Weight: 186 lbs.
This kid’s arm strength is off the charts. Domingo Tapia consistently throws in the high 90’s with the ability to hit triple digits at times. Both his fastball and changeup have sink that help him induce a good amount of groundballs. His curveball lags behind the other two pitches but should develop into an average offering when all is said and done. Up until last season in St. Lucie, Tapia had put up good BB/9 numbers but last year was his worst with 5.09. He also put up his highest WHIP (1.48) since playing professional ball. Because he was putting so many runners on base, his ERA ballooned to 4.62. This could have been due to the burned hand incident but we won’t know that until we see him perform this season.
Hopefully his lackluster control was just an aberration and he can improve it this upcoming season where he could start in St. Lucie again or move up a rank to Binghamton. His ceiling is sky high but if he is not able to keep the walks down, he’ll have trouble reaching the majors.
Outlook: Some scouts see Tapia as a future starting pitcher. I, on the other hand, think he is best suited in the bullpen because the human body is not designed to throw that hard for multiple innings on every fifth day and his two pitch mix fits better there. His shaky control and slow delivery to the plate could forcibly land him there anyway. As he fills out his large frame and adds more strength he should have an easier time taming that ferocious fastball and serving it over the dish more. Once his changeup and curveball develop a little further, he could project in a rotation but more likely as a dominant bullpen arm. It’s only a matter of time before this kid starts to shoot up prospect lists because of his true plus potential.