Acquired in the August trade that sent Roberto Hernandez to the Dodgers, right-hander Victor Arano is a talented pitcher that has made some considerable impressions in his young career. As a 19-year-old, the Mexico native looked sharp at Class A full season Great Lakes last year and now appears to be primed to be a buzz name in the Phillies’ developmental ranks next season.
Signed as an amateur free agent in 2013 by Los Angeles, the six-foot-two 200-pounder made his professional debut with the rookie level Arizona League Dodgers that same year. In 13 appearances (eight starts), he tallied a 3-2 record with a 4.20 ERA while striking out 49 batters and walking 13 in 49 1/3 innings.
He progressed well last year, in the Class A full season Midwest League. With the Loons, Arano sported a 4-7 record along with three saves and a 4.08 ERA in 22 games (15 starts). Additionally, the youngster displayed considerable control and command of the strike zone. He posted an 8.68 K/9 mark and just 2.09 BB/9.
This off-season in the Mexican Winter League, Arano recorded no decisions, but had a 4.76 ERA in 14 regular season relief outings for Obregon. In 17 innings there, he struck out 17 and walked four while allowing 10 hits.
Arano is equipped with a three-pitch menu, including a low-90’s fastball, an improving change up and what seems to be a quality slurve with nice movement. There’s no doubt that he’s got potential to add ticks to his velocity as he progresses. Thanks to their strength and conditioning programs, the Phillies have seen some of their hurlers add velocity as late as age 25. See: Buchanan, David and Hollands, Mario.
Keeping the ball on the ground is a plus for Arano as well. His ground ball rate of 41.6% for his career is definitely better than most.
Advanced for his age, look for Arano, who turns 20 years old in February, prior to spring training, to possibly lock down a spot in the Class A Advanced Clearwater rotation this upcoming season. Otherwise, local fans will be able to see him on the mound for Class A Lakewood.
Ultimately, the ceiling for Arano could be someplace between Tyler Cloyd and Kyle Kendrick. Add some “velo” along with a mastery of his off-speed pitches and that roof could be raised quite a bit.
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