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View Full Version : Another Pitching Jewel On The Horizon



Krusty
03-12-2006, 09:39 AM
This was excerpt was taken from today's Enquirer. With five to seven Dominican ballplayers to be added each year, you would think the sytem would be loaded in four years with the drafting of players from the United States. I just wonder if the Reds will be importing Venzuela ballplayers too in the next few years?


ONE TO WATCH: Keep the name Wirfin Obispo in mind. He's a 21-year-old right-hander from the Dominican whom the Reds are bringing over to play in the States this year.

"He's got one of the best arms in the system," said Johnny Almaraz, player development director/international operations. "He throws 93 to 97."

Almaraz is bringing over the first batch of players who were developed at the Reds' new facility in the D.R.

"We hope to bring over five to seven a year," he said. "That gives you 28 to 30 in four or five years. That can really help the talent in your system."

membengal
03-12-2006, 09:43 AM
I don't care if he throws 54 mph, I am rooting for Wirfin Obispo, just because, well, WIRFIN OBISPO.

Redmachine2003
03-12-2006, 10:13 AM
This is the most kids in the Reds system that throw 93-97 I have ever seem. Looks like some powers arms now can they develop them with out blowing their arms out.

Redsland
03-12-2006, 10:41 AM
Careful. The radar guns are in kilometers down there.

:)

ghettochild
03-12-2006, 11:35 AM
60 mph then RL? :lol:

OnBaseMachine
03-12-2006, 12:06 PM
This story was posted on Redszone exactly a year ago today.

Fraud probe snares 2 minor-leaguers

By Marc Lancaster
Post staff reporter

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Two Reds minor-leaguers, including one pitcher considered an elite prospect, have been denied visas to enter the United States after participating in a fraudulent marriage scheme in the Dominican Republic.

According to Reds director of player development Tim Naehring, third baseman Ambiorix Franco and right-hander Wirfin Obispo were among those targeted by the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican in a crackdown on visa fraud.

The Reds released Franco, who hit .190 in 20 games for the Gulf Coast League Reds last year and was not considered a prospect.

Obispo is another story. The hard-throwing former shortstop, who turned 20 in September, was named the Reds' most improved player in the Instructional League last fall. That came on the heels of a season in which Obispo went 3-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 20 appearances for the Reds' Dominican Summer League team. He was named the club's pitcher of the year.

Reds director of international scouting Johnny Almaraz said Obispo, who struck out 52 batters in 40 innings last summer, can throw 92-95 mph and could conceivably have advanced to the high Class A or even Class AA level this season. Instead, he'll be left at home to play in the summer league again while the Reds hope to get him cleared for a visa in time to participate in the Instructional League this fall.

The marriage scam, which was first reported earlier this week by Baseball America, works like this, according to Almaraz:

"In this case, the people that belong to this racket figured out that baseball players, whether major league or minor league, their wives have virtually no problems acquiring a visa," he said.

"So what they're doing is they're going around and the women that are wanting to leave the country, they're getting their life's savings and these people that are somehow involved in the baseball business contact these minor league players and they say you've got a lady who's willing to pay you $5,000. And actually, the lady pays $10,000 and (the brokers) get $5,000 and the player who marries her gets $5,000. Then they present her to the U.S. Embassy as his wife and they solicit a visa for her. And it's probably a 90 percent chance they're going to give her a visa because she's married to a ballplayer."

If the visa is approved, the player and the wife he doesn't know either get divorced right away or just go their separate ways as if nothing ever happened. Almaraz noted that the Dominican Republic is one of the easiest countries in the world in which to get married and divorced -- "it takes about five minutes," he said.

Almaraz, who signed Obispo out of San Pedro de Macoris last January, said he's disappointed in the player but is optimistic the Reds will be able to work the situation out eventually.

"This kid, he's been a really good kid throughout his entire say with us," Almaraz said. "But he's very poor. I talked to him and he said it was something that was attractive to him. He's just ignorant. He said, 'I didn't think I was going to get in any trouble.'"

