- Full name Jhoulys Jose Chacín
- Born 01/07/1988 in Maracaibo, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Liceo Jesus Enrique Lozaela
- Debut 07/25/2009
Organization Prospect Rankings
Chacin led the minors with 18 wins in 2008 before making his big league debut last July. He allowed just two runs in eight relief appearances with Colorado, though the Pirates roughed him up in his lone major league start. Chacin's size and athleticism allow him to throw a hard sinker that ranges from 89-92 mph. His best pitch is a changeup that negates lefthanders. He throws it with the same arm action that he uses for his fastball. His slider is a plus pitch at times. He's poised well beyond his years. His slider and curveball need refinement, but for some reason Chacin made them his primary pitches when he got to the big leagues. He fell behind in the count too often and fell prey to walks. He has to pitch off his fastball and changeup, and use his breaking pitches only intermittently, to be effective. He lacks fastball command at times, particularly when he overthrows. Chacin will open the season in the Triple-A Colorado Springs rotation, and figures to return to the big leagues to stay later in the year. His ultimate ceiling depends on his ability to develop a consistent breaking ball to complement his fastball and changeup.
In his first full season, Chacin shot up the Rockies' charts, splitting time with their two full-season Class A affiliates. He led the minor leagues with 18 wins, ranking third overall in innings and sixth in ERA and strikeouts. He boasts a 25-5 record in his last 38 professional starts. Chacin has mastered his fastball and changeup, capable of throwing either pitch in any situation. The fastball has picked up velocity and now sits around 92 mph, touching 94, with heavy sinking action. He uses the same arm action for his change, which has become an out pitch, particularly against lefthanded hitters. He's a strong athlete with the ability to repeat his mechanics. His curveball doesn't have the sharpness that Chacin will need to be a big league starter. He can throw the pitch for strikes, and it has some power at 78-80 mph, but right now it's below average. Chacin will step into the middle of a big league rotation, and if his curveball develops into a plus pitch, he can be a top-of-the-rotation starter. After reaching high Class A in his first full season, he should be challenged again in 2009 and could even reach Colorado at some point.
After two years in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, Chacin came to the United States for the first time last summer and quickly established himself as one of the premier pitchers in the Pioneer League. He went 5-2, 1.20 in his final 10 starts, allowing more than one earned run only once in that stretch, and tied for the league strikeout lead with 77 in 92 innings. Chacin already has a solid fastball at 89-92 mph and can touch 94. The key is that he can command his heater to both sides of the plate. He still needs to develop his secondary pitches, though he does throw his curveball and changeup for strikes and they do have plus potential. His changeup is more reliable at this point. Chacin figures to fill out and add more strength and durability. He's a good athlete, though he can get into a hurry with his mechanics and must be reminded to stay closed and finish his delivery. He'll advance to low Class A this year, though the Rockies may limit his workload by keeping him in extended spring training at the start of the season.
Minor League Top Prospects
Chacin established himself as the top pitching prospect in the Rockies organization in 2008, then continued his fast progress by earning his first big league callup in July. Though he was one of the youngest starting pitchers in the TL, Chacin was also one of the most polished. Managers and scouts were impressed with his poise, not to mention his assortment of pitches. He sits at 92 mph with his fastball, a plus pitch because of its sinking action, and both his slider and changeup can be above-average pitches as well. Chacin should have plus command, though he didn't always show it this year, particularly with his fastball. At times he tries to live up to his hype and overthrows, costing him control.
Chacin was as good as any pitcher in the minors this season, dominating in low Class A and continuing to impress after his promotion to Modesto. He thrived in hitter-friendly environments, led the minors with 18 wins and ranked sixth in both ERA (2.03) and strikeouts (160 in 178 innings). Chacin has good stuff, but it was the way he handled himself on the mound that most impressed scouts and managers. He has a businesslike approach with "high lows and low highs," according to Nuts manager Jerry Weinstein, as well as good command and an ability to add and subtract velocity. His best pitch is probably his changeup, which has two-plane break. He pitches off an 88-90 mph two-seamer with good sink, and he can dial his four-seamer up to 93-94. His downer curveball was much improved this year, and he's working on a cutter as well.
When Bumgarner was struggling during the first two weeks of the season, Chacin received much of the attention as the league's top pitcher. He tossed 14 scoreless innings in his first two starts and went 10-1, 1.86 before earning a promotion to the high Class A California League, where he continued to excel. He led the minors with 18 victories. Chacin's fastball resides at 93-94 mph, but what makes him so effective this year is the quality of his secondary pitches. His changeup is a plus offering with good fade and tumbling movement, and he has so much confidence in it that he'll throw it at any time in the count. His 12-to-6 overhand curveball remains a work in progress, but he had more success with it when he employed it more often. Chacin also has an excellent downhill plane in his delivery, uses the inside part of the plate to his advantage and isn't afraid to challenge hitters. "I can see him pitching for a long time," Quatraro said. "He really knows what he's doing, and he has three or four pitches with pretty easy actions. He has a big frame and looks like he could be a workhorse in the middle of the rotation."
In his U.S. debut, Chacin shared the league strikeout lead (77 in 92 innings) with Orem's Robert Fish and Great Falls' Juan Moreno. He doesn't have an overpowering fastball, as it sits at 89-92 mph and touches 94, but it has good sink and he locates it well. He also throws his curveball and changeup for strikes, and both have the potential to be plus pitches. He has sound mechanics and does a good job of keeping the ball down in the strike zone.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the Colorado Rockies in 2010
- Rated Best Pitching Prospect in the Texas League in 2009
- Rated Best Changeup in the Texas League in 2009
- Rated Best Changeup in the Colorado Rockies in 2009
- Rated Best Changeup in the South Atlantic League in 2008
- Rated Best Changeup in the California League in 2008
- Venezuela activated RHP Jhoulys Chacín.
- Venezuela activated RHP Jhoulys Chacín.