The expectations were low when the Phillies signed right-hander Ramon Rosso as a minor league free agent in the spring of 2017. Despite this, Rosso has succeeded at every stop he has made in his minor league career.
The owner of a career 1.89 ERA in the minors, Rosso, 22, has continued his success into the 2019 season for the Reading Fightin Phils. In his debut season in Double-A, Rosso has posted a 2.73 ERA and 10.6 Ks/9 in his first 29.2 innings across 6 starts. He was also named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April.
I sat down with Rosso this past week to discuss his skillset and his keys to pitching well. He stressed the importance of throwing strikes and being aggressive in the zone. Rosso said that his gameplan is to “attack the hitter every time.” When he sticks to that gameplan, he can be a truly dominant pitcher.
Rosso is a three-pitch pitcher with a repertoire consisting of a fastball, a slider, and a changeup.
His fastball is his best pitch and the one he relies on most. Rosso said, “My fastball, it moves like [a] cutter. It’s my strength.” Although he only throws the fastball in the low-90s, the late natural cut that Rosso generates makes it such a difficult pitch for hitters to square up.
Rosso’s slider is another pitch that generates a significant amount of movement into left-handed batters and away from right-handed batters. It has similar break to his fastball, but is thrown 5-10 miles per hour slower. This pitch’s resemblance to his fastball can make it tough on hitters to recognize what it is being thrown to them, making the slider a viable out-pitch for Rosso.
The changeup is the pitch that needs the most work out of the three that Rosso throws. He specifically cited the improvement of his changeup as a key to this season. A refined third pitch could really elevate Rosso’s game to another level.
A Bright Future
Rosso has established himself as a legitimate prospect with how he has pitched thus far in his career. He has some very interesting tools and great focus on the mound. If he can continue to build on what he has shown so far, there could certainly be big things in the future for the 22 year-old.
What goals does Ramon Rosso have for himself?
“Maybe move to Lehigh Valley? Or the Phillies, Major Leagues? I don’t know,” said Rosso with a smile.
Do not be surprised if we see these goals achieved soon.