Breaking Down Yordano Ventura

USA TODAY Sports

A major league debut in the middle of the Wild Card race. Excuse me while I change my pants.

It is Yordano Ventura Day at the K day. Tonight the 22-year-old, 180 pound, 5'11'' Dominican born right-handed pitcher will start against The Tribe ®. I saw Ventura pitch some back in spring training and all I remember was was a skinny kid who threw lighting bolts. From what I have read, not much has changed since then, but here a bit more information on him.

Let start out with with his pitches. Basically he has an amazing fastball and a respectable change and curve. One decent game of Pitchf/x data (inning 3 and 4 data) exists on Ventura. It was from a spring training game this year. His fastball averaged over 98 mph with his change at 85 mph and his curve at 83 mph.

Additionally, here are some expert comments on his pitches.

Along with his explosive heater, Ventura also features a potentially-plus curveball and a changeup. A contact I spoke with placed an 80 grade on the Dominican native's heater and a future 55-60 grades on his secondary pitches. - Marc Hulet at FanGraphs

While he can hit triple digits, he is far more of an effective pitcher when he backs off the velo a bit, and sits in the mid-90s as he was doing Monday night. His fastball has late life on it, that jumps on the hitter even at (relatively) lower velocities. His curveball has received positive reviews when he isn't overthrowing it, with BaseballAmerica saying it has plus potential, and Jason Parks saying it could be a plus pitch in time. He's been doing a better job of throwing it for strikes this year, not using it purely as a swing and miss offering, though I wasn't able to see much of it in his performance last night. I would like to stress that while this pitch has plus potential, it is by no means there right now. He is extremely inconsistent with both his curve and his change at the moment. His change up is his third best offering, behind even the curve, which should tell you all you need to know about where it is right now. What it has going for it is some late fade as well as an absurd different in velocity from his fastball. The change up registers in the high-70s/low-80s.  - Criag Goldstein at Fake Teams

He works with a three pitch mix, including a fastball, curveball and change-up. His fastball is by far his best pitch, as it is in the mid-to-upper 90s and can reach 100 mph with frequency. His fastball has good late life to it, which makes it difficult for hitters to square it up. Ventura also has a hard curveball that he uses as his best secondary pitch. The curveball has great downward action that is very tough on right-handed hitters. He can throw both his fastball and his curveball for strikes. His change-up is his weakest pitch and he will need to improve it if he is going to reach his potential as a top starting pitcher. He has a tendency to leave the change-up high in the zone, leading to it being hit hard. - Anthony Cacchione at BaseballStooges

Time to take a look at the pitches at work. The first video is features Ventura's curve and in the second one he throws both his fastball and change.

Curve Ball

Fastball and Chanage up

If you have the desire to watch a couple dozen videos on him go here.

One of the biggest complaints about him will be his slight frame.

Although he's shown improvements, his 109.1 innings in 2012 represents a career high, so he still has a lot to prove when it comes to answering questions about his durability. The talent evaluator I spoke with was not overly worried. "There are some concerns but his arm works really well and he pitched with less effort in his delivery this year than in the past, a great sign he will be able to be a starter," he said. "His arm is really fast and loose so he projects very well to carry innings." Marc Hulet

Ventura has the type of stuff to profile as a top of the rotation starter, but questions on his height, build, stamina, command and overall repertoire remain.  -Craig Goldstein

Looks like I am done with the scouting portion, now down to the pop-tart eating, underwear wearing in my mom's basement portion, the stats.

Here his stats since 2010

Season Team Age G GS IP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% WHIP BABIP ERA FIP
2010 Royals (R) 19 3 3 11.2 10.0 26.0% 0.8 2.0% 0.86 0.290 2.31 2.51
2010 Royals (R) 19 14 6 52.2 9.9 25.4% 2.9 7.5% 1.25 0.313 3.42 2.88
2011 Royals (A) 20 19 19 84.1 9.4 25.1% 2.6 6.8% 1.26 0.327 4.27 3.38
2012 Royals (R) 21 1 1 3.2 17.2 46.7% 2.5 6.7% 1.09 0.429 2.45 0.20
2012 Royals (A+) 21 16 16 76.1 11.6 30.1% 3.3 8.6% 1.23 0.314 3.30 3.12
2012 Royals (AA) 21 6 6 29.1 7.7 20.3% 4.0 10.6% 1.23 0.275 4.60 3.68
2013 Royals (AA) 22 11 11 57.2 11.6 32.2% 3.1 8.7% 1.02 0.279 2.34 2.56
2013 Royals (AAA) 22 15 14 77.0 9.5 24.3% 3.9 9.9% 1.47 0.357 3.74 3.17

All I have to say is nice. Actually damn nice. The one item to remember is still fairly young. I went and looked for comparable minor league pitchers. I looked for pitchers with similar K%, BB%, age and games started (didn't want relievers). Here are some comps from the last two seasons (Ventura's level and season are in the table).

