Bryan Saucedo uses a high three-quarters/nearly overhand arm angle to get great downward plane on his stuff. In turn, it plays up the more he can keep it at the knees, and he hides the ball well enough to give himself some sneaky velocity that looks a lot harder than what he’s actually throwing, drawing swings to match that deception. He sits 88-91 mph with his fastball, which is a pretty straight, conventional offering that doesn’t provide much by way of run or sink aside from his natural downward plane. He couples the fastball with a 12-to-6 curveball that sits 77-80 mph, and while it has impressive break at times with very good late bite, it’s also maddeningly inconsistent. The Chicago White Sox prospect struggles to stay on top of the curve and consistently release it out in front, leading too often to his hand coming around the side of the baseball and the pitch becoming a slurve-like spinner that lacks hard bite. Saucedo also throws a changeup, though it was far less advanced in my look on August 13 than his good curveballs, and I think it may always remain simply a third look.
Pretty much everything, then, is predicated on Bryan Saucedo being able to stay tall and stay on top of his stuff, because the more downward plane and true 12-to-6 break he can get on stuff at and below the knees, the more effective he becomes. The righty is a very good athlete for his size, fielding his position well and covering bases with surprising quickness, so more repetitions ought to help him further repeat his delivery for more consistent command success. Further, he’s an intense competitor who likes to challenge and attack opposing hitters, and his ability to battle efficiently and keep his pitch count down bodes well for future development.
A small school guy who’s a bit older and more advanced than is ideal for the league, I’d love to see Bryan Saucedo pitch in full-season Low-A next summer. There’s a lot to work on, and consistency is critical for his stuff, particularly his breaking ball, to work. But his command profile is still more advanced than most at this level and, all things taken together, he looked extremely projectable in my August 13 viewing.
Beyond that, Saucedo’s impressive size and downward plane will always be a point of emphasis in his favor, and even if he never develops above-average velocity, living at 90 mph at the knees with his release point will get the righty quite a few awkward swings. I think, at least for the relatively recent future, the Chicago White Sox would be well-advised to keep Saucedo in a starting role so he can develop more feel and consistency of the impressive one-two punch in his repertoire.