Ian Smith conducts an exclusive interview with Marlins LHP Alex Vesia. The former 17th-round draft pick struck out 100 batters in just 66 2/3 innings pitched during his first full professional season, ascending all the way up to Double-A Jacksonville. Vesia reminisces about dominating the Arizona Fall League, becoming an unlikely walk-off hero and more.
Enjoy Episode 24!
Vesia dominated MiLB competition in 2019 with a 1.75 ERA and 1.99 FIP—both of those marks were best in the Marlins organization among all players with 50-plus innings pitched. Minor League Baseball took notice, selecting him as a Top Relief Pitcher finalist for their annual MiLBYS awards.
The 23-year-old’s most unique outing as a pro so far? August 11 in Jacksonville. On the mound, he preserved the tie for two extra innings, then sent everybody home with by drawing a walk-off walk in the bottom of the 11th.
The California State University, East Bay product is the only Marlins pitcher on record (since at least 2007) to participate in the Arizona Fall League without allowing any runs.
Vesia’s pitch mix includes a fastball, changeup and slider. During the AFL, Statcast measured the average velocity of those offerings at 93 mph, 85 mph and 83 mph, respectively.
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