Juan De Paula
De Paula was one of two prospects the Giants received from the Yankees in exchange for Andrew McCutchen in August of 2018. That marked the second time De Paula has been traded. He originally signed with Seattle from the Dominican for $175K in 2014, coming to the Yankees in the swap that gave the Mariners Ben Gamel. Amazingly, De Paula was traded once again prior to the 2019 season, heading to Toronto as one of three players the Blue Jays received from San Francisco in exchange for Kevin Pillar.
There’s a lot to like about De Paula. The 21-year-old righty has a lean, projectable frame that has room to get stronger, something that should help him hold his stuff deeper into starts. His arm works fast through a high three-quarters slot, generating mid-90s heat that tops out 94-to-96 mph. The fastball projects as an above-average pitch as his control and command continue to develop. De Paula’s high-70s curveball flashes average at best, and while it backs up on him at times, it has the potential to be an effective secondary. His mid-80s changeup is crude and less refined than the fastball and curve. He mixes it in game sequences, but it lacks movement and plays like a BP fastball.
De Paula has a chance to start if he can add polish and develop a more consistent third pitch. He falls into the bucket of toolsy risk/reward prospects, showing flashes of big league stuff with a ways to go in the pitchability department. Realistically, his fastball and curve could play up in a ‘pen role and fit a setup profile if it doesn’t click in the rotation.