JinAZ
03-12-2006, 12:41 PM
Wow, OBM that's really interesting. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see our work in the DR finally bearing some fruit. It's also good to see a guy that maintains his prospect label from year to year. All too often these guys seem to fizzle after a year or so, either due to injury or failure to improve. -jinAZ
edit: I love that the subject line of this thread is "Another pitching jewel," as if the Reds are awash in them. :D

OnBaseMachine
03-12-2006, 01:42 PM
The 93-97 mph fastball is nice, but more importantly, I wonder how good his secondary pitches are? Those will be what determines how good of a prospect he will be. I do love the fact that the Reds are dipping into the Dominican Republic to find talent. Too much talent down in the DR and Venezuela for the Reds not to scout in that area.

Redmachine2003
03-29-2006, 09:39 PM
Has anyone heard if Wirfin Obispo got his visa or not? If so where will the Reds start him?

Javy Pornstache
03-30-2006, 01:53 PM
I suppose this is kinda related to this thread, but does anyone remember when the Reds signed a LHP that was from Cuba last year? I heard good things about him around the signing then hadn't heard anything about him for a little while. I think Arian Cruz was his name, and he was in AA Chattanooga. He still around and if so, how does he project?

Doc. Scott
03-30-2006, 04:06 PM
Cruz, yes. He was listed on the preliminary AA roster in the Chattanooga paper. I think he projects as a LOOGY type- he's 27 already.

Javy Pornstache
03-30-2006, 05:25 PM
Cruz, yes. He was listed on the preliminary AA roster in the Chattanooga paper. I think he projects as a LOOGY type- he's 27 already.

Wow, didn't know he was 27, I was thinking he was a little younger. Thanks a bunch for the info, Doc.

New Fever
08-14-2006, 04:21 PM
On BA they said that Arian Cruz finally got his Visa but was not in shape in will pitch next year, I think they might have been talking about Wirfin Obispo though.

justincredible
08-14-2006, 04:33 PM
WIRFIN OBISPO

It looks like the word jumbles in the Sunday paper.

Tom Servo
08-14-2006, 04:51 PM
Keep the name Wirfin Obispo in mind

How can you not?

terminator
08-14-2006, 04:55 PM
I'd like to hear how Joe pronounces that one in the 14th inning . . .

redsmetz
08-14-2006, 08:45 PM
I posted this elsewhere sometime recently, but if I recall correctly, there was talk of some new legislation that would bunch ballplayers in with other seasonal workers for a special visa which wouldn't count against quotas that are out there otherwise. It used to be clubs could only apply for a certain number of visas and once they reached that number, that was it. I think that has changed, but I'm not certain.

Jr's Boy
08-15-2006, 01:23 AM
Cruz, yes. He was listed on the preliminary AA roster in the Chattanooga paper. I think he projects as a LOOGY type- he's 27 already.

EL Duque and Contreras were'nt no spring chickens when they got to the states neither.

Brutus
08-15-2006, 01:28 PM
wow, just checked out his stats for this season.

DSL Reds - pretty impressive

3-5
2.38 ERA
11 games started; 64 1/3 innings
39 hits allowed, 14 walks
0.82 WHIP
76 strikeouts
.176 batting average against
3 homeruns allowed

On the downside, he has hit 12 batters and thrown 10 wild pitches.

BrooklynRedz
08-15-2006, 01:41 PM
wow, just checked out his stats for this season.

DSL Reds - pretty impressive

3-5
2.38 ERA
11 games started; 64 1/3 innings
39 hits allowed, 14 walks
0.82 WHIP
76 strikeouts
.176 batting average against
3 homeruns allowed

On the downside, he has hit 12 batters and thrown 10 wild pitches.

I see no downside in a young power arm plunking a guy here and there. Keeps the hitters thinking when they dig into the box. If identify one shortcoming of the Reds pitching development over the past 10 years, it would be the failure to get these guys to throw inside with any aggressiveness. So plunk away Wirfin...plunk away!