The Braves signed Zuniga in 2016 for $350K, though he and eleven other prospects were deemed free agents after Atlanta’s international violations were revealed. In December of 2017, Zuniga inked a $205K bonus with the Dodgers. The 19-year-old posted strong numbers pitching with the Dodgers’ AZL affiliate this summer, and I was impressed with his upside during a look at him in the league’s championship series.
A large and athletic 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Zuniga is broad through the shoulders and hips with durable features. His semi-windup delivery is fairly low-maintenance, and despite some present inconsistency repeating it, there’s steep downhill angle when he stays on-line. Zuniga mixes fastballs, showing a four-seamer at 92-to-96 mph and a sinker in the low-90s. The heater shows ride up in the strike zone, and he showed an advanced idea of how to elevate his fastball with two strikes. Like most teenage pitchers, there isn’t much consistency to his command, but there’s nothing in the delivery to suggest he can’t develop more ability to pitch over the corners. Both off-speed pitches showed potential and flashed above-average at best. Zuniga’s mid-80s slider has long action that’s tough for righties to stay in on. Later in the outing, he broke out a nasty 85-to-88 mph split-like changeup with late dive action.
Zuniga’s age and proximity add risk to the profile, but there’s a lot to like about the tools. His ceiling could be as high as a future mid-rotation starter. This type of pitching prospect has a lot of future outcomes, though Zuniga’s upside should get him on prospect lists once he reaches full-season ball.