Lost and Found: Tigers(-turned-Cubs) Prospect Marcelo Carreno

Editor’s note: Lost and Found is an offseason series in which one underrated prospect from each of the 30 MLB clubs will be discussed in a short, snappy post. This edition features a prospect who was traded on Tuesday.

Lost: Josue Marcelo Carreno (you will more often see him referred to as Marcelo Carreno) signed out of his native Venezuela at 16. He registered sub-3.00 ERAs in Venezuelan Summer League play in 2008 and 2009 before recording 4.00-plus ERAs his first two seasons stateside.

2010: 4.76 ERA and a 59-to-33 K-to-BB ratio in 64 1/3 IP spanning 14 GS at Class A Short-Season Connecticut

2011: 4.55 ERA and a 115-to-41 K-to-BB ratio in 124 2/3 IP spanning 24 G at Class A West Michigan

Found: Carreno, who sports a fastball-curveball-changeup mix, returned to the same level and accomplished two things: He walked 13 fewer batters in 14 2/3 more innings. While that may not sound like a lot, it is for a hurler like him who must pitch to contact to get outs.

2012: 3.23 ERA and a 119-to-28 K-to-BB ratio in 139 1/3 IP spanning 27 GS at Class A West Michigan

So Carreno was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Tigers’ Cubs’ returns: Word on the street is that Carreno tops out as a No. 3 starter and bottoms out as a middle reliever. Either way, Chicago is getting a future Major League pitcher. Given that we’re talking about a 21-year-old who has yet to pitch at the Class A Advanced level, however, I would stretch the space between his ceiling and his floor a bit more. Look for the righty to begin 2013 at Daytona, in the Florida State League.

Marcelo Carreno, with Class A West Michigan (Emily Jones/MiLB.com).

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