FORT MYERS, Fla. – Arodys Vizcaino became the first of the Braves’ three “young guns” to get action in spring training, and he had the Braves staff and coaches buzzing about it.
Vizcaino fired fastballs ranging from 94-97 mph in two scoreless innings in his debut against the Red Sox. He retired six of the seven batters he faced, allowing only an infield hit.
Braves director of Baseball Administration John Coppelella had the radar gun on him behind home plate, and after Vizcaino fired his first pitch – a fastball for a strike – he immediately showed the reading to Braves general manager Frank Wren and assistant general manager Bruce Manno sitting to his right.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez’s eyes were wide in the dugout as well.
“Wow,” Gonzalez said afterward. “That was a pretty good two innings too. Ball is down in the strike zone with some life. I don’t know exactly what he was throwing, but you could tell he had pretty good life to his fastball and his command was good. Threw two innings and threw strikes.”
Vizcaino threw 16 of his 26 pitches for strikes, attacking hitters with primarily fastballs. He said he mixed in four breaking balls and two change-ups.
The 20-year-old Dominican native, whom the Braves acquired from the Yankees in the Javier Vazquez trade, is one of the three highly-rated arms knocking on the major league door, along with Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado. Vizcaino was rated the 93rd best overall prospect by Baseball America, Teheran fifth and Delgado 35th.
Delgado is scheduled to make his first appearance on Thursday against the Tigers and Teheran could debut Friday in a split-squad game.
“For the first time I felt really good,” said Vizcaino, with bullpen coach Eddie Perez translating. “I want to show them I can pitch in the big leagues, and I can do any job they want me to do.”