His name appeared in rumors this offseason, but the Phillies have high expectations for him in the future. A prized prospect, nobody bidded high enough for Carlos Carrasco.
The 21 year old is young and talented, but does he have what it takes to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation up against the likings of J.A. Happ, Kyle Kendrick, or Chan Ho Park?
In 2007, the Phillies named him the best prospect in the organization. According to Baseball America, the only Phillies prospect who is ranked higher than Carrasco is outfielder Dominic Brown. Keith Law ranked Carrasco 60th out out 100 of the top prospects.
Last season in Double-A Reading, Carrasco struggled posting a 4.32 ERA but still managed to strike out 109 batters in 114.2 innings. In 36.2 innings at Triple-A Lehigh, Carrasco was 2-2 with a 1.72 ERA with 46 SO. Carrasco was 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 11 games with Venezuela during the winter leagues.
According to different scouting reports, Carrasco’s fastball can range anywhere from the high 80’s to low 90’s, occasionally topping 95. His changeup is his bread and butter pitch and his curve ball continues to improve. Carrasco’s career WHIP in the minors is 1.32 and walks an average of 3.7 per nine innings. Carrasco needs to limit base-runners in order to be successful at a major league level.
Even if Carrasco impresses the Phillies this spring, participating in the World Baseball Classic could effect his chances at winning the starting job. He will not appear in many Phillies spring training games, therefore the Phillies will not be able to evaluate him the same way.
Carrasco will likely start in AAA with the Iron Pigs, but could be called up in September or anytime during the season if another pitcher is injured. Carrasco will have time to season in the minors and help become major league ready.