#5 Luis Alvarado – RHP 17th Round Pick (2018) from University of Nebraska.
Luis Alvarado has taken a long road to get into Major League Baseball for the Salinas, Puerto Rico native. In 2014 Alvarado he was drafted as an outfielder in the 33rd round by the Boston Red Sox, but he decided to accept a college scholarship to the University of Nebraska. Where he played for former Angel Darin Erstad for four seasons.
Once at Nebraska Alvarado had a good freshmen year hitting .303 with a .370 OBP. In 2017 Alvarado started pitching and had a pretty good year as the closer pitching 15.2 IP striking out 15 batters with 10 saves. He was drafted again after his junior year this time in the 13th round by the Seattle Mariners as a pitcher, but again Alvarado decided to stay in school for his senior year.
In his senior year Alvarado became a starter for Nebraska and went 3-7 with a 4.89 ERA in 14 starts. He struck out 65 in 70.1 innings of work. This time the Angels drafted him in the 17th round of the 2018 draft. Alvarado signed with the Angels and was sent to Rookie Ball in Orem where his numbers were pedestrian going 0-2 with a 5.73 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 22 innings.
That brings us to 2019 where Alvarado started the season at Low Single-A Burlington. Alvarado has pitched both as a starter and out of the bullpen for the Bees. The Bees use a piggyback strategy at times meaning they will have two pitchers scheduled to work four to five innings each with one starting and the other finishing the game.
So far Alvarado has flourished with this strategy only going more than five innings twice. He has a 3-3 record with a 2.08 ERA with a save. He has pitched 43.1 innings and has struck out 52 walking only 18 hitters with a 1.06 WHIP. What’s even more impressive is Alvarado’s opponents batting average of .186.
Just like many of the Angel prospects he possesses a low-to-mid 90’s fastball with a curve ball, change-up, and slider. His versatility to start or finish games make him a very interesting prospect for the Angels. He should be getting a call up to Inland Empire soon and we will see how he does there.