Vargas Making A Splash

Vargas had a 3.17 strikeout to walk ratio

Cesar Vargas is becoming one of the Yankees' more exciting prospects. After spending three years playing baseball in the Dominican Republic, Vargas has brought his talents to the United States and is already making an impact.

The 20-year-old right-hander started the season in the Gulf Coast League where he pitched in eleven games and had a 2.97 ERA. In 36.1 innings, he had three saves and 30 strikeouts. The Beuna Park, Mexico native was then promoted to the Charleston RiverDogs in the final weeks of the season.

"I heard he is a guy who knows how to throw strikes and that's what we saw in his first outing," RiverDogs manager Carlos Mendoza said. "He has good movement on his fastball, and just a good feel for pitching overall. He is a young guy, first year here in the States, and he is doing a good job making that transition."

"He was composed and he threw strikes with all of his pitches," RiverDogs pitching coach Danny Borrell added. "He spins the ball well and has a nice changeup, and that ball cuts."

Vargas pitched in only two games for Charleston and had an ERA of 3.13 in 9.2 innings with eight strikeouts.

"I was struggling a little bit at the beginning of the season with command," Vargas said with the help of a translator. "Then I made some adjustments and started taking control of my pitches."

Vargas believes playing baseball in the Dominican Republic shaped him as a baseball player and helped prepare him for his journey towards the big leagues.

"It's different down there," Vargas explained. "In the Dominican, hitters are mostly looking for the fastball, and here they are more selective through the strike zone and looking for that pitch they can drive.

"I approached baseball down there with a learning attitude. I wanted to do whatever I had to do to develop as a baseball player so I could move on. I worked really hard and was able to gain a lot of experience."

Vargas was surprised to learn he had been promoted all the way to Charleston, skipping hte New York Penn League entirely, and especially because it came so late in the season.

"I was very surprised. I was doing a good job down there, but I wasn't expecting to be here at the end of the season," he said. "I was just trying to do my job."

The coaches were excited to have Vargas on the team and they are hoping he can keep momentum going into next season.

"He just needs to focus on the little things like getting into a good routine and becoming a reliable pitcher," Mendoza said. "He needs to start reading swings and getting to know other hitters so he knows how to attack them and how to use his pitches.

"From what I've seen, he has a great fastball that cuts. His changeup and curveball are great out pitches. He just needs to get stronger and keep working within a routine."

"Just like anything else, it's all about dealing with different hitters," Borrell said. "In his first start, he didn't seem intimidated. He just went out there looking to throw strikes.

"He just needs to repeat his delivery and get his release point down. He seems like a smart, athletic kid so he should be fun to watch."

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