We just finished watching the 2015 World Series. What stood out to us was that if you can not throw 95 mph plus out of the bullpen don’t bother. It’s power arms that are now dominating the resumes of most relief pitchers out of major league bullpens.
Of course it is not all about velocity. A good slider and command are also needed to make it out of the pen in the major leagues.
The Phillies have two pitchers out of the pen that Baseball Betsy and I watched this season who meet the description of a power arms who can break off a good slider for strikes. They are Edubray Ramos and Alexis Rivero.
Both of them can sit a fastball at 95 mph plus and break off a slider in the Brad Lidge tradition at 83-84 mph to average better than a strikeout an inning in relief.
Ramos has been pitching for Glendale in the Arizona Fall League. In his last outing he struck out four in two inning of work on Saturday. He has worked in five games over six innings so far giving up only a home run in his first game. He has struck out seven with no walks.
Ramos is the only one of the seven Phillies playing for Glendale Desert Dogs in the AFL to be selected to the league’s All-Star game coming up this Saturday.
Alexis Rivero was the other reliever who impressed us in the 2015 season. We watched him pitch both for Lakewood in Savannah, Georgia and Hickory, North Carolina before his call up to Clearwater where he ended the season. In his last two games in the Venezuelan Winter League for the Tigres de Aragua he pitched three shutout innings striking out four.
Rivero came into his own this year after we first saw him pitch in the Gulf Coast League in 2014. Over his final nine games in relief for the Threshers this season including one playoff game he pitched 18.1 innings, giving up only 7 hits and one run. He struck out 20 and walked only 4 during that time.
Below is a video of his first strikeout he registered in the 1.1 innings he pitched in the Threshers playoff game against Daytona at Bright House Field. See HERE.
Of the relief pitchers we have watched in the Phillies system this season, 22-year old Edubray Ramos and 21-year old Alexis Rivero stood out to us as major league prospects.