Kindling Juan Morillo’s Heat

Juan Morillo is 25-years-old with an average fastball velocity near 97 miles per hour. As far as baseball chances go, the only thing that Morillo could do to make himself more endearing to a long-term career – minus becoming a good pitcher – is to throw left-handed. With that said, Morillo has been designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies, meaning some team can claim the power arm, throw him into their pen, and attempt to spark the potential for essentially no cost.

So is Morillo worth some burn this season?

In 2008 Morillo threw about 60 innings for the Rockies Triple-A team, striking out an impressive 55 and walking 56. That’s not a typo, he actually walked more than he struck out. In 2007 and Double-A, with about the same workload, Morillo struck 59 batters out and walked 27. As a starter in 2006 (again in Double-A) Morillo fanned 132 and walked 80. Control? Not much here, but velocity! And strikeouts!

Morillo certainly has a live arm, let’s look at some of his stuff through the lens of Pitchfx.


That’s from Morillo’s lone appearance last year so there’s some small sample bias, but this is actually his only outing available. The most noticeable issue here is the lack of movement on his fastball. Vertically the pitch resembles a sinker – in fact Gameday classified a few pitches as sinkers – but horizontally it barely moves. Having little movement vertically and horizontally is not a good mixture, even when you throw extremely hard.

Add in an inconsistent release point and questionable control and Morillo’s only asset is his ability to make radar guns flicker like streetlights.

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