The Cardinals handed out seven-figure bonuses to three Cuban prospects during the 2016-17 international period including Oviedo, whose $1.9 million bonus was the second-highest payday awarded by the organization that year after Jonathan Machado's $2.35 million. The right-hander's United States debut in 2017 was a bit uneven, and he endured similar struggles in his full-season debut the following year at Class A Peoria before settling in to post a 3.10 ERA over his final 81 1/3 frames. Pushed up to Class A Advanced Palm Beach in 2019, Oviedo dominated during the first month of the season to earn a Double-A promotion at age 21 in early May. The right-hander didn’t fare as well in the Texas League, pitching to a 5.65 ERA in 23 starts, but drew rave reviews for his stuff as well as the prospect of what’s still to come.
An imposing presence on the mound at 6-foot-6, Oviedo can attack hitters with four quality offerings but is still learning how to harness his long levers and consistently execute his impressive stuff. He adds and subtracts with a plus fastball that sits 94-98 mph and plays up because the right-hander generates huge extension -- more than 10 feet, at times -- toward the plate. His high-spin-rate slider is a potential out pitch, thrown with tilt and late bite that helps him miss bats, and he gives hitters a different look by mixing in an average curveball. Oviedo rounds out his arsenal with a changeup that needs work but could be average once developed.
That Oviedo led all Cardinals farmhands in strikeouts (163) and walks (76) underscores both the quality of his pure stuff and the gains he will need to make in refining his delivery. He’s strong and athletic, though, with plenty of room to add strength to his lanky frame. The Cardinals expect Oviedo’s control and command to improve in lockstep with his physical gains and have long been impressed with right-hander’s capacity for making adjustments in the face of difficult assignments.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45
The Cardinals did some serious spending on international prospects in 2016, going heavy on Cuban imports and handing out four seven-figure bonuses in the process. Oviedo signed for $1.9 million, the second-highest payday doled out by the organization that year after Jonathan Machado's $2.35 million bonus. The right-hander's United States debut was a bit uneven, and he endured similar struggles early in 2018 at Class A Peoria, posting a 6.47 ERA through his first 10 starts. But Oviedo settled in after that and pitched well the rest of the way, registering a 3.10 ERA and averaging nearly a strikeout per inning over his final 81 1/3 frames.
Oviedo's fastball hasn't quite ticked back up to where it was when he was up to 96-97 mph shortly after signing, but there's plenty there, sitting in the 92-94 mph range and touching a bit higher even as he works deep into starts. His curve and changeup are both developing along with his command, which currently is well below-average. The Cardinals think there's an above-average breaking ball in there with further refinement, while his changeup already flashes above-average and could be a near-plus offering at maturity.
Club officials were impressed with the adjustments Oviedo made halfway into his first full season, praising him for how he remained focused after a shaky April and May. A huge physical specimen at 6-foot-6, the right-hander will continue to work on getting his frame in sync and repeating his delivery, and the belief is that it will lead to more consistent strike-throwing with his three-pitch mix.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
In July 2016, the Cardinals did some serious shopping on the international market, going heavy on Cuban imports and handing out four seven-figure bonuses in the process. Randy Arozarena and Jonathan Machado landed ahead of Oviedo, who got $1.9 million to sign, on the Top 30. Oviedo's United States debut in 2017 was a bit uneven, but there's still a lot to like in the young right-hander.
It starts with his size, as he is a huge physical specimen at 6-foot-6. His fastball hasn't quite ticked back up to where it was when he was up to 96-97 mph shortly after signing, but there's plenty there, sitting in the 92-94 mph range and touching a bit higher. He uses his size to throw downhill with average movement, showing an early ability to get groundball outs. His curve and changeup are both developing along with his command. The Cardinals think there's an above-average breaking ball in there, while his change remains a work in progress.
More than anything Oviedo needs to work on getting his huge frame in sync and repeating his delivery. That should lead to more consistent strike-throwing along with a refinement of his overall stuff. Patience may be key, but pitching all year at age 20, there's plenty of time for him to figure it out.
The Cardinals went all-in on the international amateur market last July, spending more than $10.8 million, going over their bonus pool by more than $8.7 million. Four players got a seven-figure bonus and three of them have landed on this Top 30. One of them is Oviedo, a right-handed man child with some pretty good stuff.
The 6-foot-6 Oviedo will pitch all year at age 19, and he has already shown a little more polish than your average teenage pitcher. While most hurlers his age and size resemble awkward giraffes, he already looks like a man, with decent command and pitchability of some good stuff. Oviedo's fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range and easily touches 96 mph. His curveball is his next best pitch, and while it needs work, it has the chance to be a nasty breaking ball. Oviedo even has a feel for a changeup.
After dominating the Dominican Summer League during his seven-start pro debut last summer, the Cardinals are very excited to see what Oviedo can do during his United States debut. There is a lot of ceiling here, and he has the chance to climb this list in a hurry and eventually impact the big league rotation.