You may have never heard of Juan Oramas, even if you’re a hardcore Padres fan.
Now you know.
Oramas put up a 2.31 ERA last year in the Mexican League against much older hitters, including some former big league players, at age 18. He also struck out nearly a batter an inning, which is very difficult in the Mexican League.
Assigned to Low-A Fort Wayne, Oramas has gotten off to a fast start in his first year of affiliated ball. He’s got nine strikeouts in six innings across two relief appearances.
He also hasn’t walked a batter.
A short lefty, Oramas has enough velocity to get by, but it’s his curveball that really sets him apart. It’s been referred to as a “plus-plus pitch” by some observers.
We’ll find out more as he continues to pitch, but I think Oramas has the talent and polish to get Double-A hitters out right now at age 19. He could be in San Antonio by season’s end and wind up as a Hideki Okajima-esque shutdown lefty out of the San Diego bullpen.