Adys Portillo is no pop-up guy. The Padres gave the Venezuelan righthander $2 million when he was 16 back in 2008, a year that's produced a disturbing number of expensive flops.
Now 20, Portillo has filled out (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) and his fastball has gone from touching 93 mph to sitting in the mid-90s and flashing triple-digits, but until this year he hasn't shown much in the way of, well, getting hitters out.
That's changing this year. Coming off one of the best starts of his career in his previous start in which he threw seven scoreless innings, Portillo returned today to throw seven more scoreless innings for low Class A Fort Wayne, allowing only one hit and two walks to go with six strikeouts.
Pitchability and the breaking ball were scouts' concerns with Portillo since his amateur days, and he still has plenty of room to improve his control with 17 walks in 38 1/3 innings, but he also has 38 strikeouts and a 1.41 ERA. Even if he can't hone his ability to locate to the degree necessary to remain a starter, Portillo has a power arsenal that would play well in the bullpen.
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