195 lbs. Throws:
July 25, 1976, Ponce ,
1999 Season It was clear that the Expos were force-feeding young righthander Javier Vazquez when he posted a 5-15 record as a 21-year-old rookie in 1998. His struggles intensified last year, and he was sent to Triple-A Ottawa in June with a fat 6.63 ERA. Rejoining Montreal after the All-Star break, Vazquez put it all together and became one of the Expos' best starters, winning seven of 11 decisions to finish with a winning record. The Expos always knew he had potential, but hadn't expected him to turn the corner so dramatically.
Pitching Vazquez isn't a pure power pitcher, but he has a good fastball in the low to mid-90s. He throws four pitches: a sinking two-seam fastball, a rising four-seamer, a curveball and a changeup. The main difference in the second half was that he gained more confidence in his changeup. Better movement on his two-seamer helped him get burned on first-pitch fastballs less often than he had in 1998. Vazquez occasionally fights his command, but that's happening less frequently. First-inning troubles plagued him last year, but he generally settled down after getting through the first few frames.
Defense & Hitting Vazquez is a good athlete and helps himself both in the field and at the plate. He's quick off the mound and has yet to commit his first major league error. He also has a good pickoff move and checks the running game fairly well. Only two pitchers topped his .286 batting average last year. Vazquez strikes out less frequently than many regular hitters and is an adept bunter as well.
2000 Outlook Vazquez undoubtedly will hit some more bumps in the road before reaching his full potential. He made significant progress last year, however, and the Expos expect him to be an important part of their rotation for years to come. He may be surprisingly competent this year.
Scouting Report Source: STATS, Inc. Copyright 2000 STATS, Inc.
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