Rubby De La Rosa: Full Scouting Report on Prospect Dealt in Red Sox Blockbuster
The Boston Red Sox succeeded in dumping the salaries of Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and Josh Beckett on the LA Dodgers. But Red Sox fans will still have to wait a few years to find out if they got a good deal.
The established players in the deal will get most of the press, but often times the prospects involved will dictate who got the better of a trade in the long run.
The Red Sox picked up James Loney, Ivan De Jesus and Jerry Sands in the deal. But there is another prospect that holds the key to the potential success of this swap for the Red Sox.
Rubby De La Rosa is in position to make the salary dumping move look even better down the line.
Here is a breakdown of De La Rosa for fans unfamiliar with what he could potentially bring to Red Sox nation.
(Profile info from ESPN.com)
Weight: 185 pounds
Position: Starting Pitcher
Fastball - (average velocity of 95.2 mph, per David Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics)
- On pure velocity this is higher than Justin Verlander's average.
According to the ESPN Insiders Edge chart, De La Rosa works both right-handed hitters (10 percent of his total pitches to the outer portion of the strike zone) and left-handed hitters (13 percent) away more than any other zone.
Before De La Rosa added some much-needed weight, he was physically similar to Pedro Martinez. But he hasn't begun to take charge of the inside portion of the plate the way Martinez used to.
That is especially the case against left-handed hitters, where he only works on the inside of the plate four percent of the time.
With his velocity, it would seem he has the stuff to go right at hitters a bit more.
The fastball is clearly his bread and butter.
He throws it 72 percent of the time, and 80 percent of the time on the first pitch. A little more variance of his pitches could make the big fastball even more formidable.
Major League Experience
In 13 appearances during the 2011 season, De La Rosa was solid. He started 10 games and he maintained an ERA of 3.71 while going 4-5.
He's only pitched in one game this season, and he was roughed up, yielding two earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning.
De La Rosa did undergo Tommy John surgery last August, but he was recently activated by the Dodgers, per Hardball Talk.
This was likely done to show that the fire-baller was indeed healthy enough to deal.
Tommy John surgery is not the cause for panic like it used to be.
As Alex Remington of Yahoo reported, pitchers like Tommy John, David Wells, John Smoltz, Ryan Dempster and Stephen Strasburg (the subject of Remington's piece) have returned as good as they were before.
While it is a notable issue, it certainly shouldn't dull De La Rosa's shine.
What Experts Say About De La Rosa
Golebiewski of Baseball Analytics said this of De La Rosa:
De La Rosa's fastball is lighting up the radar guns in the majors.
The 22-year-old has thrown his heater at an average of 95.2 MPH, besting Justin Verlander by the slightest of margins for the highest velocity among starting pitchers. And that extra gear? De La Rosa has topped out at 99.8 MPH.
That high-octane fastball has produced plenty of swings and misses.
Chad Moriyama echoed Golebiewski's sentiments:
Rubby De La Rosa is truly one of the few young Dodgers who projects as a potential impact player, so his ability to bounce back from this injury and get back to his old self will be well worth following for the duration of 2012.
The Red Sox have pushed reset, but we'll see if they have better luck once they start the game over. De La Rosa will have a lot to say about the outcome.
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