On the Brink: Jhoulys Chacin

April 15, 2009 at 11:47 pm (Sports)

Jhoulys Chacin
I figured I would kick off a new segment today called “On the Brink….”. This particular kind of post will be about young minor league players who are very close to reaching the big leagues. Eventually I will probably increase the scope of this segment to include other sports, but for now it is a MILB exclusive. The first guy I would like to showcase is Jhoulys Chacin (pronounced Yo-Lease Sha-Seen).

Profile:

DOB: 01/07/1988

Frame: 6’3, 200lbs

Stuff: A four seam fastball (92-95 MPH), 2 seam fastball (low 90’s, lots of movement), changeup (plus pitch, out pitch), and a curveball (good break, improving).

The Past: Before last year, Chacin was a little known right handed pitching prospect in the Colorado Rockies system; he was low on the depth chart, and was new to the country (he signed out of Venezuela and arrived in the US for the first time in ’07). This would be a tough spot for ANY player, but Chacin quickly showed signs of becoming a top flight pitching prospect he would later become. He posted a 3.13 ERA in the Pioneer league, surrendering less than a hit per inning pitched. Even after this solid performance, many scouts still ignored him….they would soon have to pay attention after a  fantastic 2008 season. Chacin went 18-3, with a 2.08 ERA over 2 minor league levels (ending up in A+), and was named the MiLB pitcher of the year. His FANTASTIC changeup produced a freakish 2.83 GO/AO ratio, an almost unheard of number.

The Present: With his 2008 performance under his belt, Jhoulys quickly bounded up most scout’s top 100 list. He is almost universally considered to be a top 50 prospect, and is usually listed as the #2prospect in the Rockies system behind Dexter Fowler. Not surprisingly, after a strong spring, Chacin found himself starting the 2009 season at Class AA Texas. Through two starts, Chacin has shown that his 2008 show was not a fluke, posting a 2.53 ERA with a .184 BAA.

The Future: With Jeff Francis out for the year, the Rockies depth at pitcher isn’t very good. If the Rockies find themselves out of the race by mid summer (which should happen), I expect the Rockies to fast track Chacin to the majors to see what he can do. With his devastating changeup, Chacin should flourish in the pitching grave yard that is Coors field.

For anyone interested, here is a youtube of one of Chacin’s 2008 starts: A+ Cal League Start Against Inland.

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