The Dodgers have purchased the contract of Nathan Eovaldi, who will make his major league debut Saturday night at Chase Field in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks. Eovaldi is the fourth pitcher from Double A Chattanooga to debut with the Dodgers this season, joining Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, and Josh LIndblom. What can we expect from Eovaldi? Here's a review of Eovaldi as a prospect plus a few scouting reports.
Eovaldi went to Alvin High School in Alvin, Texas, the same high school that produced Nolan Ryan. Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery in 2007, while in high school, and was drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2008 draft. The 21-year old right-hander is known for his fastball, which has reached triple digits this season, but heading into the season was seen as a possible reliever in the majors. Brandon Lennox of True Blue LA looked back:
Eovaldi also has an above average curveball and occasionally throws a changeup, but he continues to struggle with the command of his pitches which has led to his less than stellar strikeout numbers. Some scouts believe that Nathan would be better suited as a power relief pitcher, but for now the Dodgers want to keep him in the rotation since he is just 21 years old and has a lot of potential.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus on Saturday described Eovaldi's repertoire via Twiiter as "Outstanding FB with velo and sink; CB/CH both solid/unspectacular."
In his three full seasons since recovering from Tommy John surgery, here are Eovaldi's innings totals:
- 2009: 96 1/3
- 2010: 98 1/3
- 2011: 103, and counting
In 20 games (19 starts) with Chattanooga this season, Eovaldi was 6-5 with a 2.62 ERA, with 46 walks and 99 strikeouts. Among qualified pitchers in the Southern League, only Rays' prospect Matt Moore had a better ERA than Eovaldi, and Moore is widely considered a top ten prospect in baseball, if not higher.
For more news and information on Eovaldi and the Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.