The Philadelphia Phillies are slowly approaching the 2017 baseball season and it appears as though there pitching rotation will be completely healthy come opening day. While this group suffered a lot of season ending injuries late last year, with a full offseason to recover, one hopes that these young pitchers can elevate their play to the next level. Specifically though, it seems ideal to talk about Vincent Velasquez and what 2017 might look like for him.
I find Velasquez to be the most intriguing pitcher on this staff. We saw glimpses of just how dominant he could be early last year, but also saw him struggle at times, too. With an injury that forced him to end the season early, Velasquez finished with an 8-6 record and a 4.12 ERA. These are hardly stats to brag about, but if Velasquez can somehow manage to resurrect his early 2016 season form, he could be one of the most devastating pitchers in the game.
Velasquez’s main issues last year dealt with control. His inconsistencies with getting the ball over the plate led to a high pitch count for him in most games forcing early exits from the game and long nights for the bullpen.
If Velasquez can figure out a way to work out his control, his arsenal of pitches would be phenomenal. His 12-6 curveball, 97-mph fastball, and developing change-up are really incredible to watch and are enough to leave any hitter in the MLB completely lost in the batters box.
While this Phillies team is clearly still in the rebuilding phase, players like Vincent Velasquez make the game fun and enjoyable. If he can find a way to put all of his traits together, this could be an interesting Philadelphia Phillies team to watch in 2017.
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