JESUS LIRANZO, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: March 7, 1995
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed:  International free agent, 2012 (Braves)
How Acquired: Waiver claim (from Dodgers)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A

WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE

Liranzo is a live-armed pitcher with poor control who became eligible for the Rule 5 draft despite having little experience on the mound.  The Braves originally signed him, not once but twice, only to release him just weeks later each time, possibly due to health issues.  After the Orioles signed him, he had elbow surgery and missed a year.  By the end of the 2016 season, he was Rule 5 eligible despite having thrown just 105 pro innings.  Liranzo’s fastball has good movement, sits in the mid-90s and has topped 100 mph.  He also throws a slider and splitter.  He’s had significant issues with his delivery that have led to persistent control problems, although it’s not entirely surprising that his mechanics would be weak considering how little he’s pitched.  He reached AA after throwing fewer than 90 innings at lower levels.

2012
DSL:  0-0-0, 9.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 1.0 IP, 18.0 BB/9, 18.0 K/9

Liranzo threw just one inning for the Braves after signing.  They released him just a month and a half after signing him, then re-signed him the following spring.

2013
DSL (Atl):  0-0-0, 11.57 ERA, 3.86 WHIP, 2.1 IP, 23.1 BB/9, 15.4 K/9
DSL (Balt):  0-1-0, 8.71 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5.2 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

Liranzo again threw just very briefly for Atlanta and was released early in the DSL season.  The Orioles signed him and he pitched a little for them, then in the fall had a screw inserted into his elbow to repair a fracture.

2014
INJURED

Liranzo missed the entire season following the procedure on his elbow.

2015
DSL:  3-2-0, 2.35 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 38.1 IP, 4.5 BB/9, 10.8 K/9

Returning to action, Liranzo managed a full season out of the bullpen in the DSL and pitched well, with a good K rate and some control problems.

2016
A:  0-0-0, 1.05 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 34.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 12.1 K/9
AA:  1-1-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 5.8 BB/9, 9.6 K/9

The Orioles sent Liranzo to low A in late May and he was unhittable there.  Probably to evaluate him for purposes of the Rule 5 draft, they jumped him up to AA after 16 games.  Opponents hit just .127 against him there, but he also had control problems.  Baltimore was impressed enough to add him to the 40-man roster after the season.  Baseball America rated him the 13th best prospect in a weak system.

2017
AA:  3-4-2, 4.85 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 65.0 IP, 6.0 BB/9, 10.4 K/9

Liranzo spent the season in AA, making 19 relief appearances and a dozen starts, pitching three innings at a time.  He continued to strike out a lot of hitters, but walks were a big problem and so were gopher balls, as he allowed a dozen.  He actually pitched better as a starter, allowing opponents a .731 OPS, compared to .825 in relief.  BA rated him the Orioles’ 19th best prospect after the season.  Baltimore designated Liranzo for assignment at the start of the 2018 season, then traded him to the Dodgers.  Los Angeles immediately tried to get him through waivers, but the Pirates claimed him.

2018
AA:  0-0-4, 0.00 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 13.5 K/9
AAA:  2-3-3, 5.00 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 45.0 IP, 6.2 BB/9, 9.4 K/9

The Pirates assigned Liranzo to Altoona, where he dominated through nine games.  The team moved him up to Indianapolis and the control problems resurfaced, or more likely the hitters were more selective.  He remained hard to hit, with opponents batting just .195 against him in AAA, although some of that was a very low batting average on balls in play of .220.  He had some gopher ball problems, allowing seven, or one every six and a half innings.  The Pirates did not call Liranzo up in September.

2019
AA:  2-1-1, 1.61 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 28.0 IP, 4.2 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
AAA:  0-3-1, 8.13 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 31.0 IP, 6.1 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

Liranzo opened the season at Indianapolis.  He struggled there and, at the end of May, the Pirates designated him for assignment and sent him to Altoona.  After one game there, they moved him back up to Indianapolis but returned him to Altoona after five more games.  He stayed there until the last game of the season.  Liranzo struggled to throw strikes in AAA and got hammered when he got the ball over, giving up a home run every four and a half innings.  In AA, his control issues weren’t as bad, but he didn’t miss many bats.  Opponents still batted .146 against him and he didn’t allow any home runs.

The Pirates didn’t call Liranzo up in September, so it’s unlikely they’ll add him back to the 40-man roster.  He’s eligible for free agency.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2019: Minor league salary
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2012
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: 2025
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/18/16
Options Remaining: 0 (USED:  2017, 2018, 2019)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
TRANSACTIONS
May 4, 2012: Signed as an international free agent by the Atlanta Braves.
June 25, 2012: Released by the Atlanta Braves.
March 22, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Atlanta Braves.
June 14, 2013: Released by the Atlanta Braves.
July 10, 2013: Signed as a minor league free agent by the Baltimore Orioles.
November 18, 2016: Contract purchased by the Baltimore Orioles.
March 29, 2018: Designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles.
April 2, 2018: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Luis Ysla.
April 4, 2018: Designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
April 5, 2018: Claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
May 27, 2019: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates; outrighted to AAA on June 5.
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