Arizona Diamonbacks rookie reliever Silvino Bracho opened 2016 on the 25-man roster. He got in 1.1 innings of work before being sent down to Triple-A Reno but Bracho will be back later in the year. Although generally seen as a middling-quality short relief arm, Bracho has an outstanding track record and is one of my favorite obscure prospects.
The basic background from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Silvino Bracho, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 5-11 WT: 180 DOB: July 17, 1992
2015: Grade C
From the 2015 book:
Signed out of Venezuela in 2012, Silvino Bracho has posted some ridiculously good numbers in the lower minors, with exceptional component ratios in all categories. He has good stuff, too, with a mid-90s fastball and an above-average slider. He throws strikes and the stats are impeccable. Despite all that, he is something of an unheralded prospect. He was signed at age 20, old for an international signee, and he is generously listed at 5-11. Short right-handers have to fight skeptics but so far Bracho has the better of the argument. Will that still be true at higher levels? Many A-ball closers can’t repeat their success at higher levels, but Bracho might be an exception.
He’s going to be an exception. Bracho mows through hitters and had few problems during his major league trial last year.. In addition to the fastball and the sharp slider, he mixes in a cutter, a curve, and a change-up. He can locate five pitches for strikes and has every velocity spot between 77 and 95 MPH available to him. I think this is completely legitimate and if I were running a team I would give him a chance to close games. Do not underestimate him. Grade B-.
Bracho threw 7.1 innings in spring training, posting a 2.45 ERA with a 9/3 K/BB. He posted a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings for the Diamondbacks last year with a 17/4 K/BB. In the minors he has a career 1.56 ERA with a 214/26 K/BB in 150 innings.
In short, he always pitches well. He has an excellent track record and consistently out-performs many pitchers with hotter fastballs or gaudier scouting reports. He excels at disrupting a hitter's timing and ultimately that is what pitching is all about.
Relievers with his stuff profile are usually put into the "middle relief" scouting report bin but sometimes a guy like Bracho gets past the stereotype. Bracho could wind up like San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo, who didn't have terrific scouting reports or lots of prospect press but developed into a fine major league pitcher because he simply knew how to pitch.