Kansas City Royals top pitching prospect Yordano Ventura made his first start of Spring Training after appearing in three games for the team in preseason.
Ventura has spent the last four years in the minors and has never stepped foot in the majors. In 2012, he spent time at three different levels in which he had his fair share of issues. He posted a 4-7 record with a 3.62 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 109 1/3 innings.
With that being said, Ventura has been very good in spring, as he has not allowed an earned run since giving up two in his first appearance on Feb. 22. In his start on Saturday against the San Francisco Giants, the right-hander tossed three hitless innings while striking out three batters and walking two. He also received some quality run support, in which the Royals put up 13 runs against the Giants, to record the win.
“I kept my fastball down and my breaking ball was good,” Ventura said, according to MLB.com. “It was good experience.”
The only reason the 21-year-old even made the start was because Wade Davis was forced to sit out the game due to shoulder soreness. However, Ventura’s performance certainly enlightened Kansas City’s coaching staff of what he is capable of when given a good opportunity.
Ventura is a long shot to make the Opening Day roster, and even if he was on the fence the Royals would most likely start him in Double-A for the 2013 season in order for him to get consistent playing time so he can build up his repertoire of pitches. Depending on what happens to the MLB players on the roster, Ventura could very well get called up towards the end of the year. However, if someone is not performing at a high enough level, I believe Ventura will be the first person given a chance to do better.