Today, we are going to talk about another young Latin arm that has been making his way up the Tigers prospect list the past couple of years, Endrys Briceno. Briceno has been a little talked about young man so far in Tigers prospect circles, but that is likely to change.
You can find out why below…
Briceno is a 20 year old 6’4″ right hander that the Tigers signed out of Venezuela in 2009. At just 160 lbs, there is some room for Briceno to grow physically. Briceno spent his first two years with the organization pitching in the Venezuela Summer League where he experienced minimal success. Still, the Tigers brought Briceno stateside in 2011, where he pitched in the Gulf Coast League. In 12 starts for the GCL Tigers, Briceno posted an ERA of 5.34, while striking out 49 batters in 59 innings. Despite the modest numbers, the Tigers liked what they saw enough to move Briceno to Connecticut in 2012. He posted modest numbers once again with an ERA of 5.15 in 12 starts, but only struck out 30 in 57.2 innings.
Briceno’s scouting report follows along the same lines as previous profilee Edgar De La Rosa. Briceno is the owner of three pitches as well, and has much of the same issues as De La Rosa.
Briceno’s best pitch is his fastball. While this pitch sits in the low 90’s currently, Briceno does show the ability to hit 94-95 semi-regularly. As he continues to grow into his skinny frame, there is reason to believe he can easily sit in the mid 90’s and touch a little bit more. Briceno shows an ability to throw his fastball to both sides of plate, and while he doesn’t command it to the level he will need at this time, he does show some semblance of control.
His breaking ball is somewhat slurvy, and at this point doesn’t show sharp break enough to be a swing and miss offering. His mechanics can get out of whack from time to time, and doesn’t get on top of his breaking ball enough, showing little command with his pitch.
His change up right now is better than his breaking ball, which is also like De La Rosa. Briceno can flash an above average change up from time to time, and could be a weapon going forward for the young man.
Briceno got ranked one spot higher on my top 50 than De La Rosa despite almost twin profiles. There are a couple of reasons for that. Briceno has more projectability, meaning as his frame fills out some, he has a chance to put a little more hair on his fastball and iron out any velocity inconsistencies. Briceno is also over a year younger than De La Rosa as well. Currently, De La Rosa has a little more success, but Briceno could be more high end when all is said and done.
It’s difficult to make a projection on Briceno and De La Rosa, but there potential for high end stuff isn’t in doubt. It’s up to the Tigers organization to turn them into pitchers instead of throwers. And it sounds like Briceno has made some strides in that department.