P | B/T: R/R | 6′ 0″ 179 | Age: 24
Pto. Ordaz, Venezuela
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
A late bloomer in Venezuela, Alzolay was nearly 18 when he signed in 2012 and commanded just a $10,000 bonus. He led the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League with a 1.07 ERA in his 2013 pro debut yet didn’t really break out until four years later, when he emerged as Chicago’s best prospect by the end of 2017. The Cubs expected him to contribute at the big league level last year but he made just eight starts before his season ended with a lat injury.
Alzolay improved once he added strength and started doing a better job of using his legs in his delivery. He now operates at 92-96 mph and can hit 98 with running action on his fastball. His curveball has gotten quicker as well and now sits in the low 80s with good depth.
In order to succeed as a starter in the Majors, Alzolay will need to improve a changeup that stands out more for its life than its deception. He never has had any difficulty throwing strikes and has been able to avoid giving up home runs despite his extreme flyball tendencies. The Cubs praise his makeup and work ethic and believe he eventually can settle into the middle of their rotation.
Source: MLB Advance Media