This guest post was written by Mark Miller.
Alejandro Chacin ended the 2013 season as the Dayton Dragons closer. As the Midwest League All Star he earned seven of his seasons nine saves after August 5th, earning the Dragon’s August Pitcher of the Month Award.
The 20-year-old Chacin was again assigned to Dayton in 2014 and despite his 2013 success started the season in middle and set-up relief. April and Opening Day started with a blown save when an error allowed two unearned runs to score, tying the game in an eventual loss. In his second appearance he did gain his first save which would be his last save opportunity until May. He would make eight appearances in April, would be credited with three victories and have a 0.00 ERA to go with 18 strikeouts and just five walks.
May would see Chacin pitch in nine games and he would give up his first earned runs on May 1st with two runs in 0.2 innings versus Lansing. His next two appearances would gain his two saves of the month. He would have a blown save on May 15th against Lansing, allowing an earned run in 0.2 innings pitched. His May would end with a 2.92 ERA in 12.1 innings with 12 strikeouts and just three walks.
Scott Brattvet would lose the closer’s role in June and the remainder of June would be closer by committee. Chacin would make eight appearances and would see his ERA balloon to 3.00 as appearances on June 1st and 24th saw him allow eight earned runs in 3.2 innings. He allowed 10 of his seasons total of 52 hits in those two games. He would pick up another win and two additional losses in what would be his worst month in two Dragons’ seasons.
Despite the rough June he would assume the closers role in July. He would appear in 12 games in July and pitch 15.1 innings, allow no runs to go with 24 strikeouts and just six base-on-balls. He would have nine saves in 10 opportunities.
August would show much of the same dominance with six saves in seven opportunities. He would make 10 appearances on the month, only allowing runs (three on the 19th against South Bend) in one appearance as the Dragons pushed for the playoffs down the stretch but came up one game short.
Alejandro Chacin is a righthander with a ¾ to sidearm delivery whose fastball sits at 89-92 MPH with tremendous vertical movement . He also has an effective moving slider as well. His 11.6 K/9IP was outstanding and 3.9 BB/9IP still a little high but showed a 0.7 BB/9IP improvement over 2013. Another positive sign is his strength coming down the stretch being the Dragons August Pitcher of the Month two years in a row. He ended 2014 second on the all-time career appearance (92) and saves (29) lists for the Dragons. He was selected the Reds 2014 Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year.
2014 Season Stats
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Mark Miller, aka MK, is a lifelong baseball fan who spent 22 years as a high school baseball coach. He is currently Vice-President of the Dragon Friends Booster Club as well as President and inductee of the Springfield/Clark County(OH) Baseball Hall of Fame. Is a contributor to the SABR Bio-Project Committee.