Steven Ames to Marlins: 3 Things You Need to Know About Miami's New Prospect

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 17:  Pitcher Steven Ames #79 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Camelback Ranch on February 17, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Miami Marlins never stop looking to the future, and they're continuing that trend by reportedly acquiring Steven Ames from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Major League Baseball cited Marlins reporter Joe Frisaro regarding the possible deal moving the 25-year-old reliever to Miami.

Ames came into the season as the Dodgers' 21st best prospect, according to Baseball America. He was selected out of Gonzaga in the 17th round of the 2009 MLB draft.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports provided a MLB comparison to try and give fans an idea of what kind of pitcher Ames is.

At the very least, the Marlins know they're getting a solid singer. Ames and Shawn Tolleson won Dodgers Idol during spring training earlier this year.

Here are three other quick takes regarding Ames.


Closer of the Future or Present?

Ames projects as a definite closer. In five minor league seasons, he's recorded 63 saves in 170 appearances. Last year, Ames set a career high with 18 saves, spending the entire season with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts.

In 30 games for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, Ames has eight saves.

All the while, Ames has done a good job of getting men out. Although this year has been a bit of a concern, it's understandable that Ames might hit a rough patch at some point. His ERA this year of 3.67 is a full run higher than his career high up to this point.

Still, the Marlins could probably call up Ames right now, and he wouldn't be much worse than Steve Cishek. At the very least, he could be a very good setup man.


He's a Strikeout Machine

The best asset of Ames' game is his ability to miss bats. Although he has not been as dominant this year as he was in the past, Ames has still struck out 29 batters in 34.1 innings. This is the only season he's failing to strike out more than 10 batters per nine innings.

Over his minor league career, the reliever has recorded a robust 265 strikeouts in 207 innings.

Although Ames doesn't have an overpowering fastball that reaches the high 90s, he knows where to place it. Plus, relievers with the bigger arms tend to burn out much faster than those who throw in the low-to-mid 90s.


A Solid Repertoire of Pitches

Ames is far from a guy who only relies on his fastball. He also has a good slider at times. His curveball can be a nice pitch, but he can have trouble locating it, so it's probably better that he uses it early in counts.

Since he doesn't have a huge fastball, Ames has learned how to place his pitches. He can work the zone well, and his command won't be a huge issue when he hits the big leagues. Ames also has a changeup, but he won't use it a lot.

This is a pitcher who's tailor-made to succeed in the majors. Ames could have one or two seasons where he saves 20-plus games, but it's unlikely he'll have a long career at the position. Most likely, Ames will settle in another bullpen role and have a productive career.