Luis Madero could be waiver wire prospect steal for Giants

SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
SF Giants hat. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants continue to churn through the back-end of their 40-man roster and the latest addition is a promising young right-hander named Luis Madero.

Bargain hunting has been a focal point for the San Francisco Giants since Farhan Zaidi assumed control of the front office.

That has meant a lot of turnover at the back of the 40-man roster in the form of waiver claims, and the team has been busy churning through talent again this offseason.

The latest addition is an intriguing young right-hander from the Los Angeles Angels:

So who is Luis Madero?

The 22-year-old right-hander was originally signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Venezuela in 2013. He was then traded to the Angels at the 2017 deadline in exchange for reliever David Hernandez.

The 2018 season was a breakout year for the 6’3″, 185-pounder as he posted a 3.49 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 95 strikeouts in 105.2 innings between Single-A and High-A.

That was enough for him to begin the 2019 season as the No. 19 prospect in the Angels system, according to Baseball America.

“He’s been an unbelievable student, and he worked his butt off in the weight room,” Angels minor league pitching coordinator Matt Wise told Mike DiGiovanna of Baseball America when he was added to the 40-man roster prior to the 2019 season. “He’s a good competitor. He gets after it. He wants the ball.”

However, he struggled making the jump to the upper levels of the minors last year.

In 105.2 innings between High-A and Double-A, he posted a 5.03 ERA and 1.54 WHIP as his hits allowed spiked from 9.4 to 11.2 H/9.

Still, there is plenty of upside given his age and plus stuff.

Here’s the full scouting report from FanGraphs:

"In possession of one of the looser, more aqueous deliveries in the minors, Madero experienced a velocity spike in 2018 and ended up on the Angels 40-man in November. Instead of 87-92, Madero’s fastball resided in the 90-94 range throughout 2018, and he retained his trademark advanced command of four pitches. The best of those pitches is his curveball, which flashes big depth and snap, and which he sometimes decelerates his arm to baby into the strike zone, something big league hitters will pick up on. Further changeup develop will be important for Madero as his low arm slot enables lefty hitters to see the ball out of his hand quite early. A better change will help keep them honest against his heater. Still lithe and skinny for his age, there’s a chance Madero grows into some velo as he continues to fill out. He profiles as a fifth starter and may be up at some point this year, though the Angels’ many veteran pitching additions make it less likely."

There’s a lot to like there and he appears to be well worth a roll of the dice as a waiver claim.

As a member of the 40-man roster, he will be in big league camp this spring, so the coaching staff will have a chance to get a long look at him.

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That’s provided he survives the rest of the offseason given how quickly the Giants have churned through waiver claims over the past calendar year.