The Cuban righty made his state-side debut in 2017, and in the year since, he’s entrenched himself as one of the highest-upside pitching prospects in the game. He’s massive over the mound at 6’8” with long levers and some projection left; well-built in both his upper and lower halves with the chance to carry a durable, power pitcher’s frame at maturity. His 3-to-4 pitch mix is extremely loud: a high-90s fastball and sharp slider dominated low minors hitters last year, and the changeup looks like it is enough of a third pitch to allow a future in the rotation. He broke out a curveball in my backfields looks this spring as well, and even that was a sharp, tight 12-6 hammer. The ingredients are here for a frontline starter, with the upside of a go-to rotation piece who leads a staff.
As an extra-large frame, repeating his delivery and throwing strikes will always be the keys for Baez. By the end of camp, he was mixing pitches confidently and blowing hitters away with his fastball after setting it up with secondary pitches. If he can limit walks even to an average degree, the sky is the limit for a pitcher with this type of size and raw stuff. Baez’ ceiling is as high (or higher) than any pitching prospect in San Diego’s loaded system, and that’s really saying something. He’s a potential top-30 prospect in baseball with a strong first-half performance.