Medium, stocky build; lots of strength; upbeat delivery; loose arm; arm speed is plus-plus; low 3/4 slot; creates good life on his fastball; can under-rotate hips and land closed which causes him to miss arm-side; 1.31 from the stretch.
Lake Elsinore Storm (High A, Padres)
50; 7th-inning reliever
Plus pitch; easy chedder; good 2-seam life; cut it on occasion; slot gives it nice bore into right handed-hitter; command was below avg; often left the pitch middle-middle and relied on stuff/movement to get by (and it worked most of the time); missed arm-side as well; command needs to improve to become a plus-plus offering; can get too fastball happy; velocity will jump if/when he's moved to the bullpen.
Power curve; has some tight spin and a little depth; shorter break; dives underneath bats; command was erratic; thrown sparingly in favor of his fastball; major-league plus pitch with more work/feel.
Turned it over well; has late dive; resembles fastball movement; solid arm-speed gives the pitch deception; looked comfortable with it; command also suspect, but was still effective when thrown because of the high percentage of fastballs thrown.
De Paula was solid in his first outing with Lake Elsinore after the trade, with a hard fastball and two workable pitches that he mixed in sparingly. The command profile is tough to ignore, however, and with his up-tempo delivery and raw arm strength, I see him more in a reliever role than a starter. He's fallen on some tough times, with four consecutive starts (Aug 1st-17th) with at least four earned runs in no more than six innings pitched per start. I think he could move fast if moved to the bullpen, which could happen next season. He could start in Double-A and find his way to the big club by the summer months, with the fastball velocity playing up for an inning at a time. He could be electric in one outing and frustrating the next, all the while striking out more than a batter an inning. It's a 8th-inning, maybe even closer arm if it all clicks; there's still a lot to like here.