Editor’s Note: A.E. Schafer aka the red baron has once again compiled a rather impressive list of Cardinals prospects doing a write-up on 40 individual prospects. As a convenience to our readers, he releases the list in a couple big chunks so everyone can read about all of the prospects at once. While that is a convenience to all of us who eagerly await the arrival of prospect lists, it might not be as convenient if you are looking for a player’s particular scouting report. So, as a further convenience, we are putting the individual scouting reports in separate posts to make individual players easier to find. You can find the full lists on our 2018 prospect page here. —CE
#18: Alvaro Seijas, RHP
6’0”, 185 lbs; Bats/Throws: Right/Right
DOB: 10 October 1998; Signed 2016 (Venezuela)
Level(s) in 2017: Johnson City (Short Season)
Notable Numbers: 63.1 IP, 4.97 ERA/3.60 FIP, 62% LOB, .393 BABIP, 21.9% K, 6.9% BB
So, what’s so great about this guy?
The surface numbers on Seijas in 2017 were not all that impressive, as he got knocked around for an ERA near 5.00 in the Appalachian League. He was torched for a batting average on balls in play close to .400, though, and suffered a brutal strand rate as well. Now, it’s possible there’s something going on with Seijas out of the stretch, tipping his pitches or struggling with command, and maybe he’s more prone to missing over the plate, rather than out of the zone, and those two things will prove to be lasting issues. Absent any hard evidence, though, I think we have to assume the peripherals are the more important stats to look at for now.
And those peripherals, while not eye-popping, paint a much rosier picture for Seijas, as he put up a 15% K-BB%, indicating an ability to both miss bats and pitch inside the zone. He’s still listed at 5’8” most places, but I’m told he’s more in the six foot even range. Still probably what would be considered undersized, but not to the degree he was at sixteen entering pro ball.
Seijas has a strong one-two punch with a fastball in the 92-95 range, and if pressed I would guess it’s one of those high-spin jobs, because hitters don’t seem to get great swings at it, even when he’s pitching up at the top of the zone. The pitch tends to be flat due to Seijas’s shorter stature and drop and drive delivery, but it’s deceptive and hard to square up. Lots of popups, that sort of thing. Probably his best pitch, though, is an overhand curveball with excellent depth that he spins out of more than you’d like to see, but will also throw a couple every outing that turn a hitter inside out. When he commits to the curve and drives through it with power, it’s a 65 grade offering. When he tries to baby it, though, it loops, hangs, and generally gets killed.
He throws a decent changeup, but it’s really nothing to write home about. Well, unless you like to write postcards with the caption, “Hey Everyone, saw a below-average changeup today. Wish you were here. xoxo” In which case, hey, write home about it all you want.
Seijas doesn’t have a particularly deep repertoire, but his two best pitches are good enough to keep him moving up the line for now I think. Relief work could certainly be an option down the road, and gun to my head that’s probably what I would peg as his most likely future. Also, you really shouldn’t put guns to people’s heads just to get prospect writeups. I know these aren’t always on time, but violence isn’t the answer.
If he’s good, it will look like: If Seijas can stay in the rotation, working at the top of the zone, he could end up looking something like Mike Fiers, which admittedly would have been a more exciting comp a few years back. If he moves to the ‘pen, maybe he gains a couple ticks on the fastball, leans on the curve more heavily, and can have something like the Scot Shields career.