Hello again everyone! While still watching the Braves and Pirates go at (and who knows how long that’ll take to finish), I thought I’d post my impressions of Anthony Varvaro while they were fresh in my mind.
In a nutshell, I was more impressed with Varvaro than I expected to be. While you obviously can’t judge potential success from watching one outing, you can tell a lot about stuff and makeup. On both of these counts I give Varvaro high marks. The velocity on his fastball is excellent at 92-95 MPH, but of more importance is the late movement on the pitch. He has both a heavy sinking fastball and a good rising fastball as well. The high fastball he threw to strikeout Ronny Cedeno was particularly impressive, garnering him an appreciate glove shake from David Ross.
Beyond his fastball, he had a good change-up and curve ball working. Both had good, sharp downward break and had well over 10 MPH separation from his fastball. He did experience difficulty keeping both pitches in the strike zone, a problem he’s had his whole career.
Perhaps the most encouraging thing was his composure. In the midst of walking the bases loaded in the seventh, often missing by just a little, other times missing by a lot, it would have been easy for him to get frustrated or angry. Perhaps it would have even been expected. Instead, he kept his head about him and was able to locate a high fastball to strike out Cedeno.
All-in-all, Varvaro was hard to hit, continuing the sub-.200 levels he put on the board in 50 innings at AAA this year. He did make it harder on himself than he needed to, as I said walking the bases loaded in the seventh. His line was 2 IP, 0 H, 3BB, 4K.
I think if he can keep his walks at his AAA rate of 5 per 9 IP or less, he can stick in the majors. Ideally, he’ll take a page from Craig Kimbrel‘s playbook and improve upon those levels. Honestly, I think we should expect that to happen as both maturity and major league coaching take hold. We’ll see, but I’m cautiously optimistic.
That’s my take; care to share yours?