HT: 6-2 WT: 175 POS: P
Bowie Baysox - (36 G, 16 GS, 124 ip, 4.43 ERA, 101 K, 43 BB, 22 HR, 1.37 GO/AO)
Fredy Deza is one of the latest products of the Orioles' Dominican Academy. Deza has been in the organization since 2001 and has made a deliberate climb to double-A Bowie. He's been used as both a reliever and a starter in the minor leagues and was added to the O's 40-man roster this off-season.
Paco Figueroa once name Deza as the teammate he would least like to face, explaining "He's got, I think, the nastiest stuff in the league. He's got a fastball that runs in on your hands at 93, 94 and then he comes with the slider."
Deza's fastball sits more in the low-90's when he has to start, but he gets good boring action on it and sports a nice groundball ratio. His changeup has been his focus of late, particularly with him starting at times. Deza has made some progress with it but it still profiles as his third pitch.
Deza's role as a starter, at times, is more a reflection that the Orioles want him to get more innings and work on his changeup. He profiles more as a reliever at the highest level. He has solid command, but occasionally grooves a fastball and can become predictable. His inclusion on the 40-man roster is indicative of the fact that there was a very real chance he would be taken in the Rule 5 Draft. He'll head to triple-A Norfolk in 2008 and could be a reliable middle relief option by September.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com