|Ranger Suarez, image- Jay Floyd|
Suarez, who stands six-foot-one and weighs around 180 pounds, was signed by the Phillies at the age of 16.
The exciting youngster would make his professional debut as a closer with the Venezuelan Summer League team in 2012. He tossed five scoreless innings and earned two saves in three outings there.
Over the next two seasons in the VSL, Suarez posted very solid numbers (5-4 record, 1.66 ERA) in 22 appearances. In 2014 he was converted to a starter.
Suarez pitched stateside in 2015, pitching in extended spring training that year and then sporting a 3-0 record with a tremendous 0.65 ERA in six appearances for the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies.
In 2016 with short-season Class A Williamsport, Suarez tallied a 6-4 record with a 2.81 ERA, a 6.5 K/9 mark and a .223 batting average against.
Last year, he opened the season as part of the Class A Lakewood rotation. In 14 starts with the BlueClaws, Suarez would notch a 6-2 record with a 1.59 ERA and a 9.5 K/9 mark in 14 starts.
He made the move to Class A Advanced Clearwater, earning a promotion on July 4th. With the Threshers, Suarez sported a 2-4 record with a 3.82 ERA and averaged more than a strike out per inning pitched over eight starts.
The pitch repertoire for Suarez features a fastball that peaks at about 94 MPH and has sinking movement. He also throws a diving curve ball, a slider as well as one of the premiere change-ups in the Phillies system. He touts excellent command with the ability to pitch to both sides of the plate at will and is an absolute leader for his staff.
Suarez's control helps him keep walks to a minimum. He surrendered one walk or less in 11 of his 22 starts last season.
Coaches describe the 22-year-old as having a tremendous baseball IQ. Suarez is a student of the game that works closely with those around him to develop on the mental side of the game just as much as the physical side of it. He is a cool and relaxed competitor that will control the pace on the diamond.
Expect Suarez to be a part of the potent Double-A Reading rotation to start the 2018 campaign, though he is in big league camp this spring and is getting an initial opportunity to impress much of the Phillies' coaching staff. If his progress continues at a solid pace, Suarez could be an arm that the Phillies rely on by next year.
You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.