Big League Debut: Yonathan Daza, Rockies and Pedro Avila, Padres

Pedro Avila - The Padres righty made his debut on Thursday night and went 5 ⅓ innings allowing one earned run on four hits, two walks, striking out five in the process. What we saw was Avila mixing five different pitches and often working backwards, relying on his slider and curveball as his lead offerings, using his four-seam fastball as his third pitch. The breakdown in usage of the three is was slider 37.6 percent (avg velo 82.6), curveball 30.6 percent (avg velo 75.7), four-seamer 25.9 percent (avg velo 93.6).

The xStats backup this approach as well, as his xSLG of .615 was significantly higher than his lead breakers. He also mixed in a two-seamer and a changeup, but Avila only threw five combined. A short and stocky right-hander, Avila has a clean and fluid throwing motion delivery the ball from a high three-quarters delivery. Likely a backend of the rotation arm, but one that can eat innings and supply a solid floor from start to start.

Another under-the-radar trade from GM A.J. Preller, as Avila was acquired for former catcher Derek Norris and his beard. To think that the Padres might have acquired a legit innings eater for a fringe backup major league catcher is why this team is on the verge of relevancy.

Yonathan Daza - Early in 2018 I saw a fair amount of Daza, and I was impressed by the overall tool set and athleticism. During his time in Hartford, I saw Daza play every outfield spot, and look excellent in center. Daza is an extreme contact first hitter, showing an uncanny ability to get bat to ball. Daza rarely strikes out, but also rarely walks, he tends to use his contact and speed to get the most of hard grounders the other way or shots to the gaps. It wouldn’t shock me if Daza turned out to be a scrappy utility outfielder with the ability to provide some quality at bats, similar offensively to say a Brock Holt. For fantasy I would not look to add Daza outside of the deepest leagues, say 20 teams or more with deep benches.  

Another outfield option to block Raimel Tapia from seeing full time run. This comment is obviously tongue in cheek, but Daza does seem like the type of player Bud Black might stump for.