- Edinson Volquez (e-DEEN-son VOL-kays) was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free-agent in 2001. He was born in Santo Domingo, which is called home by a number of Major Leaguers, including Jose Acevedo, Adrian Beltre, Fausto Carmona, Enrique Cruz, Juan Guzman, D'Angelo Jimenez, David Ortiz, Albert Pujols, and Manny Ramirez. Must be something in the water...
- Volquez was the "V" in the vaunted "DVD" trio of pitching prospects the Rangers boasted, with Thomas Diamond and John Danks. Danks was traded to the White Sox and had a nice season last year, while Diamond struggled in AA for the Rangers. They kept the wrong one.
- Volquez tore up the minors, rising from high A Bakersfield to the Majors in '05 as a 21-year-old. He didn't do well in his first stint in the Majors, putting up an ERA over 14 in 12+ innings.
- After that cup o' coffee, he spent most of '06 in AAA, getting another cup at the end of the season. He fared much better this time though, cutting his ERA nearly in half. On September 2nd, Volquez became a cute little baseball footnote, as Kevin Kouzmanoff took the first Major League pitch he ever saw from Volquez and deposited it in the bleachers for a grand slam.
- After such dismal production in his limited Major League experience, the Rangers were at a crossroads. Some of the luster had worn off their once highly-touted prospect and they decided on drastic measures to rebuild him. He was bussed all the way back down to high A Bakersfield, where he was put on a strict regimen to fix his fundamentals. Pitching coach Mark Connor had succeed with this before, turning Roy Halladay into a Cy Young winner.
- Volquez took his demotion with humility and methodically rebuilt his reputation in the Rangers system. He moved through three levels once again, and had a 3rd cup of coffee in the Majors. He fared much better this time, posting a respectable 4.50 ERA in 34 innings. He was named the Rangers Minor League Player of the Year for his efforts.
- On December 21st, 2007, Volquez was traded along with Danny Ray Herrera to the Reds for Red Reporter favorite, Josh Hamilton. Reactions here were mixed, as many were not keen to see Hamilton go. But many were still able to appreciate the level of player Volquez was and deem the trade a solid move.
- Volquez came into camp for the Reds in '08 fighting for a rotation spot, and after much deliberation it was confirmed that he indeed had minor league options remaining. He eventually won the 5th starter gig after an impressive spring.
- He made his Reds debut on April 6th against the Phillies, pitching 5.1 innings while allowing one run and striking out eight. boobs was excited.
- This was just the beginning, as Volquez simply dominated the National League in the first half of the season. By the All-Star Break, he had a 12-3 record with a 2.29 ERA and 126 strikeouts.
- His biggest game of the half was May 18th against the Indians. He faced off against Cliff Lee, who's 0.67 ERA led the American League. Volquez led the National League at the time with an ERA of 1.12. It was the third time in baseball history that the league ERA leaders faced off. Volquez got the win as the Reds hitters got to Lee for 5 earned runs. Volquez pitched admirably giving up only 2 runs in 6 innings.
- He was chosen as the lone representative for the Reds in the All-Star game, where he gave up a home run to JD Drew.
- Volquez tailed off a tad to end the season, but he still finished with a 17-6 record, a 3.21 ERA, and 206 Ks. He was honored with the Johnny Vander Meer Award as the Reds best pitcher, and he also received three 2nd place votes in the Rookie of the Year balloting, which is funny because Volquez was not a rookie. And 2nd place is a slap in the face.
- Volquez has been selected to represent his native Domincan Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He will be joined on the team by fellow Reds Johnny Cueto and Willy Taveras.
Drafted/Signed: Signed by the Rangers as an international free agent in 2001
Traded: December 21st, 2007 with Danny Ray Herrera for Josh Hamilton
GM when aquired by Reds: Wayne Krivsky
MLB service time (as of opening day, 2009): 1.12 years
Current Contract Status: Pre-arbitration, one-year deal renewed on 3/3/09 for 440K
Information courtesy of Josh Kalk's player cards at baseball.bornbybits.com.
Volquez throws three pitches, though he almost exclusively throws his fastball and his change-up. With the fastball averaging 94.5 MPH (topping out around 100) and the change-up averaging 83 MPH, it is no secret as to how he racks up the Ks. He throws the fastball 56% of the time and throws the change-up 32% of the time, tossing in a curveball almost 12% of the time. He really only throws the curveball early or ahead in the count, and relies heavily on the fastball when behind in the count (he threw 42 pitches when behind 3-0 in the count, every one of them a fastball). He doesn't vary his approach when facing righies or lefties, as the nasty movement on both the fastball and the change prove challenging regardless of batter handedness. He is the epitome of the two-pitch pitcher, but that isn't by any means a bad thing when your two pitches are this good.
RR Projected Wins Above Replacement: 3.05
This hot zone graph is modified for pitchers. The notes are at the bottom, but the easy way to read it is that darker areas are areas that the pitcher pitches too most often. And the cooler the color is, the better the hit type (from the pitcher's perspective). So, blue is best because those are areas of low contact. Green is next best because those are batted ball types that tend to be good for the pitcher (ground balls, pop flies). Red is the worst because those types of hits tend to hurt the pitcher the most. Slugging percentage is still listed as well to give you a better idea of the overall results from that zone.