Enoli Paredes

Enoli Paredes

Sometimes a player comes along who is so easy to root for no matter their performance. Of course performance on the field is necessary to advance past the minor leagues, but there is a certain beauty in my mind to seeing someone soak up every moment.

That attitude is exactly what many fans see every night in the subject of this week’s player spotlight – Space Cowboys reliever Enoli Paredes, one of the most fun players to watch in PCL.

Initial overview

The Astros initially signed Paredes at the age 20 out of El Limon, Dominican Republic before the 2016 season. He instantly showed an electric arm with 46 strikeouts and a 3.74 ERA in 33.1 innings during his first full season in pro ball. He would then post a 2.19 ERA in 201.1 innings across three levels from 2017-2019 while striking out 11.2 batters per nine innings and ending the season at Double-A Corpus Christi

He then burst on the MLB scene out of necessity during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, accumulating a 3.05 ERA in 20.2 innings and throwing scoreless outings in five of his seven postseason appearances. However, he has struggled to find consistency at any level since then as he has been shuttled back and forth between Sugar Land and Houston.

So let’s dive into the data to see how Paredes projects moving forward.

Landan’s lowdown

I won’t waste a whole lot of time on the arm, because it reads about the same as many pitcher spotlights for the Astros’ system. Paredes’ fastball sits around 95 miles per hour while touching 96-97 at times. He also sports a slider that hovers 84-86 and a curveball around 80-81 according to Statcast data from Baseball Savant.

It’s no secret that the raw arsenal exists for Paredes to be an effective reliever at the Major League level, as he has struck out 11.7 hitters per nine innings 300.1 minor league innings and only once was below that figure in six total seasons. However, he has not finished with lower than a 4 BB/9 rate since the 2018 campaign

However, his Achilles heel from the jump has been that he is unable to consistently command the strike zone on a regular basis – and in particular since the start of the 2021 season. Paredes has walked 42 batters in 60.1 innings at Sugar Land the last two seasons, in addition to 20 walks in 11.2 innings during separate brief stints with the Astros the last two seasons.

Simply put, that’s not a formula for success against the highest level of hitters. And honestly, I’m not sure much of the problem is a physical one. Sure, there are mechanical adjustments a player can make – but ultimately, I think it is going to wind up being a mental game for Paredes if he wants to make it at the Major League level at any time.

Many likely know if they’ve read these columns that much of my analysis is based on data and numbers. But in the case of Paredes, I think it’s a matter of controlling his emotions. He is a fun, excitable player who you can tell is enjoying every second that he is on a baseball field. But at times, I think he gets a little too excitable, and becomes unable to control that and channel it into being an effective pitcher.

However, he is an extremely easy player to root for, and still has some time to turn things around for himself at just 26 years old.

Projection

As a hype man and cheerleader, Paredes brings the kind of energy you love to see. As a pitcher, however, he still lacks the consistency that is needed to become an effective Major Leaguer, at least at the current juncture.

So with that said plus the current depth of the Astros’ bullpen, it’s hard to imagine Paredes making that much of an impact in the short-term. He might be a September call-up, but that’s about as much as I can see happening. And it doesn’t really bode well that his best work has come in a season where there were no fans in the stands.

However, he is still just 26 years old. If he makes a few mechanical tweaks over the course of the offseason to correct the command issues, this fireballer could easily become a fixture in the Astros’ bullpen next season.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.