Signed as an 18-year-old from Venezuela in 2015, Sotillet’s $75K bonus looks like a steal. He has steadily climbed the lower rungs of the Royals’ system over the last three seasons, where his zone-pounding mentality has overwhelmed inexperienced low-minors competition.
His thick, broad frame holds velocity through outings and has the durability to eat innings. Despite length to his arm-circle, Sotillet has a strong on-line finish that allows him to fill up the zone. The fastball ranged from 91-to-95 mph in my May look, sitting 92-93 with scrapes of 95 all game. His feel to mix grips is impressive, mixing both a four-seam and two-seam variant, the latter with average armside run. A 80-to-84 mph slider is a fringy pitch, showing average at times with plenty of slurves with gliding tilt. Similarly, his change is an inconsistent pitch, often overthrown in the high-80s with infrequent glimpses of a playable third pitch when he can keep it in the 84-to-85 mph range. Sotillet’s control is his best attribute; he establishes strike one like a veteran pitcher, able to limit walks and throw strikes with an off-speed pitch (slider).
The durable frame, strikethrowing ability, and flashes of three pitches give Sotillet #5 starter upside. Both off-speed pitches will need to show more crispness and consistency to get there; if he doesn’t change speeds well enough to be a true back-rotation starter, his control and velocity still are enough to provide lesser value in a swingman or long relief role.