2014 Draft Profile: A.J. Vanegas

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School: USC; Class: Senior

Position: RHP; B/T: R/R

Height: 6-3; Weight: 215 pounds

Previously Drafted: Oakland A’s, 19th round, 2013; San Diego Padres, 7th round, 2010


Background: A big time arm without the results to match and only a faint idea on where the ball’s going until recently, Vanegas, who’s been drafted twice, once by the Padres in the seventh round coming out of high school and most recently by the A’s in the 19th round last June, spurned another chance at pro ball in hopes of bettering his draft selection after his senior season.

After totaling 105.2 innings across his first two seasons, the 6-foot-3 right-hander, who worked mainly out of the bullpen, missed the majority of last year thanks to injury. He has, however, rebounded nicely thus far into 2014, posting the lowest walk rate of his career (2.33 BB/9).


Projection: The production hasn’t matched the potential yet, something that becomes even more concerning given the fact he’s pitched primarily out of the pen. Vanegas has the ceiling of a dominant backend reliever, but it’s a bit of long shot. And at some point he’s going to need to start missing more bats – he’s averaged 7.28 K/9 for his career – and/or show the major development in his control is a repeatable skill.


Ceiling: 1.5-win player

Floor: Replacement Level

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

Draft Projection: Third/Fourth Round


Photo Courtesy of DONALD MONTAGUE/StanfordPhoto.com.


After serving as a video scout/analyst for Baseball Info Solutions, Joe Werner began writing at his original site, ReleasePoints.com. He’s since transitioned into his current niche, prospect analysis, at ProspectDigest.com. He has been fortunate — and incredibly blessed — to have some of his work published and mentioned by several major media outlets, including: ESPN, Cleveland.com and the Baseball Research Journal. He can be reached at: JosephMWerner@yahoo.com.