Long levers, lean frame; deliberate, controlled movements; athletic, still growing into his body; graceful, shows physicality to maintain posture and balance, inconsistent at present, minor spine tilt; deep arm action, long swing to high-three-quarters slot, plus arm speed; open at foot strike, landing can get short and bumpy, generally clean, easy deceleration; 1.37-1.46 fastballs, varies times, doesn't show a great move, can pick his pocket on first move.
Extremely easy velocity, ball jumps out of his hand; four-seamer holds plane, life in and above zone, can play above barrels; plane, creates plane to attack lower-third, generates swing-and-miss in and out of zone; command projection to play to velocity at maturity, true plus-plus potential in a starting role
Inconsistent shape, rounder version bites with curveball depth, will snap off harder, two-plane variant with plus tilt and finish; immature feel for snapping off pitch, commanding at present, flashes plus movement with utility into and out of zone; swing-and-miss pitch with groundball tendencies, plus projection
Hard, straight change, will get on the side of it and cut it; vertical action, average tumble, mild fade; arm speed inconsistent at present, pitch gets firm and straight, can bleed into slider when he doesn't turn it over; keeps it out of danger zones, shows some feels, flashes plus with arm speed consistency, athleticism and nascent feel suggest ample projection
Signed for $16 million (and a matching penalty) out of Cuba, Alvarez has the raw goods of a frontline pitching prospect. His body has matured beyond his ability to harness it consistently at present, but the physicality and athleticism are there in spades, and there are enough flashes throughout a given start to project liberally for gains in command and consistency. His fluidity and easy delivery suggest solid-average command potential down the road, and if the changeup takes enough of a step forward he can develop into a true No. 2 starter. Ever without developing ceiling changeup and command, there's enough here to profile comfortably in the middle of a rotation as a durable, high-strikeout performer.