Name Age Season Team G GS IP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% WHIP BABIP ERA FIP
Feliz, Neftali 21 2009 Rangers (AAA) 25 13 77.1 8.7 23.2% 3.5 9.3% 1.28 0.315 3.49 2.88
Barnes, Scott Michael 23 2011 Indians (AAA) 16 15 88.0 9.2 24.2% 3.5 9.1% 1.30 0.292 3.68 4.19
Wheeler, Zachary Harrison 23 2013 Mets (AAA) 13 13 68.2 9.6 25.1% 3.5 9.3% 1.28 0.289 3.93 4.04
Skaggs, Tyler W. 21 2013 Diamondbacks (AAA) 19 17 104.0 9.3 23.0% 3.4 8.4% 1.47 0.353 4.59 3.07
Martin, Cody 23 2013 Braves (AAA) 13 11 69.2 8.5 22.6% 4.0 10.6% 1.29 0.283 3.49 3.85
Ventura, Yordano 22 2013 Royals (AAA) 15 14 77.0 9.5 24.3% 3.9 9.9% 1.47 0.357 3.74 3.17















Name Age Season Team G GS IP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% WHIP BABIP ERA FIP
Minor, Michael David 22 2010 Braves (AA) 14 14 82.0 11.3 30.4% 3.5 9.4% 1.23 0.313 3.84 3.16
Ventura, Yordano 22 2013 Royals (AA) 11 11 57.2 11.5 32.2% 3.1 8.7% 1.02 0.279 2.34 2.56















Name Age Season Team G GS IP K/9 K% BB/9 BB% WHIP BABIP ERA FIP
Inman, William 20 2007 Brewers (A+) 13 13 78.2 11.2 31.3% 2.6 7.3% 1.00 0.281 1.72 2.36
Betances, Dellin 22 2010 Yankees (A+) 14 14 71.0 11.2 31.7% 2.4 6.8% 0.87 0.252 1.77 1.83
Pomeranz, Thomas Andrew 22 2011 Indians (A+) 15 15 77.0 11.1 30.4% 3.7 10.2% 1.14 0.295 1.87 2.36
Odorizzi, Jacob 21 2011 Royals (A+) 15 15 78.1 11.8 32.5% 2.5 6.9% 1.15 0.344 2.87 2.15
Hornbeck, Ben Charles 21 2009 Athletics (A+) 21 11 76.2 13.0 33.8% 3.8 9.8% 1.25 0.347 3.52 2.30
Skaggs, Tyler W. 19 2011 Diamondbacks (A+) 17 17 100.2 11.2 30.3% 3.0 8.2% 1.14 0.309 3.22 2.65
Buckel, Cody J. 20 2012 Rangers (A+) 13 13 75.2 10.8 31.0% 3.0 8.5% 0.98 0.269 1.31 2.17
Ventura, Yordano 21 2012 Royals (A+) 16 16 76.1 11.6 30.1% 3.3 8.6% 1.23 0.314 3.30 3.12

Ex-Royal, Jake Odorizzi shows up as a comp. One name which shows up twice is Tyler Skaggs. While Skaggs may not be the prospect we are hoping from Ventura, but I could see similar results. Specificity, I worried about Ventura giving up too many free passes (see Danny Duffy). Ventura has really struggled with walks when he jumps a level.

Season
2012: 3.3 BB/9 in A+, 3.9 in AA
2013: 3.1 BB/9 in AA, 3.9 in AAA

I wonder if he is unsure if his stuff will get out better hitters. It will, but he just needs to find out for himself.

Truthfully, I can't wait for the first pitch tonight. I think he will be at his best if he attacks the strike zone and listen's to Sal. And throws lighting bolts of course. Lots and lots of lighting bolts.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Join Royals Review

You must be a member of Royals Review to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Royals Review. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker