Name: Rafeal Arias
Position: Pitcher (RH Reliever)
2010 Level(s): AZL Padres (Rookie), Fort Wayne (Low-A)
Arias lands on this list for two reasons.
The first is that he had a big year in the AZL in 2009, nailing down five saves and posting a 2.22 ERA with a sparkling 37/7 K/BB in 28 2/3 frames.
The second is that he throws 92-96 mph with his fastball.
That’s really it for the positives on Arias. He’s missed almost all of this season with arm troubles and has been limited to 8 innings of 7.88 ERA ball across two levels. He’s whiffed 11 but walked eight.
Arias’ slider is his second pitch, and it’s okay, but it’s not the weapon that his fastball is. His changeup is very poor, and will likely never be a usable pitch. At just 6’0″ 165, durability is an issue, and there are obviously major injury concerns now. Aside from 2009, Arias was all over the place, walking more than he struck out in three DSL seasons, so he really has just the one good season on his track record.
So, lots of negatives here. But still, if he gets healthy, this is a power arm who can throw some heat out of the bullpen, and it’s not like he’s never put up good numbers. That makes him intriguing, and he’s only 21.