Yordano Ventura is quickly becoming must-watch television.
On Tuesday night the 22-year-old made his season debut for the Kansas City Royals, nearly a week after his scheduled start was rained out.
Facing the Tampa Bay Rays, Ventura proved why he’s one of baseball’s most promising young pitchers, as the right-hander scattered two hits over six scoreless innings and recorded six strikeouts without issuing a walk. As the Royals lost the game 1-0 on a James Loney RBI in the ninth, Ventura didn't receive a decision in his first start.
As expected, he showcased an elite fastball velocity, topping out at 101 mph twice in the outing and sitting in the high-90s for the duration of his start. However, it was Ventura's ability to sequence and command his changeup (and to a lesser extent his curveball), and consistently work ahead in the count that surely left onlookers believing they witnessed a star in the making.