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OnBaseMachine
03-12-2009, 01:57 PM
Sulbaran one of Netherlands' surprises
Young right-hander emerging before Classic crowds for Dutch

By Will Gonzalez / MLB.com

SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The way that Netherlands pitcher Juan Carlos Sulbaran handled Major League hitters in his first outing in the World Baseball Classic has been one of the biggest surprises for a Dutch team that has been full of surprises this spring.

Sulbaran, 19, graduated from American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., just last summer. Yet when he faced a veteran-laden Puerto Rico squad on Monday, he struck out the hot-hitting Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez with three pitches, prevailed over Ramon Vazquez in a 10-pitch duel, and retired Carlos Beltran with a grounder to first base.

Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico has so much confidence in Sulbaran that he brought in the right-hander to face Rodriguez with runners on first and third with two outs when the game was scoreless in the sixth inning.

"[Sulbaran] has no fear," said Delmonico. "He has composure and maturity beyond his years."

Delmonico let Sulbaran face Vazquez and Beltran with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of the game.

"[Sulbaran] was in front of 20,000 screaming fans -- which sounded like 40,000 -- and he got Vazquez to foul off, foul off his pitches," said Delmonico. "Most kids would have walked him."

"I was focused on throwing strikes, getting outs and not letting my team lose," said Sulbaran the day following his appearance against Puerto Rico. "I focused on concentrating and not letting the crowd bother me. They were loud."

Sulbaran allowed two hits and he hit a batter in his 1 1/3 innings of work, but he did not allow Puerto Rico to score or to get a walk. Puerto Rico eventually won the game, 3-1.

The outing against Puerto Rico was not the only impressive appearance by Sulbaran while wearing the Dutch uniform. Last year, while pitching in an international tournament in the Netherlands, he limited Cuba to one run and one hit in seven innings.

Sulbaran demonstrated his maturity then by applying what he had learned from watching the Cuban team play the day before.

"I watched them play, and saw that they were having trouble with the two-seamer down and away and with the changeup," he said. "They were having trouble with those pitches. So when I pitched against them, I made them foul off my pitches, and then I would get them with the changeup and the curve."

This spring, Sulbaran pitched impressively against his own organization, the Cincinnati Reds, in an exhibition game.

"[Reds manager] Dusty [Baker] was amazed with him," said Delmonico.

In his two innings of work against the Reds, Sulbaran struck out two batters and conceded a walk, but he did not allow a hit or a run.

The Reds selected Sulbaran in the 30th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft for a $500,000 signing bonus -- a record for a 30th-round draftee. Sulbaran's family is from Curacao, a Dutch island in the Caribbean, but he grew up in Florida.

Netherlands pitching coach Bert Blyleven, who made his debut in the Major Leagues when he was 19 years old, is very impressed with Sulbaran.

"He is aggressive," Blyleven said. "He has been doing that since he joined the team in Bradenton. He is a kid with a golden arm. As soon as he learns how to pitch, he is going to get even better."

Blyleven was most amazed, however, by how Sulbaran went after the hitters and how, when he ran into trouble, he found a way to get out of it.

"He has a moving fastball -- nobody wants to play catch with him, because his fastball is moving all over the place," said Blyleven. "But he's got an outstanding breaking ball and he's got a very good changeup. So he's got three pitches. He has a lot of confidence in them and he can throw them over at any time."

The Dutch pitching coach, however, does not think that the Reds will rush Sulbaran to the Majors.

"He has to take it step-by-step," added Blyleven.

Sulbaran is willing to be patient, saying, "I am spending my first Spring Training with them. Let's see what happens after that."

Sulbaran's head has not swollen with his triumphs.

"Just because you have a good outing, it doesn't mean that all of them will be that way," he said. "You could pitch better, but you should never stop concentrating, because it is a new game. Everything is different."

http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090311&content_id=3967844&vkey=wbc&team=ned&lang=1

OnBaseMachine
03-12-2009, 01:58 PM
And here's the video courtesy of Doug's site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUloViM6o6k

redsmetz
03-12-2009, 02:07 PM
And here's the video courtesy of Doug's site:


That catcher did a very nice job on recovering that third strike.

dougdirt
03-12-2009, 02:39 PM
And here's the video courtesy of Doug's site:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUloViM6o6k

I have absolutely no clue who that mikerivers guy is who uploads those Reds videos.... but he must be an awesome guy. :cool:

lollipopcurve
03-12-2009, 03:33 PM
I used to think the Reds had no bona fide SP prospect, given that Lotzkar was derailed by injury last year. I've changed my mind. I think this kid has a shot at being really good. The stuff is electric, his composure is remarkable, and he's got some fire in him. Given how well he's done against advanced hitters, they should not be afraid to push him. Just keep his IP within reason.

mace
03-12-2009, 03:53 PM
I'm usually reluctant to pig-out on the flavor of the day. But from the information now available on Sulbaran, I'd have to shoot him to the top of the heap of young pitching prospects in the organization, right alongside Lotzkar.

