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Red Report 2016 — Raisel Iglesias

Murder 'em, Raisel

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Fast Facts

Iglesias was born January 4, 1990 in Isla de Juventud, Cuba. It's an island best known for its non-metaphorical prison. Iglesias got out of Cuba at age 23, establishing citizenship in Haiti and was signed two months after his defection by your one and only Cincinnati Reds.

When Iglesias was signed there was confusion about a) how to spell his name b) what his future held. Many saw the slender dude as a reliever only. But so far Cincinnati's been keeping him as a starter, getting him to pack on the pounds and recently some tattoos.

Iggy is listed at 6'2" 185 lbs. and I'd be damned if either is true.

Organizational Information

Signed by the Cincinnati Reds as an amateur free agent in 2014. (All Transactions)
Debut: April 12, 2015 (Age 25.098, 18,426th in MLB history) vs. STL 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 SO, 2 BB, 3 ER
Rookie Status: Exceeded rookie limits during 2015 season [*]
Team: Reds 2015
2016 Contract Status: Signed thru 2020, 7 yrs/$27M (14-20) (details) [*]
Service Time (01/2016): 0.154, Arb Eligible: 2021, Free Agent: 2022 [*],

Career Stats

You mean...last year? He went 3-7 with a 4.15 ERA over 95.1 innings. 7.6 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 2.6 BB/9 and 9.8 K/9 for a 3.55 fIP.

Scouting Report

With barely a 100 professional innings, Iglesias is still putting things together and tinkering. So while it's easy enough to say "fastball, sinker, slider, change" that doesn't really get to it in any meaningful way. He was mediocre for his spring stint as a Red, then pulled off a 6-start, 40-inning, 45-strikeout path of destruction in August during which batters hit.148/.218/.274 against him.

Watching Raisel, one notices immediately that his release points are all over the place. He's still probably a bit too young to be pure El Duque/Arroyo-y flinging it from the hip — those dudes were workhorses when they were doing such a thing, and Iglesias still has to bulk up. But scouts love his dip-drive motion and his 95-mph fastball. You know who doesn't? Matt Holliday.

2016 Projections


That's a lot of WAR! Everyone seems to love him, even if they think his inning count will be low. I'll be danged if Raisel gets more than 25 starts this year, but if he gets that sort of K/BB ratio I won't care much.


Igloo, Raise Hell Eagle, Iggy, Aroldito, Murder Me Raisel


As much as the baseball cognoscenti were skeptical of Igelsias this time last year, they're thrilled with him today. Iglesias is still strengthening his arm and has yet to make his Spring Training debut, but he may have more eyes on him than any other pitcher the Reds have.

His mixture of a great feel for pitching and actually being a great pitcher is rare. There's still plenty of time for his arm to blow off or any number of heinous acts. That's always a risk. But the sorts of people who spend their whole lives watching pitchers think the Reds may have a great one. Let's hope to God they're right.