How high are the Braves on Arodys Vizcaino? Well, the team has traded for the flamethrower twice. Signed by the New York Yankees out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Vizcaino was quick to make a name for himself as a starting pitching prospect. In 2009, he was traded to the Braves as a part of the deal that sent Javier Vazquez to the Yankees. That same offseason, Arodys broke his first top 100 prospect lists, being ranked 45th and 69th overall respectively by baseballprospectus.com and Baseball America. Vizcaino continued to gain momentum as a prospect for the Braves in their farm system, eventually making his debut for the major league club in 2011. However, he began to have arm troubles in the minors. In March of 2012, the righty underwent Tommy John Surgery. Mid-2012, the Braves traded Vizcaino to the Cubs in a deadline deal to acquire Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm in efforts to make a playoff run. He underwent elbow surgery in 2013, however. The righty did not throw a pitch in 2012 or 2013, and was considered “damaged goods”. These injuries led him to take on a relief role.
However, with Vizcaino’s pitching arsenal, he is best suited for a relief role. His fastball can touch high 90’s, and his curveball is quite impressive too.
The Braves traded back for Vizcaino this past offseason. We gave up Tommy La Stella, a second baseman who came up in our farm system and had a nice run with the Braves. However, Jace Peterson is our guy at second base and La Stella hasn’t carried his success over to the Cubs.
Unfortunately, Vizcaino tested positive for Stanozolol and was suspended for the first 80 games of the 2015 season. Vizcaino has been incredible since his return, however, giving up just a lone run in 10 relief appearance thus far. With the injury to Jason Grilli and the trade of Jim Johnson… Braves fans meet your new closer. Though the bullpen has been far from pretty this year, the Braves actually have some interesting young relievers that can be highly effective for us in the long run. Newly acquired Paco Rodriguez, injured relievers Chris Withrow and Shae Simmons, as well as Vizcaino, should be a really solid, young relief core for years to come.
The Braves may not win a ton of games in the second half of this season, but it will be fun to see how young players such as Vizcaino hold up. When you watch this guy pitch, it’s hard not to be impressed by his stuff. He has the potential to be the Braves’ closer for years to come so long as he can stay healthy. We have him ranked as the Braves’ 13th best prospect.