FRANCIS DEL ORBE, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: October 9, 1998
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2016, Pittsburgh Pirates
How Acquired: International Free Agent
Country: Dominican Republic
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
Del Orbe signed at age 17. He didn’t get a large bonus, but he has good size and probably some projectability. He doesn’t throw hard currently, topping out in the upper-80s generally, but he has a good slider.
Del Orbe pitched in relief in his debut season, sometimes as closer. He wasn’t as effective as the ERA suggests; for one thing, 11 of the 19 runs he allowed were unearned. He did, however, have a very good K rate.
The Pirates invited Del Orbe to the fall instructional league in 2017 then assigned him to West Virginia. They often move international signees who are older than the norm quickly up to Bristol or West Virginia, but those players are often 20 or older by the time they reach those levels. Del Orbe spent the 2018 season at age 19. He pitched mainly out of the bullpen. He did, however, make three late-season spot starts as two of the college pitchers the Pirates drafted were shut down early. Del Orbe put up solid numbers across the board and improved as the season went along. His monthly ERAs, starting in June, were 5.23, 3.86 and 2.57. He had only a modest platoon split.
The Pirates sent Del Orbe back to West Virginia and he had pretty much the same season as the year before, apart from an increase in his K rate. He had a modest reverse platoon split.
Del Orbe seems to have stagnated a little and may need his stuff to improve to get much farther.