Zaquiel Puentes hasn’t been alive for 18 years yet, and he just completed his first season of professional baseball.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 181 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Zaquiel Jose Puentes is a 6’1″, 160 lb. right-handed pitcher from Maracaibo, Venezuela. Maracaibo has produced 31 major leaguers since 1954, including Carlos Maldonado, Rougned Odor, and Jose Alvarado.
Born on December 30th, 2000, Puentes signed with the Miami Marlins through free agency on July 2nd, 2017. He didn’t make his professional debut until nearly a year later, on June 6th.
In that game, Puentes started and faced eight batters, retiring only two of them. Although he gave up four runs in that outing, on two hits, a walk, and a hit batter, none of them were earned. The DSL Marlins ended up losing to the DSL Dodgers Robinson, 13-5.
Puentes’ second game was his longest of the season. He started against the DSL Athletics on June 12th, and allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks, also striking out a pair of batters.
Six days later, Puentes started and took a loss, allowing three runs on four hits in only two innings. He struck out one in a 5-2 loss to the DSL Red Sox1.
At that point, Puentes suffered from an undisclosed injury, although he wasn’t place on the disabled list until July 17th. On July 24th, he made his fourth start of the season, pitching one flawless inning before getting lifted in a 5-3 win over the DSL Braves.
In his final appearance of the season, on July 30th, Puentes surrendered an unearned run on two walks in another one-inning start, in a game the DSL Marlins eventually won, 9-2 over the DSL Rays1.
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Over the course of the season, Puentes was 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA, with five walks and four strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. He threw a total of 71 pitches, and 43 of them went for strikes, a 60.6 percent strike rate.
There’s not a lot of coverage of the guys in the Dominican Summer League. It’s a league where the youngest professional baseball players in the world gather to play, and a lot of them don’t shake out. Like I said, Puentes isn’t yet 18, and should probably get another season’s worth of look with the DSL Marlins. If he sticks, the earliest he would likely get to the Miami Marlins is sometime in 2025.
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