The Cincinnati Reds have signed minor league free agent Victor Payano to a minor league deal. The left handed reliever originally signed with the Texas Rangers in 2010. He remained in the Rangers organization until he initially reached free agency after 2016. That’s when he signed with the Marlins organization.

In 2017 he split his time in Double-A and Triple-A, though most came with New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League. You know, because New Orleans is on the Pacific Coast and not the Gulf of Mexico. But I digress. Until the 2017 season, Victor Payano had been a starting pitcher. Last season the Miami brass decided to give him a look as a reliever and he found plenty of success. Between his two stops he posted a 3.44 ERA in 65.1 innings with 80 strikeouts. He did struggle with his control, though, walking 42 batters (two intentionally).

Control has been a long-term issue for Victor Payano. Since 2011 he’s walked at least 5.0 batters per 9-innings pitched every season except one. Last year that number was 5.8. It’s a rate that is entirely too high and realistically needs to be cut by at least 2.0 batters per 9-innings to even be considered a high walk rate.

With that said, there are some interesting things to note about Victor Payano. The left hander dominated left handed hitters in 2017. He faced 90 of them throughout the season. They hit .197 against him with just one extra-base hit, a double. He did walk 13 of them, a rate that is far too high, but he also struck out 28 in that span – an elite rate. The lefty has been a pretty big fly ball pitcher in his career and had a ground ball rate of just 36% in 2017. His fastball can reach into the mid-to-upper 90’s.

The recently turned 25-year-old has a live arm from the left side. He’s also still relatively new to the bullpen role. With that said, he will need to drastically improve his ability to throw strikes if he’s going to be more than a minor league reliever in the long run.


5 Responses

  1. reaganspad

    Just like Atlanta and Cincy were NL west

    So weird to see the Houstons in the AL

    • Colorado Red

      Along with St Louis and Chicago in the East.
      Yes, I remember them well.

  2. MK

    What a difference a year makes. At this time last year Wandy Peralta was looked at as a huge question mark, with most feeling he would not be capable of being even adequate at AAA. Hopefully Wandy can help bring Payano along in his image.

  3. CP

    Good low risk, high ceiling shot to take. Being a lefty to boot is great. Hopefully these multiple LHP signings is revealing of the upper management’s mindset to give Reed and Garrett every opportunity to keep starting next year.