It's additionally promising that the pitching talent seems to be coming in waves. Right now, Cueto and Volquez have broken through. Bailey, Ramirez, Maloney and Thompson are close. Then there's Buck, Lecure and Viola (some would include Jukich there), followed by Wood, Horst, Jordan Smith and DeJesus (my order might be a bit off here). Then come the kids -- Lotzkar, Sulbaran, Hildenbrandt, Guillon and Snowden. And those are just the starters.

nate
03-12-2009, 04:12 PM
Wow, that was an impressive display of three pitches.

OnBaseMachine
03-12-2009, 04:36 PM
I had read some positive things on Sulbaran and I knew he had good stuff, but I never realized it was THAT good. His stuff is filthy. Did you see the movement on that fastball? Wow. As impressive as his fastball was, his curveball was even better. Pudge had no chance. He also throws a good changeup too from what I've read. I thought Kyle Lotzkar had the best stuff of any pitcher in the Reds minor leagues (not counting Homer Bailey), but after seeing that video I think Sulbaran is right there with Lotzkar.

dougdirt
03-12-2009, 04:42 PM
The next time he pitches, we will get Pitch F/X data on him. I am excited as can be. That will include velocity, movement and all kind of awesome stuff. It will be a REAL scouting report for the exact moment in time. Its exciting.

Superdude
03-12-2009, 08:49 PM
Was that fastball a 2 seamer?

GIDP
03-12-2009, 09:26 PM
There is more video of him from the olympics

I cant post the link because im new but if you search Juan Carlos Sulbaran Olympics on google you can probably find a direct link to it.

paulrichjr
03-12-2009, 10:41 PM
Oh my. That video shows just nasty stuff. That looks like a number 1 draft choice if he were being drafted this year. Doug what do you think? Seeing what you saw in the video and how he has pitched would he be a number 1 draft pick if going this year?

The future is bright...very very bright.

GIDP
03-12-2009, 11:14 PM
back when he was supposed to be going to florida I think I remember people talking about arm issues hes had in the past.

OnBaseMachine
03-13-2009, 01:55 PM
John Sickels has Sulbaran as the Reds breakout candidate:

Juan Carlos Sulbaran, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Sulbaran was drafted in the 30th round last year out of high school in Florida, but could have gone much higher were it not for a University of Florida scholarship. He signed for $500,000 and hasn't pitched yet, but the scouting reports look intriguing to me: 90-94 MPH fastball, curveball, changeup, reportedly has sharp command and a good feel for pitching. If the scouting reports of above average stuff with control are accurate, how can he not be a sleeper and breakthrough candidate?

http://www.minorleagueball.com/

lollipopcurve
03-13-2009, 01:58 PM
John Sickels has Sulbaran as the Reds breakout candidate:

Juan Carlos Sulbaran, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Sulbaran was drafted in the 30th round last year out of high school in Florida, but could have gone much higher were it not for a University of Florida scholarship. He signed for $500,000 and hasn't pitched yet, but the scouting reports look intriguing to me: 90-94 MPH fastball, curveball, changeup, reportedly has sharp command and a good feel for pitching. If the scouting reports of above average stuff with control are accurate, how can he not be a sleeper and breakthrough candidate?

I gotta think Sickels isn't going on "scouting reports" -- I'm guessing he saw JCS's performance against Puerto Rico.

paulrichjr
03-13-2009, 05:32 PM
Oh my. That video shows just nasty stuff. That looks like a number 1 draft choice if he were being drafted this year. Doug what do you think? Seeing what you saw in the video and how he has pitched would he be a number 1 draft pick if going this year?

The future is bright...very very bright.


Sorry to quote myself but I asked that question wrong. I meant first round draft choice not number 1 overall. I would have to assume from what I read that the Reds gave him 2nd round money so with this type of performance his stock has gone up a lot.

GIDP
03-13-2009, 05:39 PM
Who knows where he would have went because I dont think anyone was actively doing any hardcore scouting on him because there was supposedly no chance of him signing.

dougdirt
03-13-2009, 05:45 PM
Who knows where he would have went because I dont think anyone was actively doing any hardcore scouting on him because there was supposedly no chance of him signing.

I think every team in baseball saw him pitch in high school last year. I am sure they all asked him what it would take to sign him as well. He played at the same High School as Eric Hosmer who went #3 overall to the KC Royals and also Adrian Nieto who went in the 5th round to the Nationals. Scouts were at every game I would imagine, whether they were there to see Hosmer or not, they all would be fired if they didn't notice JCS and talk to him.

