The Yankees made a small move yesterday when they signed 20-year-old Dominican pitcher Juan Carlos Paniagua for $1.1 million, according to Dionisio Soldevila.
I’ve never heard of him up until now, but here is what Ben Badler of Baseball America had to say about him:
Paniagua, who had previously been suspended by Major League Baseball for one year due to age and identity fraud, is 6-foot-1, 170 pounds with excellent arm speed and a power fastball that sits around 93-95 mph and touches 98. Some scouts said Paniagua has shown feel for a curveball and a changeup that could become above-average offerings in the future, though other scouts weren’t quite as sold on his secondary pitches.
A guy who is with a fastball that touches 98 mph is pretty impressive, but if he’s starting out at 20-years-old that’s a pretty big question mark. He’s a little too old for the lower levels, but probably not polished enough for the higher ones. Because of that he’ll have a small window of which he needs to prove himself or risk being left behind.
Still, anytime the Yankees add a guy who throws that hard is a good thing.