PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 10: World Future's All-Star Arodys Vizcaino #36 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch during the 2011 XM All-Star Futures Game at Chase Field on July 10, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The 20-year old Vizcaino started the year in high-A Lynchburg, moved to Double-A Mississippi where he first moved to the bullpen and has appeared in six games at Triple-A, all of which have been as a reliever. Baseball America ranked Vizcaino as the number 93 prospect overall prior to this season. However, they had ranked him as the number 69 prospect prior to the 2010 season.
The reason for this decline was an injury sustained by Vizcaino in the 2010 season. He had a partial tear of a ligament in his elbow. He was able to return that same year and regain his velocity.
Vizcaino was traded to the Braves in a December 2009 move that sent Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan to the Yankees and Vizcaino, Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and $500,000 to the Braves. That year, Vazquez pitched 31 games for the Yankees with a 5.32 ERA and a 1.86 K/BB ratio.
The Baseball Prospectus Annual said this about Vizcaino before this season:
Vizcaino possesses the rare combination of mid-90s velocity and sublime control, and didn't allow a run or a walk in his last five starts for Rome before getting a promotion. His curveball is already major-league quality. He has the potential to be a special arm, but he still needs to prove it over an entire season.
It still remains to be seen how the Braves will use him long-term. This season, he will definitely only be used in the bullpen, but he has had starting experience in the minor leagues. He would obviously be much more valuable to the organization as a starter, but there have been concerns about his health and durability. Keith Law said this while ranking Vizcaino at number 47 in his preseason rankings:
He's not a huge guy, and between the arm slot and elbow tear, there's at least some reason to think he could head for the bullpen, at which point he'd probably sit mid-90s and profile as a top-tier setup man or closer.
This is another chance for a fan base to see a special young arm and dream on what could be in the very near future.