The Los Angeles Angels designated right-handed pitcher Luis Madero for assignment on Tuesday afternoon. The 22-year-old split time in Advanced-A and Double-A in 2019. The season didn’t exactly go well for him in Double-A. He only pitched in 16.0 innings for Inland Empire in the Advanced-A California League, and he was quite successful – allowing just two earned runs and striking out 23 batters. His time in Mobile, however, wasn’t as smooth. His ERA jumped up to 5.72 in 89.2 innings where he allowed 117 hits, walked 24 batters, and had 75 strikeouts.
Entering the season, Luis Madero was the Angels 19th rated prospect. By the time that Baseball America had updated their rankings for midseason, Madero had dropped down to #21. From the time that ranking came out through the end of the season he posted a 6.53 ERA. The latest Top 30 hasn’t been released yet, but the odds are that he probably fell a little bit further from there.
Fangraphs had him rated as the Angels 18th best prospect when they updated things at midseason. From a scouting perspective Luis Madero grades out as average or better with three pitches. The curveball he throws can be a plus offering at times. At 90-94 MPH he doesn’t blow guys away with velocity, but he does have a higher spin rate fastball that could make let it play up.
With all of that said, the results haven’t quite been there throughout his career. Going back to the 2016 season he’s allowed more hits than he’s had innings pitched in every single year. And except for 2018, it’s been a lot more hits than innings pitched. He throws a lot of strikes, but he’s also been quite hittable, too. His strand rate has been remarkably low throughout his career, too.
This is the kind of guy that you pay your scouts for. On paper, the stuff looks a lot different than the results he’s gotten suggest. The raw stuff should be getting more guys out in the minor leagues than it is – especially when it’s a result of him getting hit rather than him struggling to find the strikezone. Is there a reason that the stuff isn’t translating to the mound with consistency? Are the publicly available scouting reports simply incorrect?
A guy with a high-spin fastball and a potentially plus breaking ball sounds like a player teams would take a chance on. Toss in that the guy in question is still 22-years-old and it may make some more sense. With two option years remaining, there’s time to take a look and see what the coaches and player can do. That is, of course, if you believe he’s got more value than someone else on the 40-man roster.