The Colorado Rockies promoted rookie right-hander Carlos Estevez to the major leagues last Friday. He made his big league debut Saturday with two scoreless innings of relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers, walking one but giving up no hits and fanning two. Here's a quick primer on the newest member of the Rockies bullpen.
Basic background from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book
Carlos Estevez, RHP, Colorado Rockies
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 210 DOB: December 28, 1992
The Rockies signed Estevez out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. He was an anonymous minor league arm until 2015 when his command suddenly improved; he emerged as a viable prospect and earned a spot on the 40-man roster. He’s always had arm strength and can hit 96-97 MPH, sometimes higher, but his slider is inconsistent. Although he’s never walked a lot of people he did a better job locating his pitches last summer and was able to keep hitters from sitting on stuff to drive. Estevez’s fastball could get him a bullpen job soon if he continues to throw quality strikes. Grade C+.
Estevez threw 5.2 innings for Triple-A Albuquerque before moving up to the majors, walking three and giving up six hits but holding the opposition to two runs while fanning four. He posted an ugly 12.46 ERA for the Rockies in spring training, giving up eight hits and six runs in 4.1 innings but walking just one and fanning seven.
The profile hasn't changed from pre-season. Estevez has plenty of arm, hitting 97 with the four-seamer in his debut, while mixing in a slider in the low-80s. There are no real doubts about the heater but the slider remains problematic, very good at times but not consistent. Although he has not been overly vulnerable to home runs in the minors, Estevez obviously cannot afford many location mistakes or hanging sliders pitching in Colorado.
He walked just 14 in 56 innings in High-A and Double-A in 2015 but he had just gotten his feet wet in Triple-A before the promotion. My guess is that more PCL innings would be helpful. In a neutral environment I would like his chances to be an effective short man with a chance to close someday, but it is hard to be overly optimistic about Rockies pitchers, at least for fantasy purposes.
Here's Estevez ringing up Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig for his first major league strikeout.