Sunday, May 01, 2005

Gustavo Chacin Report

Gustavo Chacin, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 1998, Venezuela
Bats L/Throws L
24 YO, 5'11", 195 lbs

You probably know the story already. If you don't, here you go. It is the kind of thing that keeps hope in the hearts of struggling players everywhere. Chacin fell way off the map as a prospect after initially showing some promise early in his career. He had put up some good numbers in the low minors, but never dominated. He put up ERA's in the 4's with average ratios in the Florida State League, Southern League, and Eastern League, and spent the better part of 4 seasons in AA before somebody taught him how to throw a "cut" fastball. At that point, it just clicked.

2004 New Hampshire: 2.92 ERA, 109 K, 49 BB, 113 H, 15 HR, 142 IP
2004 Syracuse: 2.31 ERA, 14 K, 3 BB, 16 H, 0 HR, 12 IP
2004 Toronto: 2.57 ERA, 6 K, 3 BB, 8 H, 0 HR, 14 IP

His ratios aren't overwhelming, but they're still pretty good. He isn't walking too many batters and he certainly isn't allowing many hits. He's off to a great start for 2005, with an ERA in the mid 2's. That kind of success just isn't sustainable for long, and he's bound to have some regression. I don't expect him to finish the year with an ERA under 3.75. He just isn't striking out quite enough major leaguers to stay in the elite range. In his favor though, is the fact that he is inducing a lot of ground ball outs and his walk rate is pretty low. Still, I think he might be a property that you can sell high.

Chacin's arsenal consists of his newfound cut fastball, with which he can control the speed and break, a 2 seam fastball which gets into the low 90's, and a decent changeup. The Jays may have found a nice number 3 starter for the next decade.

ETA: He's already a serious ROY candidate
4 Stars

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