The Atlanta Braves have already given their top pitching prospect, Julio Teheran, a taste (or two) of the big leagues, and now their second-best pitching prospect is getting closer to the show. Right-handed starting pitcher Arodys Vizcaino has been promoted to double-A Mississippi from high-A Lynchburg.
The right-hander will join the starting rotation and continue to try and dominate minor league hitters. In 40.1 innings at Lynchburg, Vizcaino held opposing batters to a .207 average while only walking 10 and striking out 37. Two weeks ago he was named the Carolina League pitcher of the week, and it seems the Braves felt he had nothing left to prove in A-ball.
Vizcaino is a prospect who posses a mid-90s fastball, an emerging change-up, and a dominant curveball. The only knock on him has been his ability to stay healthy, as he's experienced injuries each of the last three years, including a short stint this year.
This move is not a promotion because there was a roster spot available promotion, this is a true promotion to the next level. Lefty Matt Crim goes from Mississippi to Lynchburg to make room for Vizcaino. Everyone in the Braves prospect universe will be watching how Vizcaino does at double-A.
It's probably too early to speculate (but allow me to anyway). If Vizcaino can handle double-A, then a promotion to triple-A or even Atlanta is not out of the question this year. As we saw this spring, the Braves may break Vizcaino into the big leagues in the bullpen. His power arm could be a huge factor in the second half of the season out of the Atlanta pen (perhaps even to Neftali Felizian levels). But let's see how he does in double-A first, before we get too excited.
In the meantime, Vizcaino's arrival in Mississippi makes the Braves double-a rotation unquestionably the best rotation in the minor leagues. He joins Randall Delgado, J.J. Hoover, Brett Oberholtzer, and Paul Clemens.