Yordano Ventura made his 2014 debut for the Kansas City Royals last night. I was able to watch his entire performance, and I only need one word to sum it up: electric. Ventura, making his fourth start ever, looked like an absolute star out on the mound. He held the Tampa Bay Rays to just two hits on Tuesday night, walking none and striking out six over six shutout innings.
Ventura has three elite pitches (fastball, changeup and curveball), and all three were on display Tuesday. Ventura came right out of the gate and immediately began hitting 95 MPH with his fastball; by the end of the first inning he was up to 97 MPH, and by the second inning he was routinely in the 98-101 MPH range. His changeup sat around 88-89 MPH with a sharp break, and it absolutely embarrassed Rays hitters (he struck out Wil Myers twice with absolutely unhittable changeups); he commanded his curveball for strikes, using it effectively to keep hitters off balance. Ventura showed elite control of all three of his pitches throughout the entire game, and what impressed me most was how effortless it looked like he was throwing.
Ventura is an elite talent, and if he can continue to harness his powers, he has the skills to be an absolute fantasy stud. Ventura could have a similar impact this year as Jose Fernandez did last year. As I write this, Ventura is still available in 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues and in 68 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Ventura is going to be a star and needs to be owned in all leagues. If he’s available in yours, make the add before somebody else inevitably does.