Esmerlin Vinicio, LHP
BATS: L / THROWS: L
ACQUIRED: International Signing, July 2019
LAST LEVEL: Rookie
GiantFutures 2022 Ranks: #10 Starting PItcher
Performance: In his debut season, Vinicio had a superb debut for the Giants system as one of the most consistent starters in the ACL. Vinicio had a 2.64 ERA across 14 appearances, and struck out 70 while walking just 29 in 58.0 innings, with 29 walks. He wasn’t the most dominating of pitchers, averaging just 10.86 K/9 innings, and allowing relatively high rates of walks (4.50 BB/9) and hits (7.60 H/9), but he was able to be effective overall despite those peripherals. Notably, he allowed effectively the same batting average against both lefty hitters (.239) and righties (.241), avoiding the stereotypical platoon split southpaws often have.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Vinicio’s biggest asset is his fundamentals at a young age. He has a fast arm and a consistent delivery, but has a lot of room to improve his pitches and his fastball. The thin left-hander weighed just 140 lbs coming into 2020, but has been building up his strength.
Vinicio’s fastball is his best pitch, with can fluctuate between the mid-90’s and low-90’s, but it could build up to be more consistent. He also has a changeup and curveball that still need work. He made need to develop a fourth pitch to be able to stick as a starter long-term, but he has time to do so.
2022 Outlook: Vinicio is lined up to start 2022 at Low-A San Jose, and his goals are the same as all pitchers making their full-season debut: Stay healthy, work on consistency, and prove he can repeat past success.
Future Profile: Vinicio’s ceiling would be as a mid-rotation pitcher, a southpaw with decent velocity. He’ll need to improve his repertoire and control, and probably gain a bit more strength, to reach that ceiling. He’s probably got a better than 50% chance to be turned into reliever, a lefty who could work multiple innings.