Oviedo signed for $375,000 in 2015, coming out of the same Venezuelan program that spawned Carlos Carrasco and featuring a similar build and stuff at the same stage of their careers. He led the Rookie-level Arizona League in strikeout rate (12.2 per nine innings) during his 2017 U.S. debut and was doing the same (11.4) in the short-season New York-Penn League in 2018 before an August promotion left him short of qualifying. He struggled with the jump to Class A in 2019 and lower back issues ended his season early for the second straight year. The Pirates saw enough to acquire him in a Rule 5 Draft day trade, sending cash considerations to the Mets, who took him in the Major League phase.
Oviedo weighs considerably more than his listed 170 pounds, and the strength he has added has pushed his fastball from the mid-80s when he signed to 92-96 with a peak of 98 mph and some sinking action. He threw his curveball more often in 2019 at Cleveland's behest, and it surpassed his changeup as his most effective secondary offering. Both pitches have at least solid potential, as does his harder slider.
While his stuff remained promising last season, Oviedo displayed less pitchability than he had the year before. His changeup, control and command weren't as reliable, and his ERA ballooned from 2.05 to 5.38. He still has a ceiling of a mid-rotation starter but will need to be more consistent and prove his durability to reach it, though he might best serve in a relief role if he’s going to stick on the Pirates’ Major League roster.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Oviedo trained in the same Venezuelan program that produced Indians rotation stalwart Carlos Carrasco, and the two right-handers had similar stuff and builds at the same stage of their careers. Signed for $375,000 in 2015, Oviedo topped the Rookie-level Arizona League in strikeout rate (12.2 per nine innings) in his U.S. debut two years later. He was leading the short-season New York-Penn League in whiff rate (11.4) last summer before he was promoted to low Class A at age 19 in August.
Oviedo's projectability appealed to Cleveland and he already has started to deliver on it, with his fastball increasing from the upper 80s when he signed to the mid 90s with a peak of 98 mph and quality sink in 2018. His advanced changeup is his best secondary offering and could develop into a second plus pitch. The Indians have encouraged him to throw his curveball more often and he also has a harder slider, both of which are solid at their best.
Though he repeats his delivery better than most young, tall pitchers, Oviedo has seen his control regress in 2019. In the past, he threw consistent strikes from a three-quarters arm slot that creates angle and movement. He has the upside of a No. 3 starter but will need to do a better job of locating his pitches to fulfill that potential.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 45 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50
Signed for $375,000 out of Venezuela at the outset of the 2015-16 international period, Oviedo made his professional debut the next year in the Dominican Summer League. He made the jump stateside to the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2017 and opened eyes with his bat-missing ability, as Oviedo ranked among circuit leaders with 12.2 strikeouts-per-nine (first), a 28 percent strikeout rate (first) and 70 strikeouts (second). Promoted to Class A Short Season Mahoning Valley in 2018, Oviedo set a franchise record by striking out 12 batters in his third start of the season.
Owner of a 90-mph fastball when he signed, Oviedo now operates at 91-94 and routinely tops out at 96-97 mph. The fact that Oviedo gets good extension over his front side makes his heater play up and nets him whiffs inside the strike zone. He has good feel for a trio of secondary offerings, and each of them could grade as average-or-better offerings once fully developed. While some evaluators prefer his curveball to his slider, and others vice versa, they all agree that Oviedo's changeup could wind up being his best secondary pitch.
Listed at 6-foot-4, 170 pounds, Oviedo is physically advanced for his age but still requires some projection, and some scouts expect him to add even more velocity as he adds strength to his frame. The Indians will bring the teenage righty along slowly, but the final product could be that of a mid-rotation start if all clicks.