Last week, I brought back Random Prospect Sunday with Phil Gosselin. This week, we go to the mound with a young righthander from the Dominican Republic who could become the Braves’ next big international star. Or not. That’s the nature of prospects after all.
Andry Ubiera was born on May 22, 1993 out of San Pedro de Macoris. In Flushing that day, Dwight Gooden out-pitched John Smoltz as the Mets took down the Braves 6-1 with David Justice providing the only notable offense with his tenth homer of the season. Gooden homered off Smoltz and drove in three. Ugh.
Ubiera would sign ahead of the 2011 season, joining the Dominican Summer League squad that finish 34-35. He finished fifth on the team in innings with 50.2 while striking out a team-high 52. While teammate Mauricio Cabrera is the more well-known prospect, Ubiera was quickly a prospect to keep an eye on.
With experience under his belt, Ubiera made his state-side debut the following year, joining the GCL Braves for the 2012 campaign. He led the team in innings with 49, though his WHIP spiked to 1.45 largely because of a 9.9 H/9. The righthander also finished second on the team in strikeouts with 48.
In 2013, Ubiera briefly made his full-season debut, going 3.1 ING with 4 walks and 2 K’s in a spot start for Rome, but spent the majority of the season with Danville. Again, he was far too hittable, though he struck out 51 in 53 innings. He would start this season with Rome, but after four rough starts that saw him give up 21 runs in 19 innings, Ubiera headed to Danville at the beginning of May to await their season.
From a scout’s point-of-view, there is a lot to like about Ubiera. His velocity sticks in the 92-93 mph range with the ability to reach 95. He’s developed a good looking curveball and that could make Ubiera a potential reliever out of the pen. If he can work a plus change-up into his repertoire, there is a chance he could play as a starter in the major leagues. But he’s struggling with his control and consistency and too often seems to fall apart.
He turned 21 last Thursday so he has a lot of time to take his potential and turn it into results, but the minor league graveyard is full of high potential, low results guys. Still, if it begins to click, Ubiera has the profile to become a big prospect.