Vizcaino Already Making An Impact

Vizcaino struck out seven in third straight game

One of the top International pitching prospects, Arodys Vizcaino started out the 2009 season as the Staten Island Yankees' ace. His major league fastball got his name in the headlines, but his maturing curveball and evolving changeup has Penn League hitters taking notice.

Arodys Vizcaino entered 2009 Spring Training as a highly touted International fireballer. In the past year he had made immense progress in his time with the GCL Yankees and went 3-2 with a 3.68 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 48 innings. His second Spring Training would be another step in the learning process.

"I felt good, I'm happy with my second Spring Training and the work I accomplished there," he said through a translator. "But this year I knew what to expect so I was comfortable."

This Spring was mostly focused on continuing the work on the eighteen year-old prospect's changeup, a pitch that he couldn't always rely on last year.

"It was all about my changeup," he said when talking about the Spring session. "It's the pitch I need to work on from last year."

"Last year in the GCL he was a bit tentative about throwing it and would resort to the curveball," said Staten Island Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka. "But now he has three good pitches he can throw and locate pretty well."

The Dominican native also has that devastating curveball that the team had altered from a slurve. It's a pitch Vizcaino feels he can go to in any count.

"Least year was really different, I didn't have that pitch to rely on and now it's much better. I can throw my curveball and my grip has changed on it and now I've worked on it, I feel I can throw it at any time."

Entering Tuesday's start with the Staten Island Yanks, Vizcaino had made two starts and was 0-2, but don't let the record fool you, he carried a 1.08 ERA while striking out 14 and walking only three.

"I've felt good these last two outings," he said prior to Tuesday's start, "but there were a couple errors, a couple plays that I didn't make. It happened twice but I've forgotten about it and I'm excited for the next one."

"I think he did really well in those two starts," added Higashioka. "There were a couple timely hits and some errors and we couldn't give him the run support he needed."

Vizcaino has very straightforward goals for the 2009 season and wants to focus solely on the changeup, staying healthy and getting the Yankees a winning season.

"I want to stay healthy and keep working on that changeup, it's the pitch I need to work on the most. But overall I want to help this team win games."

"He just needs to keep going along as he is," Higashioka went on to say. "Because he has gotten better even in the brief time he has been here. The thing that could take him to the next level would be learning the command and being a little more precise."

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