Right handed pitcher Rafael Dolis, 24 has looked impressive so far this spring and he, like many other young players are hoping to make a good impression with the new Cubs brass and make it a hard decision to send him back to the minor leagues.
Dolis is an interesting prospect, because much like Carlos Marmol and Randy Wells he is a converted position player. The Cubs signed Dolis as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic in 2004. After a couple years the Cubs converted him to a pitcher in 2006 where he has been excelling ever since. Last season he made another change, this time from the rotation to the bullpen where he posted a 3.22 ERA and 17 saves. He also had 48 K’s in 72.2 innings with a WHIP of 1.32.
The 6’4” 215 Lb. righty has two plus pitches that give him a chance to be successful out of the bullpen in the future. He has a late breaking slider and a heavy fastball that ranges from the mid to high 90’s and on occasion has hit triple digits. His heavy fastball produces a lot of ground balls as he had an impressive 2.07 GO/AO. Obviously only pitching for a few years he still is getting a feel for pitching, but he no doubt has the arm to be help the Cubs bullpen in the near future.
Dolis made his Major League debut last year in late September and should get back there again this season. When will it happen is the question. If he continues to impress he has a very good chance to break camp with big club and add another power arm to the bullpen.