In the 2015 season, Silvino Bracho pitched his way from prospect obscurity to a potential weapon in the bullpen. His minor league numbers were so off the charts and the fact he was eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason led to the front office to promote him to the majors. From both the stuff and the results, I figure the best comparison for him is Josh Collmenter, who has been reliable as a reliever for the Diamondbacks in his career. Neither guy can outstuff the hitter, so they rely on deception to win. Collmenter uses an unorthodox high over the top delivery and Bracho goes more with a herky-jerky style. While the stuff is different, the approach and results are similar. While Josh Collmenter has hundreds of innings to his name, Bracho only has 12 so the small sample size argument can be applied. While the numbers don't match-up, they both share the skill of avoiding the barrel of the bat. Both pitchers likely figure to be a big part of the Diamondbacks 2016 Bullpen.
The biggest difference between the two other than the giant difference in fastball velocity is Bracho can dial up a strikeout when he needs it. Neither guy has overpowering stuff and use their delivery along with the subtle, late cutting action on their fastball to avoid the sweet spot of the bat. Both pitchers are fly ball pitchers with Collmenter checking in at a career 42% rate and Bracho producing a 57% fly ball rate in his cup of coffee. Both pitchers also induce a lot of infield fly balls with Collmenter having a career 16% rate and Bracho at 17% last year. That's a result of the deception in both pitcher's delivery. With an outfield defense anchored by Gold Glover AJ Pollock and arguably the best infield defense in baseball, a lot of those fly balls will end up in gloves.
The deception in the delivery in addition to the high infield fly ball rate will lead to a lower than league average BABIP. As a reliever, Collmenter has a .271 BABIP which is in line with Bracho's .269 output from 2015. So while I do think there could be a possible regression for Bracho in BABIP, it is also possible that he can sustain a .270 BABIP over his career since Josh Collmenter has done so with even lesser stuff. A lot of that is due to the high soft contact rate and low hard contact rate. As a result, his ERA will almost certainly beat his FIP which means that RA-9 WAR is a better way to estimate Collmenter's value. I believe the same will hold true for Bracho in the future, although the difference from ERA to FIP will be much lower due to a significantly higher strikeout rate.
Next comes the run prevention. For those metrics, I'm more interested not in both the regular marks, but also the league adjusted marks. For the league adjusted marks, I'll use ERA-, FIP-, and xFIP-, which is similar to ERA+ but instead a lower number is better. Collmenter checks in at a career 88 ERA- with a 103 FIP-, but that includes his numbers as a starter. As a reliever, his ERA is 2.32 to go with a 3.51 FIP and 4.07 xFIP. One of the things that FIP doesn't take into account is the quality of contact. In comparison, Bracho yielded a 1.46 ERA to go with a 3.46 FIP and 3.70 xFIP. Those numbers are all better than league average with an ERA- of 36, FIP- of 95, and xFIP- of 90. Again, you can SSS that argument due to Bracho only having 12 innings in the majors, but his MLB numbers are very consistent with his career minor league numbers.
So when trying to evaluate Silvino Bracho in the future, I consider his absolute floor to be reliever Josh Collmenter. For a guy going into his first full MLB season, I would certainly take that. Collmenter will be used as a swingman while Bracho could be looking at high-leverage innings in the back-end of the bullpen. His absolute ceiling is an All-Star closer, where his ability to avoid the sweet spot of the bat would be a major asset to the bullpen. The Diamondbacks current closer, Brad Ziegler, is the side-arming version of Josh Collmenter. It will be interesting to see if Bracho pushes for the closer role this summer. Even though relievers are volatile by nature, I believe that Bracho is a special case and has the makings to be consistent over a 10+ year career.