Miami Marlins 2021 Season Review: LHP Antonio Velez

Matt Melton
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 15: A detailed view of the New Era Miami Marlins Sugar Kings hat in the dugout during the game against the Chicago Cubs at loanDepot park on August 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - AUGUST 15: A detailed view of the New Era Miami Marlins Sugar Kings hat in the dugout during the game against the Chicago Cubs at loanDepot park on August 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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After signing with the Miami Marlins a year ago as an undrafted free agent out of Florida State, left-hander Antonio Velez enjoyed an impressive first professional season in 2021. Reaching Double-A in the process, Velez is becoming one of the fasting-rising southpaws in the Marlins system.

Miami Marlins 2021 Season Review: LHP Antonio Velez

Beginning the 2021 season with High-A Beloit, Velez would begin his professional career pitching out of the Snappers bullpen in a multi-inning relief role. Across those first nine appearances from early-May to mid-June, the left-hander would post a 4.87 ERA across 20.1 innings before transitioning to a full-time starter in mid-June.

This transition would be an impactful one for Velez as the southpaw found success early-on acting as a starter for the Snappers allowing only two runs across his first three starts to finish the month of June.

Velez would continue to see similar success across the summer months, and would go-on to post a combined 2.37 ERA with four walks and 54 strikeouts across 60.2 innings pitched from June 16 to August 17 acting as a starter. This would also include a phenomenal final four starts with the Snappers in which Velez allowed only one earned run across 26 innings pitched.

Velez would be called up to Double-A Pensacola in late-August where he would make three starts for the Blue Wahoos towards the end of the season. As you’d likely assume by his numbers as a starter in Beloit, Velez was outstanding across those three outings in Pensacola posting a combined 0.50 ERA across 18 innings pitched.

When looking at the overall sample-size for any Marlins minor league pitcher this season, it’s hard to find better overall numbers than what Velez posted between High-A and Double-A this season.

Making a combined 23 appearances (14 starts) overall, the southpaw would post a combined 7-2 record with a 2.55 ERA and 0.859 WHIP across 99 innings pitched between Beloit and Pensacola. Striking out a total of 93 batters to only 11 walks, Velez posted a 8.5 K/9, as well as an impressive 1.0 BB/9, one of the lowest among any Marlins minor league pitcher this season.

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Certainly an impressive 2021 season for the 24-year-old, Velez will likely begin the 2022 campaign in Double-A, with a potential call-up to Triple-A Jacksonville early-on as a real possibility if his 2021 late-season success continues.

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