GIDP
03-13-2009, 06:15 PM
I didnt mean like they weren't scouting him I'm sure every team had a bunch of scouts around him. I meant it more along the lines of since everyone thought it was common knowledge he wasnt going to sign and was going to Florida there really wasnt much talk around the web about his draft status.

dougdirt
03-13-2009, 06:33 PM
I didnt mean like they weren't scouting him I'm sure every team had a bunch of scouts around him. I meant it more along the lines of since everyone thought it was common knowledge he wasnt going to sign and was going to Florida there really wasnt much talk around the web about his draft status.

Around the web, maybe. In baseball circles, they knew. The Reds wouldn't have paid him half a million to sign if other teams didn't know what he was worth.

GIDP
03-13-2009, 06:35 PM
Around the web, maybe. In baseball circles, they knew. The Reds wouldn't have paid him half a million to sign if other teams didn't know what he was worth.
Trust me I didnt meant it that way at all. I'm completely sure major league teams had a decent share of info on him, but most of the time we dont really hear much about that info.

GIDP
03-15-2009, 08:19 PM
Sulbaran was warming up in the 2nd for the Dutch tonight. He should be getting into the game soon the way VandenHurk is getting beat around.

Bring on the pitch F/x data

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 08:23 PM
Team USA has a great lineup. Sulbaran has a tough task ahead of him assuming he gets in the game.

GIDP
03-15-2009, 08:24 PM
Even more of the reason why I would love to see him pitch. If that kid can handle the USA line up hes going to have a bunch of hype surrounding him going into this year. Luckily I think he can probably handle it dealing with the pressure.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 08:35 PM
Sulbaran is now pitching.

Youkilis grounds out on a 93 mph fastball.

David Wright singles.

Dunn up.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 08:37 PM
Dunn grounds into a fielders choice. The second baseman took forever to make the throw or else it may have been a doubleplay.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 08:38 PM
Braun flies out to shallow center field. Another impressive inning by Sulbaran. His fastball was sitting at 93 mph.

GIDP
03-15-2009, 08:40 PM
Very solid inning. He pounds the lower part of the strike zone like Volquez.

membengal
03-15-2009, 08:44 PM
Just really good stuff from him, again. OBM, I don't know if you got to see him when he had the wonderful effort against P.R., but this is a continuation of that evening's work. He has really nice mound presence. As he fills out and matures, I bet he can work in the mid-90s.

He has to be moving into consideration as a potential front of the rotation starter candidate some years down the road if he is able to develop. At least as promising as Lotzker.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 08:59 PM
Now Sulbaran throws a 1-2 fastball on the outside corner to Iannetta and the ump calls it a ball. Now he walks. Should have been strike three.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 09:02 PM
He made Granderson look foolish on a 1-1 changeup and then struck him out on a fastball two pitches later. All three of his pitches look great.

GIDP
03-15-2009, 09:08 PM
The netherlands CF takes some bad routes to balls

membengal
03-15-2009, 09:12 PM
I am glad that Davey got him there, he's had a nice tourney, no sense in him getting beaten around in the last Dutch game.

I am glad to have seen him. I wonder if they will send him to Dayton this year.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 09:14 PM
Sulbaran is out after giving up two RBI triples (one should have been a single or double if Kingsale had taken a better route). Still, Sulbaran is very impressive. His fastball has great movement, his curve is very sharp, and his changeup looked great too.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 09:15 PM
I am glad to have seen him. I wonder if they will send him to Dayton this year.

He'll most likely start in Dayton.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands are SO slow at turning double plays.

GIDP
03-15-2009, 09:18 PM
Yea that hit by Rollins was just simply bad D by Kingsale. The 2nd one by Roberts was a rocket but probably should have been a double also.

93-94 fastball throws low in the zone most of the time and the curve has a quick break instead of the massive 12-6. I didnt catch the Change up speed mainly because I dont think he was throwing it that much.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2009, 09:20 PM
Just really good stuff from him, again. OBM, I don't know if you got to see him when he had the wonderful effort against P.R., but this is a continuation of that evening's work. He has really nice mound presence. As he fills out and matures, I bet he can work in the mid-90s.

He has to be moving into consideration as a potential front of the rotation starter candidate some years down the road if he is able to develop. At least as promising as Lotzker.

Unfortunately, I missed his first outing. I was able to watch the video against Pudge and I came away amazed at how great his stuff is. I thought Lotzkar had the best stuff in the Reds minor leagues (not counting Bailey) but now I think Sulbaran belongs right up there with Lotzkar.

membengal
03-15-2009, 09:57 PM
See if you can find his other inning against P.R. Well worth the viewing.

membengal
03-15-2009, 10:00 PM
The netherlands CF takes some bad routes to balls

True dat.

dougdirt
03-15-2009, 11:06 PM
Sulbaran wasn't throwing 93-94. He was throwing 88-91. That gun was juiced on TV. Pitch FX had him topping out at 91.4 MPH. His movement on his pitches is VERY good though.

