School: Miami; Class: Redshirt Junior
Position: LHP; B/T: L/L
Height: 6-2; Weight: 205
Previously Drafted: Washington Nationals, 2nd Round, 2014
Background: Suarez made the odd, unlikely decision to return to the Hurricanes after bypassing a chance to turn pro – and roughly a million dollar signing bonus – as a second round of the Washington Nationals in 2014. Making the move even more curious is the fact that the 6-foot-2 southpaw suffered a labrum tear in his throwing shoulder in 2012.
And, of course, Suarez has tallied just two starts in his return to the school, throwing just 11 innings of work.
The redshirt junior had a solid campaign two years ago after recovering from the shoulder injury, posting a 57-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio to go along with a 3.95 ERA in 86.2 innings. He followed that up with a breakout season in 2014, averaging 7.14 strikeouts and just 1.23 free passes per nine innings.
Projection: In last year’s pre-draft write-up I wrote,
“Suarez has been one of the biggest risers this spring. He’s still not missing a whole lot of bats yet – just 6.82 K/9 this season. The control is a reliable, above-average skill, but he’s also been quite hittable too – 11 doubles, four triples, and three homeruns, the most extra-base hits surrendered by any of Miami’s top three starters. Solid backend rotation-type arm, peaking as a fringe #3 but should settle in as a solid #/4#5.”
I also pegged him as a potential third round pick.
Well, nearly 12 months removed and there’s virtually no new data to analyze. When he’s healthy – which hasn’t been the case very often – Suarez does well in limiting walks, will miss a handful of bats, but tends to be a bit too hittable.
I’m still sticking to the original ceiling as a solid #4/#5 caliber arm – if injuries aren’t a concern. It will be interesting to see where a team grabs him, especially considering that he once again has an option to return to school for his senior season.
Ceiling: 1.5-win player
Floor: 0.5- to 1.0-win player
Risk: Moderate to High
Grade: Second/Third Round
Photo Courtesy of AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer via orangeandwhite.com.