Emilio Vargas Scouting Report & Game Video
Dates Observed: June 30, 2018
Team/Organization: Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks)
League/Level: California League (High-A)
Scouting Notes: Decent size and strength; athletic, strong frame that’s partially filled out already and should remain durable enough for rotation work in the future. Workhorse with ability to go deep in games already; works quickly, pushes the pace/tempo and tries to push hitters, particularly with nobody on base … Fastball 91-95 out of a three-quarters release with a loose, long, whippy arm in this look on the last day of June; paired it with a 79-84 slider and an 85-87 firm changeup … Fastball is explosive, jumping out of his hand and getting on guys pretty quickly. Arm-side life there with ability to elevate and get hitters to chase; hides the ball well and his low- to mid-90s looks harder out of the hand sneaking up on guys. All night in this look, hitters taking very awkward swings at times, almost like they can’t see the ball; Vargas no doubt hides it well (particularly up through his balance point) and that deception should continue to play at least a little bit as he grows … Slider is his bread and butter; showed solid, late life in this outing; compact and hard with tight spin and good depth; good feel for it to both sides of the plate, and real weapon here as a wipeout pitch that can miss bats. Strong track record with the slider; late break drawing awkward, poor swings; striking out a lot of High-A hitters right now with it … Changeup is generally more firm with less tumble and depth; below-average, he shows less feel for it side-to-side than the rest of his repertoire, though Emilio Vargas did throw a couple notably very strong changeups that drew very, very poor swings, so maybe there’s some feel there and development to be had … Struggled to contain the running game and some guys really ran all over him in this look; he’s only 1.20 – 1.29 to the plate with runner on first, so it’s not necessarily about quickening his pace there; needs to do a better job varying sets, mixing tempos, and holding long sets with runners on base to wait out some guys … Lost command at a couple small points throughout the game; typically took a few pitches to get back and find his release point again; broadly, in the few spots Emilio Vargas has been undone this year, it’s been by bouts of wildness, and it’ll remain a point of emphasis for him here to keep command and composure throughout the entire game/outing and never lose feel to that degree. All that said, Emilio Vargas has really turned a corner this season for the Arizona Diamondbacks; he’s got a mid-rotation shot at ceiling and could become a big leaguer ready to fight for that role by mid-2020.
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