OnBaseMachine
03-16-2009, 10:19 AM
Sulbaran wasn't throwing 93-94. He was throwing 88-91. That gun was juiced on TV. Pitch FX had him topping out at 91.4 MPH. His movement on his pitches is VERY good though.

Thanks for the info.

I wouldn't put too much stock into the velocity right now. It's still early in the spring and nobody is throwing at max velocity at this point. Most of the scouting reports have him in the 90-93 range with projection for more.

I'm very impressed with his arsenal. You don't see too many 19 year olds with the secondary stuff that Sulbaran has.

dougdirt
03-16-2009, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the info.

I wouldn't too much stock into the velocity right now. It's still early in the spring and nobody is throwing at max velocity at this point. Most of the scouting reports have him in the 90-93 range with projection for more. I'm very impressed with his arsenal. You don't see too many 19 year olds with the secondary stuff that Sulbaran has.

Yeah, I am a lot more interested in what he is throwing in May than in March.

OnBaseMachine
03-19-2009, 12:49 AM
Kevin Goldstein of BP made this comment:


Sulbaran has definitely turned heads and could be a real sleeper.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=8629#commentMessage

We already knew that but it's still nice to see others noticed him too.

OnBaseMachine
03-19-2009, 12:55 AM
I just found this. It's about a week old but I'll post it anyways...

Had it not been for Molina's double, surely the talk of the tournament would have continued to be the Netherlands, whose persistence may best be exemplified by young hurler Juan Carlos Sulbaran, a 19-year-old who last year was pitching at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., and has never pitched in a professional game.

To end successive innings, Sulbaran struck out Rodriguez, likely a future Hall of Famer, with men on first and third in the sixth with a slurve, and induced a bases-loaded groundout from $119 million man Beltran in the seventh with a tailing fastball.

"When you're off the field, they're the heroes, the major league players, everyone you want to look up to," Sulbaran said of Rodriguez and Beltran. "When you play against them, to me, they're no one. They're just a baseball player and you have to compete against them."

Sulbaran, a 30th-round draft pick last year who received $500,000 from the Cincinnati Reds to bypass a college career at Florida, recently pulled off a coup when he traded for Beltran in his video game league. Last year at this time, he said he was looking for a prom date. While the players he faced from Puerto Rico are mostly millionaires, Sulbaran continues to live with his mother, Carla, and his sister, Carolina, in Davie, Fla.

Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico said he did not hesitate to bring in Sulbaran in relief in the sixth with men on first and third to face Rodriguez since the young pitcher had already faced Cuba in last year's Olympics (two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings). As he entered the game, Sulbaran felt the roar of the sellout crowd. Before he threw his first pitch, he said under his breath, "The louder you get, the better I pitch."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/worldclassic2009/news/story?id=3966234

OnBaseMachine
03-19-2009, 04:20 PM
WayneTheMan2421 (Memphis, TN): Have you gotten any reports on Juan Carlos Sulbaran?

Kevin Goldstein: Easily the best sleeper in the Reds system right now, and in retrospect, should have made their Top 11.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=585

Mario-Rijo
03-20-2009, 02:31 AM
I just found this. It's about a week old but I'll post it anyways...

Had it not been for Molina's double, surely the talk of the tournament would have continued to be the Netherlands, whose persistence may best be exemplified by young hurler Juan Carlos Sulbaran, a 19-year-old who last year was pitching at American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., and has never pitched in a professional game.

To end successive innings, Sulbaran struck out Rodriguez, likely a future Hall of Famer, with men on first and third in the sixth with a slurve, and induced a bases-loaded groundout from $119 million man Beltran in the seventh with a tailing fastball.

"When you're off the field, they're the heroes, the major league players, everyone you want to look up to," Sulbaran said of Rodriguez and Beltran. "When you play against them, to me, they're no one. They're just a baseball player and you have to compete against them."

Sulbaran, a 30th-round draft pick last year who received $500,000 from the Cincinnati Reds to bypass a college career at Florida, recently pulled off a coup when he traded for Beltran in his video game league. Last year at this time, he said he was looking for a prom date. While the players he faced from Puerto Rico are mostly millionaires, Sulbaran continues to live with his mother, Carla, and his sister, Carolina, in Davie, Fla.

Netherlands manager Rod Delmonico said he did not hesitate to bring in Sulbaran in relief in the sixth with men on first and third to face Rodriguez since the young pitcher had already faced Cuba in last year's Olympics (two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings). As he entered the game, Sulbaran felt the roar of the sellout crowd. Before he threw his first pitch, he said under his breath, "The louder you get, the better I pitch."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/worldclassic2009/news/story?id=3966234

Oooh-wee this kid has a little bit of fire in his belly, on top of the talent. Sweet! :thumbup: