|Alberto Tirado, image- Jay Floyd|
Despite concerns with his control, what Tirado is known better for than missing the strike zone is missing bats. Also he clocks big numbers on radar guns as well. Both of those mesh well to result in serious strike out numbers.
Signed by the Blue Jays in 2011, Tirado would make his professional debut as a member of their rookie level Gulf Coast League team in 2012 as a 17-year-old. In 14 games started, combined with the rookie level Appalachian League and the Gulf Coast League teams, he tallied a 3-2 record with a 2.63 ERA and a .198 batting average against.
He returned to the Appalachian League the following season posting a 3-0 record with a 1.68 ERA and an 8.2 K/9 mark in 12 games (eight starts).
In 2014, splitting time between Class A short-season Vancouver and Class A Lansing, the Dominican Republic native posted a combined 2-2 record with a 5.00 ERA and a 9.0 K/9 mark in 30 appearances (10 starts).
He was honored as a Class A Advanced Florida State League All-Star as a member of the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2015. In 31 games there, pitching strictly in relief, Tirado sported a 4-3 record with three saves, a 3.23 ERA and a .213 batting average against while striking out 61 and walking 35 in 61 1/3 innings.
After he was dealt to the Phillies, as a member of the Clearwater Threshers, also in the FSL, he notched a 1-0 record with a 0.56 ERA and a .130 BAA. His strike out numbers were his usual dominant style (16 K’s in 16 innings), but he also walked quite a bit with 18 free passes issued.
Last season, the six-foot 180-pounder opened the season with Class A Lakewood as a reliever. Following some missed time in May when he was assigned to the extended spring training roster, he appeared for a brief stint out of the bullpen with Clearwater, but would later return to Lakewood in order to gain experience as a starter, which worked out extremely well. Over 11 regular season outings in the rotation, Tirado posted a 7-1 record with a 2.19 ERA, a .195 BAA and an exceptional 14.0 K/9 mark.
In the postseason last year for the BlueClaws, Tirado was winless, however, going 0-1 in two starts, allowing three earned runs over nine innings.
Tirado’s offerings are described as electric. His repertoire features a fastball that has steadily been clocked in the upper 90’s, touching triple digits with some regularity. His slider and change up have great potential. The slider already compliments the fastball well, getting swings-and-misses with great movement.
On the mound, Tirado keeps things simple with his delivery, getting a good load and repeating his mechanics with ease.
The youngster’s pitching coach with Lakewood last season, former big leaguer Brian Sweeney, cites Tirado’s mental toughness and ability to dictate the pace of the game on the mound as some of his strengths.
Last off-season I had Tirado pegged as a serious bullpen contributor at the big league level down the line, but if he continues on the path he was on last year, he could be destined for the Phillies’ starting rotation.
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