18 year old Jarlin Susana could be the most intriguing prospect in Washington’s entire minor league system.
The 6’6, 235 pound right hander is clocking fastballs at 103 mph with ease. Watch this video from one of his starts for Fredericksburg. That is easy gas from Susana.
Jarlin, from the Dominican Republic, was the top rated pitcher in the 2021-2022 international player class. He was signed by the San Diego Padres for $1.7 million. Scouts raved about Jarlin’s frame along with his smooth delivery on the mound. His 103 mph fastball could be the smoothest 103 I have ever seen. Susana has a strong physical presence on the mound for such a young pitcher.
2022 was Susana’s debut professional season. He made seven starts for the Padres Complex League and threw 29.1 innings, averaging 11.3 strikeouts per 9 innings complemented with a 2.45 ERA. His repertoire includes the high octane fastball, an upper 80s slider, low 80s curveball with more depth and a changeup that compliments his fastball. The following video is an extended clip of Susana at Padres Spring Training versus the Royals. Jarlin’s fastball topped out at 101 mph in this outing.
Control is what the 18 year old will have to develop as his career progresses. A high walk rate is not uncommon for young pitchers. Jarlin averaged four walks per nine innings in 2022, but that average should decrease as the young gun gets experience.
The Padres limited the innings of Susana, due to his inexperience in professional baseball, throwing an average of four innings per start. San Diego understood the value of an 18 year old flamethrower, and apparently so does Washington.
Susana was acquired in the Juan Soto and Josh Bell trade back in August. The day of the trade, Susana was a bit of a “throw in”, the last player to be named in the trade. Susana could turn out to be the most exciting of the prospects to watch develop.
Following the trade, Susana was assigned to the Nationals Complex League and started two games before being moved up to Fredericksburg. In his three appearances for the FredNats, Jarlin commanded a 2.61 ERA, but his hits given up per 9 innings rose to 7.8, signifying the rise in competition. Susana got into the fifth inning in one of his starts, here is video from that outing.
Jarlin got an opportunity to start a playoff game for Fredericksburg, as they took on the Lynchburg Hillcats. Susana only recorded one out, surrendering 4 earned runs and walking 4 batters. This could be used as a great learning experience for an 18 year old pitcher. Throwing in high intensity situations can only prepare him for future opportunities.
What does the future hold for Jarlin Susana? While it could be a few years before he is on the mound in a Nationals uniform, watching him develop will be rather exciting. Next season, anticipate him being assigned to the Fredericksburg Nationals. A full season of pitching against increased competition is the most beneficial move for Susana’s development. The immediate future of Jarlin holds him throwing on the beach as part of his offseason throwing routine.
I would also expect that the Nationals front office will take notice of Susana’s innings pitched. A young pitcher throwing with as much velocity as Jarlin does is susceptible to arm injuries. Managing a prospect’s development is far more important than rushing them through the minors, especially for Washington who is in need of prospects to pan out.
The ceiling for Susana is extremely high with frontline starter type of potential. But there is a low floor in my opinion for the young right hander, due to his inability to control his pitches and possibility of injury. Jarlin, who turns 19 on March 23, has lots of time to iron out his issues on the mound and become the ace he can be. Susana certainly has the god-given abilities to be star, Nationals fans will have fun watching him develop.