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Don’t overlook Phillies prospect Victor Arano

Young relief prospect from Mexico looks to make his mark in September.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Philadelphia Phillies John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month the Philadelphia Phillies promoted right-handed pitcher Victor Arano to the major league roster. He’s been in the majors for 13 days and has already pitched in six games, throwing 5.1 innings with just one run allowed, giving up just two hits while walking four and fanning six. Arano has the skills to pitch out of the bullpen for a long time; let’s take a look.

The Los Angeles Dodgers originally signed Arano as a free agent from Mexico in 2013. He came over to the Phillies in the 2014 Roberto Hernandez trade, then had a mediocre season as a starter in High-A in 2015 (4.72 ERA in 124 innings, 69/26 K/BB).

The Phillies moved him to the bullpen for 2016 and he was much more effective, finding his niche. Arano ranked eighth on the Phillies Top 20 prospects for 2017 list pre-season, with this comment:

18) Victor Arano, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, from Mexico, posted 2.26 ERA with 95/19 K/BB in 80 innings between High-A and Double-A with 63 hits allowed; excellent late in season with 24/4 K/BB in 17 innings in Double-A; fastball up to 94 MPH, can change speeds, throw strikes; there are guys with more physical upside in the system but Arano will be ready soon. ETA late 2017.

Before his promotion this month Arano had a 4.19 ERA in 39 innings in Double-A but with an impressive 38/11 K/BB.

Arano is a 6-2, 200 pounder, age 22, born February 7th, 1995. He can push his fastball as high as 96 but more commonly works around 92-94, mixing the heater with the low-to-mid-80s slider and a mid-80s change-up. While I would not describe his stuff as excellent, he mixes his pitches efficiently and usually throws strikes. He throws harder as a reliever than he did as a starter and the extra velocity improves his margin for error.

Overall this is a middle relief profile but Arano is just 22 years old and has demonstrated advanced pitchability skills when he’s going well. He could have a very long career.