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Thoughts on Philadelphia Phillies prospect Ranger Suarez

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Young lefty will make MLB debut today

Philadelphia Phillies Photo Day Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Today the Philadelphia Phillies will promote left-handed pitcher Ranger Suarez to the major league roster and give him his debut start against the Cincinnati Reds. Here’s a quick take on what to expect.

Signed out of Venezuela back in 2012, Suarez spent three years developing in the Venezuelan Summer League before coming to the United States. Once here he developed rather quickly, thriving in the New York-Penn League in 2016, then performing excellently in Low-A and High-A in 2017.

Suarez ranked 15th on the pre-season Philadelphia Phillies Top 20 Prospects for 2018 with this commentary:

15) Ranger Suarez, LHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, signed out of Venezuela in 2012, posted 2.27 ERA with 128/35 K/BB in 123 innings between Low-A and High-A; persistent strike-thrower with 89-94 MPH sinker, mixed with average slider and plus change-up; need to see him in Double-A but has the makings of a fine mid-rotation starter especially if he can add a bit more bite to the breaking ball; ETA 2020.

He’s jumped further in 2018, posting a 2.76 ERA in 75 innings in Double-A, 54/20 K/BB, followed by a 0.57 ERA in 15.2 innings in Triple-A over three starts, 12/4 K/BB. He’s been mentioned as a potential component in trade rumors but that seems less likely now.

Suarez is listed at 6-1, 180, a left-handed hitter and thrower, age 22. His velocity has increased over the last couple of years and he’s consistently in the low-90s at this point. He’s always had the excellent change-up but his breaking stuff has improved along with the fastball, as he now has a distinct curve and slider combo rather than just a mushy slurve.

His transition to the high minors has gone well and while additional Triple-A innings would probably be a good idea, the fact is we’re looking at a guy with a career 2.16 ERA in 417 minor league frames. Everything is looking up here. Grade-wise, I would move him from the pre-season B-/C+ range firmly into the B category.