Jaime Esquivel is one of many raw but intriguing arms in Baltimore’s minor league system. He was a 28th round selection back in 2010, but signed for an above-slot bonus of $225,000. Joe Jordan compared him to Matt Garza at the time of the draft.
In 2012, Esquivel struck out 29 batters in 25 innings for the IronBirds and made his last appearance of the season with the Frederick Keys, where he pitched 2 scoreless innings. He missed some time during the middle of the season due to an unknown injury.
His fastball does not quite have the movement you’d like to see, due to his over the top delivery, but his deception helps it play up. He still has room to add velocity, too.
Esquivel’s out pitch is his curveball, which he commands very well. It’s an above-average offering and he frequently gets batters to chase it in the dirt. His changeup is above-average at times, but is still developing. It works best when thrown in the 80-82 mph range.
Although Esquivel has just 30 New York-Penn League innings under his belt, he should be able to handle the jump from Aberdeen to Delmarva next season. It’s unclear if he’ll pitch out of the bullpen or the rotation, but due to his injury in 2012 it would make sense if he’s a reliever for the first part of the season.
Esquivel, just 20, is a potential starter at the major league level.