Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nationals Prospect Highlight - Armando Galarraga

After his complete game 7-0 shutout last night, now is probably a better time than any to turn the spotlight on Washington Nationals Double-A prospect, Armando Galarraga. Galarraga was signed by the Montreal Expos as an amateur 17-year old free agent in 1998 out of Venezuela. He primarily pitched in relief in 1999-2000 to less than stellar results.
His arrival to the US and the GCL Expos in 2001 was moderately successful.
It was then he began to experience chronic injuries that resulted in two lost seasons capped off with Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in 2003. He began his comeback trail in 2004 with the Low-A Savannah Sand Gnats where he slid into the starting rotation without skipping a beat. In 23 games (19 starts):
He began 2005 with the High-A Potomac Nationals and quickly proved he was healthy and ready to pitch to the expectations of the now Washington Nationals. In only a half season with the P-Nats, he made the Carolina League All-Star team posting amazing numbers in 14 games (all starts).
His Carolina League All-Star appearance was followed by a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg where he kept the pace up. In only 4 starting appearances in Harrisburg, his numbers have not tailed off in the slightest.
Galarraga has a fluid delivery with a fastball in the 90s and a hard slider. Scouts believe if he develops an offspeed pitch, he can become a frontline starter. Otherwise, the belief is he can become a force out of the bullpen.


Chris Needham said...

So essentially, he's better than he looks (in terms of Age V. League) because he's lost all that playing time to injury. That's good to know!

He certainly seems like he's making up for lost time.

Brian said...

Precisely, that's why sometimes you need to dig deeper to find out why a 22-yr old is in Low-A. Ideally Galarraga should finish the year in Harrisburg and not be considered major league ready until mid season next year. Give him a full year at Double-A to work on an offspeed pitch. Though I could see him sliding into the back end of the rotation next year as the #5

Brian said...

love the picture, Chris