Righthander Luis Oviedo was a product of the Indians’ 2015 international signing class, and after two unremarkable seasons in 2016 and 2017, the 19-year-old Venezuelan emerged this year as one of the system’s more intriguing lower-level prospects.
The 6-foot-4 Oviedo, who is listed at at rail-thin 170 pounds, spent all but two starts at short-season Mahoning Valley, where he was one of the top pitchers in the New York-Penn League.
In nine starts at Mahoning Valley, Oviedo recorded a 1.88 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and .192 opponent average. He averaged 11.4 strikeouts and 1.8 walks per nine innings.
In late June, Oviedo won back-to-back NYPL pitcher of the week awards. That came on the heels of a start against West Virginia on June 28 in which he pitched six scoreless innings on two hits, with one walk and a franchise-record 12 strikeouts, including six in a row at one point.
“We are very excited about Luis’s progress,” director of player development James Harris said.
After his impressive showing at Mahoning Valley, Oviedo earned a late-season promotion to low Class A Lake County, where he made two solid starts. In a combined 11 starts, he went 5-2, 2.05. In 57 innings he allowed 39 hits, with 67 strikeouts and 17 walks.
“To have a 19-year-old excel with a plus fastball and swing-and-miss secondary stuff in a league where the average pitcher was two years ahead of him speaks to his work over the last two years both on an off the field,” Harris said.
Oviedo will likely begin the 2019 season at Lake County, where in his two starts this year he walked seven in nine innings.
>> After belting 20 home runs and showing improved defense at Triple-A Columbus, catcher Eric Haase earned a September callup to Cleveland, where he collected his first major league hit. “He’s worked so hard behind the plate on his transfer and throw, which is much better than we saw in spring training,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It’s exciting.”