November 26, 1988
Selected contract from Campeche of the Mexican League (February 2017)
Scouting Scratch (5.10.17)
Scouting Scratch (6.22.17)
Undersized righty. Has filled out his frame and is a good athlete.
Mechanics: Throws from a high three-quarters arm slot.
Starts on the first base side of the rubber from the stretch. Uses a
short, quick step, similar to if he started from the windup. Makes timing
him difficult for hitters. Utilizes a medium leg kick and short arm
action. Gets some deception from keeping the ball behind his body until
late. Gets good extension and delivery is low-effort.
Fastball: 89-91 mph. Tops out at 93 mph. Has only average
velocity, but the pitch plays up due to his strong command of the offering
and its late life. Hitters don’t seem to pick up the pitch until late and
really struggle to square it up. Has shown the ability to command the
pitch to all quadrants of the zone, primarily doing so in the bottom third
unless he looks to elevate when ahead in the count. Will manipulate the
pitch, throwing a two-seam fastball in the high-80s and a cutter at 86-88
mph at times.
Slider: 79-83 mph. Looks like two
different pitches at times. In the lower end of the velocity range, the
pitch rolls to the plate and lacks tilt, but in the upper end, it is
sharper and shows some bite.
81-83 mph. Has some feel for the pitch and threw it with the same arm
speed as his fastball. Flashes late, downward action on occasion. Throws
two variations: a straight change and splitter-like variation.
Curveball: 70-74 mph, and at its best, the pitch showed
12-to-6 break and depth. For the most part, it was a show-me pitch used to
steal a strike early in the count.
Red Sox reportedly beat out the Yankees for Velazquez’s services during
2016-17 offseason; his Mexican club let him pick between the two before
selling his contract. Club managed his workload closely during spring
training and early in the 2017 season after he threw 246 2/3 innings
between the regular and winter seasons in Mexico in 2016. Childhood
friends with fellow Red Sox Esteban Quiroz.
Summation: Projects as a spot starter/swingman at the big league
level. Lacks a true plus pitch, but has a solid pitch mix. He can throw
all of his pitches for strikes and has shown a willingness to use any of
them in any count. Raw stuff doesn’t stand out, he has an advanced feel
for pitching and advanced command-and-control profile.