Wascar Serrano is the most intriguing of
the talented young group of pitchers that the Padres have gathered. This
6-foot-2, 178-pound righty was signed out of the Dominican Republic in
1995. At 21, Serrano had a good 1999 at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga (9-8,
3.33 ERA, 21 starts, 1 CG, 132 IP, 110 H, 43 BB, 129 K) before being
promoted to Double-A Mobile (2-3, 5.53 ERA, 7 starts, 42 IP 48 H, 17 BB,
29 K). His pitching earned him a spot in the Futures Game at Boston during
the All-Star break.
Serrano is a four-pitch pitcher (two-, four-seam fastball, slider, and
changeup) whose fastball registers in the low- to mid-90s. Both his slider
and his change are still in development. In an age when so many young
hurlers are getting hurt, Serrano has never missed a pro start.
I think you will see him start back at Mobile in 2000; however, he
could be at Triple-A later in the season and perhaps even earn a September
recall to San Diego. Serrano, who will not turn 22 until the 2000 season
is about half over, is the most unfinished of the trio Clement, Eaton, and
himself, all of whom will be the backbone of the Padres future staff, so
you still don't know how good he could be. Because of this, right now I
would say he could be a No. 2 starter but may have to pitch in the third
slot due to the other two. Don't be surprised, though, if he turns out to
be even better.