JULIO EUSEBIO, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: June 2, 1992
Signed: Undrafted Free Agent, 2014
How Acquired: Undrafted Free Agent
College: Odessa CC
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Eusebio appeared without warning in a Jamestown box score early in the 2014 season. He apparently was in the DSL in 2013, but never played and wasn’t in the Pirates’ 2014 media guide. The 2015 media guide says he signed in early 2014. Eusebio was a senior pitcher at St. Raymond’s in New York City in 2010. He went from there to Odessa CC, where he was known as “Ricky.” He didn’t pitch particularly well at Odessa. Eusebio throws both a sinker and a four-seam fastball in the low-90s, with a good slider and developing change.
Eusebio was on one of the Pirates’ DSL rosters, but did not play.
Given his age, the Pirates sent Eusebio directly to Jamestown, where he pitched in relief. His numbers were decent, with good control but more hits allowed than innings pitched. He finished very strongly after struggling in June and July, holding opponents to a 171/261/195 line in August, so he may just have needed to get acclimated. He had an extreme reverse platoon split, allowing an .880 OPS to right-handed hitters and only .544 to left-handed hitters.
Apart from a one-game cameo at Bradenton, Eusebio returned to the NYPL and acted partly as the Morgantown closer. He improved over the previous season, with a high K rate. He continued to be very effective against left-handed batters, holding them to a .589 OPS. The difference was that, this time, he held right-handed batters to .645.
Eusebio spent the season in the West Virginia bullpen, serving as a closer part of the time. He had trouble throwing strikes and his K rate was just a little above the league average of 8.3, but opponents batted only .165 and slugged only .235 against him, thanks to an extremely low BABIP of .211. Not surprisingly, his xFIP (4.54) was nearly three times his ERA.
Whether or not they were looking at advanced metrics like xFIP, the Pirates may not have been convinced by Eusebio’s ERA in 2016. Otherwise, they probably would have promoted him during the season. Eusebio made on mid-April appearance for Bradenton, but otherwise stayed in extended spring training until Morgantown started play. He made three appearances there, then moved up to West Virginia, where he served partly as a closer. He continued to show a low BABIP (.250) and a very low ERA, with a higher xFIP (3.50). On the entire season, batters posted a measly 161/267/179 line against him.
The Pirates obviously aren’t pushing Eusebio aggressively. He’ll be 26 next June and he’s been eligible for the Rule 5 draft since 2016. He should at least reach Bradenton in 2018.
|2018: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: 2019
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: N/A
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|January 31, 2014: Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an undrafted free agent.