In college Vin Timpanelli was a catcher. He spent two years at St. Thomas Aquinas before heading to Ramapo College. During his senior season at Ramapo he made one appearance on the mound, striking out two batters. There may have been more pitching in the plans, but the 2020 season was cancelled shortly after that first appearance and the chances on the mound never came again for Timpanelli while in college. He then went and played (he was both catching and pitching) in a summer men’s league where Reds scout Lee Seras saw him and signed him as a pitcher.
Cincinnati assigned Vin Timpanelli to Low-A Daytona to begin his professional career in 2021 when the season began in May. To say that things went well to begin his career would be an understatement. In seven appearances in May he allowed one hit and two runs while striking out 14 batters in 8.1 innings. That did come along with seven walks and a hit batter, but for a guy who had barely pitched in his baseball career, he was dominant. It was more of the same in June as Timpanelli allowed two runs in 10.1 innings with just three hits allowed, six walks, and he struck out 13 batters. He would spend three more weeks in Daytona with the Tortugas, striking out 14 more batters in 6.0 innings where he gave up just three hits and walked four.
During the final week of July the right-handed reliever was promoted to join the High-A Dayton Dragons. He would throw a hitless inning in his first appearance, but gave up a run the next time out to end the month. On August 1st he would have what turned out to be the worst outing of his season, giving up five runs in 2.0 innings to Lake County. Timpanelli made 14 more appearances the rest of the season and only allowed four earned runs in those 16.2 innings. He only allowed four hits in that span and he struck out 32 batters in that stretch.
For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Vin Timpanelli Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 210 lbs | Acquired: Free Agent (2020)
Born: October 2, 1998
Fastball | The pitch works in the 93-95 MPH range and topped out at 97. It’s also a pitch that has above-average spin.
Slider | An above-average offering that works in the 79-83 MPH range.
Going from not really pitching at all to absolutely dominating in A-ball in the span of about 16 months is very impressive. And that’s exactly what Vin Timpanelli did. There’s a glaring weakness in his game, though – control. He walked 30 batters and hit 12 more, meaning that 22% of the hitters he faced in 2021 got to first base without putting the bat on the ball. But when that wasn’t happening, opposing hitters were doing absolutely nothing against Timpanelli. He allowed all of 15 hits during the season. He didn’t give up a hit in 25 of the 37 games in which he pitched in.
If he can gain control with more experience on the mound he’s got the kind of stuff that could play well at the back end of a bullpen, even if it’s not quite closer stuff at the highest level. But he is going to need to improve his control at least a little bit as he continues to move up the ladder. While you can get away with a higher walk rate if you are missing tons of bats – something Timpanelli has done to this point in his career – the more advanced hitters are going to be able to lay off of things and the walk rate will go in the wrong direction. With his overall experience level on the mound, it’s not unrealistic to think he could make that improvement, but it’s not something that should be expected, either, just because he has limited time on the mound.
Interesting Stat on Vin Timpanelli
Opposing batters hit .100 against him on the season, going 15-150.
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In related news, Reds sign Crash Davis to a minor league contract.
That’s called effectively wild. Hard to dig in when odds are u will be HBP
There is such a thing as throwing too many strikes. Got to keep them loose and keep those feet moving.
Really nice write-up, Doug. Thank you.
I love guys like this. They are always longshots, but they can make great strides with some top-shelf professional coaching. At age 22, he struck out 35 guys in 21 innings in High A ball, so he clearly has some arm talent.
Pedigree doesn’t count for much in baseball. If you can get guys out, you get paid.
There are some cases pitchers lacking control are very hard to hit so they have a high walk rate but very low hit rate meaning the whip are acceptable. It seems to be Timpanelli´s case. However this kind of pitcher is better to be a starter than a reliever because the latter will find runners on base frecuently and if you give walks you really will be in trouble.
This is exactly the type of pitcher that minor league player staff need to be developing. We haven’t had many high risk – high reward relief pitchers come thru the system in a long time and we need those. A team can’t go out and sign 3-4 relief pitchers every year. They are usually a waste of money and provide poor performance unless you are signing a closer. We need 1-2 high strikeout, home-grown minor league relief pitchers competing for jobs on the major league staff every spring training to avoid reliance on free agents. This is what small markets have to do.