Name: Lisalverto Bonilla
DOB: June 6, 1990
Height: 6′ 1″
Acquired: Signed as a nondrafted free agent on December 19, 2008 out of the Dominican Republic
Pre Draft Report: Bonilla was an unheralded signing with almost no reports really existing before his signing
Career Synopsis: Bonilla spent his first season, 2009 in the Dominican Summer League where over 11 starts he posted a great line of 70.0 IP, 1.41 ERA, 16 BB, and 76 Ks.
In 2010 Bonilla was held back in Extended Spring Training before starting in the GCL, where he posted a sterling 1.95 ERA with 5 BB and 38 K over 32.1 IP. He then was promoted to Williamsport where he struggled in both a starting and relief role. His WPT line was a 6.40 ERA, 12 BB, 18 K in 26.1 IP.
In 2011, Bonilla was sent to Lakewood where he had a breakout year. Bonilla started in the bullpen before moving into a starting role for the second half of the year. His final line was a 2.80 ERA, 29 BB, 95 K over 106.0 IP. This performance earned the ranking as the #12 prospect in the system by Baseball America and #14 by Baseball Prospectus.
Bonilla started 2012 pitching in the bullpen for Clearwater where his 1.35 ERA, with 4BB, and 18Ks in 13.1 IP earned him a quick promotion to Reading, there he continued to pitch out of the bullpen. He was picked to represent the World Team in the Futures Game. However, before the game he injured his hand rough housing with other players. The resulting surgery and recovery cost him the rest of the year leaving his final AA line as a 1.64 ERA, with 17BB, 46Ks over 33.0 IP.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Bonilla’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Arm Strength: 60
Secondary Pitches: 45/50 (slider), 65/70 (change up)
Summary: Bonilla has potentially three pitches that profile as at least average with his fastball being a tick above out of the bullpen. His fastball sits 91-94 and can touch 95 with good movement and his change up has good fade to it. Bonilla has yet to prove to hold up to a starter’s workload but he has been effective in that role. In the bullpen all of his pitches play up and his three pitch mix with his command make him dominant.
Upside: Bonilla has a good three pitch mix and can throw good strikes with all of them. As a starter, if he can hold up to the workload, he could be a solid #3 however with his limited starting experience it could take a year or two more in the minors. Out of the bullpen Bonilla is a late inning reliever with possible closer upside. In 2012 at two different levels he had a K/9 over 12, his walk rate spiked in AA but otherwise he has minimized the walks while maintaining the strikeouts. Out of the bullpen his ETA could be as early as the middle of 2013 if he pitches well in a likely return trip to AA.
Profile updated: 12/8/12