Born: March 2, 1998
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 245
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2016, Cardinals
How Acquired: Trade (from Cardinals)
Country: Cuba
Agent: CAA Sports

St. Louis signed Oviedo out of Cuba for a big bonus.  At 6’6″ and with velocity that reached the mid-90s, he was thought to have front-of-the-rotation potential.  He started running into trouble soon after, though, due to erratic and shaky mechanics that undermine his command.  He never got acclimated to the upper minors, but when the Cards called him up two months into the 2022 season, he moved to the bullpen and started pitching much more effectively.  Oviedo throws a fastball that averages over 95 mph, and he throws his slider about as much as he does the fastball.  He occasionally throws a curve and change.  In the majors, he’s had a significant reverse platoon split.  The Pirates acquired Oviedo and Malcolm Nunez from St. Louis for Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton.

DSL:  0-1-0, 1.66 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 21.2 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 12.0 K/9

In his debut in the DSL, Oviedo dominated in seven starts.  After the season, Baseball America ranked him 30th among the Cards’ prospects.

R+:  2-1-0, 4.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 5.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9
A-:  2-2-0, 4.56 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

The Cards sent Oviedo initially to the Appalachian League, then after six starts moved him up to the New York-Penn League.  He wasn’t very effective, struggling with control at the lower level and getting hit hard at the higher level.  BA ranked him 23rd in the system.

A:  10-10-0, 4.22 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 121.2 IP, 5.8 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

Oviedo pitched out of the rotation in low A.  He continued to put up mediocre results, with control still a problem.  BA nevertheless moved him up to 20th in the system.

A+:  5-0-0, 1.60 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 33.2 IP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.4 K/9
AA:  7-8-0, 5.65 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 113.0 IP, 5.1 BB/9, 10.2 K/9

In high A, Oviedo had a much better time over five starts, then moved up to AA.  He had a lot more trouble there, with renewed control issues.  BA ranked him 12th among Cards’ prospects.

MLB:  0-3-0, 5.47 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 3.6 BB/9, 5.8 K/9

In the pandemic year, St. Louis brought Oviedo to their alternate site.  They had to call him up when the team had a COVID outbreak, and he mostly struggled over five starts.  BA ranked him tenth in the system afterward.

AAA:  1-6-0, 6.13 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 54.1 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 9.8 K/9
AAA:  0-5-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 62.1 IP, 5.3 BB/9, 7.4 K/9

Oviedo spent the season shifting back and forth between AAA and the majors, making 11 starts in the minors and 13 with the Cards.  He struggled at both spots, although he did a little better in the majors.

AAA (StL):  4-2-0, 5.58 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 50.0 IP, 4.1 BB/9, 9.2 K/9
AAA:  0-0-0, 0.79 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
MLB (StL):  2-1-0, 3.20 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 25.1 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.2 K/9
MLB:  2-2-0, 3.23 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 4.7 BB/9, 8.2 K/9

Oviedo pitched as a starter in AAA until the end of May.  Then the Cards called him up and, after starting his first game, he pitched strictly in relief.  Oviedo struggled badly with gopher balls in AAA, giving up 14 in just 50 IP.  He was much more effective as a reliever in the majors.  After the trade, though, the Pirates sent Oviedo to Indianapolis to get stretched out as a starter.  He made it to Pittsburgh in time to start seven games.  He had some very good starts, some passable ones, and one very bad one in which he allowed five walks and four runs in an inning and two-thirds.  His control faltered at times, but the only major problem was the one start.  He had another in which he threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.  In the seven starts altogether he held opponents to a line of 198/306/241.  He gave up only one longball with the Pirates.

The Pirates’ acquisition of Oviedo and Nunez, who’s also from Cuba, is something new for them, as their unwillingness to spend money has shut them out of the Cuban market.  Players whose bonuses had already been paid by another team suited their tastes better.  Oviedo had an encouraging debut with the Pirates and should be a leading candidate for the 2023 rotation.

2023: Major League Minimum
Signing Bonus: $1,900,000
MiLB Debut: 2016
MLB Debut: 8/19/2020
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2028
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 8/19/2020
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2021, 2022)
MLB Service Time: 1.076
July 3, 2016: Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an international free agent.
August 19, 2020: Contract purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals.
August 1, 2022: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals with Malcolm Nunez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jose Quintana and Chris Stratton.