Esmerlin Vinicio, LHP
DOB: January 31, 2003
BATS: L / THROWS: L
ACQUIRED: International Signing, July 2nd 2019
LAST LEVEL: N/A
GiantFutures Ranks: #9 Starting Pitcher
Performance: Since Vinicio was just signed in 2019, he hasn’t had the chance to play in any professional games yet.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Vinicio’s biggest asset from his early scouting reports is that even at 16, he already had a good, consistent arm action, and a strong approach. He also has better command than most 16 year olds would.
His stuff is not yet outstanding, but he was already throwing in the low-90’s when he was signed at 16, and flashed a plus curveball. He throws a changeup, but that, like other pitches, will need to be developed.
The only weakness that can be said so far is that he’s a skinny kid. His weight has been reported at both 140 lbs and 165 lbs (the 140 being reported by Baseball America in their pre-2020 rankings, the latter when he was signed in 2019. Either way, he’ll need to build strength to make the Majors.
2021 Outlook: With no professional games under his belt, it’s pretty much a sure thing that Vinicio starts his year in extended Spring Training, and makes his debut in the Arizona League. There’s a chance they may keep him in the Dominican Summer League, but Zaidi has been very aggressive with his higher ceiling prospects.
Future Profile: Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com says that if Vinicio develops, he “has all the ingredients to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter”, and that seems pretty spot on. There’s a long ways to go, but if Vinicio does have the command advertised upon his signing, he could stay in the rotation long-term. If not, the bullpen isn’t a bad landing spot.