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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 47: Thyago Vieira

With a big arm and loads of potential, Vieira is getting another shot to prove he can stick in the majors

Chicago White Sox v Detroit Tigers
Wrong-way trend: Vieira has become too reliant on his fastball, which seems to have lost a tick or two.
Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Thyago Vieira
210 pounds
Throws: Right
Age: 25
2018 SSS Top Prospect Rank: 22
SSS rank among all right-handed relievers in the system: 7

Vieira, a native of Brazil, received a signing bonus of $65,000 from the Seattle Mariners on November 20, 2010, when he was 17. In his first six years in the Mariners system, he advanced only as high as their Single-A+ affiliate in Bakersfield. However, things finally picked up steam for him in 2017, when he pitched for Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma; Vieira combined with both squads to pitch in 41 games totaling 54 innings posting a 4.00 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, allowing 48 hits (.236 OBA) and 22 walks (9.6%) while striking out 46 (20.1%). He even got his first taste of the majors, pitching a scoreless relief inning with one strikeout for the Mariners.

The White Sox acquired Vieira for international bonus pool money on Nov. 16, 2017, and he began the 2018 season in Charlotte. For the Knights in 36 games totaling 41 innings, he posted a 5.05 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, allowing 40 hits (.252 OBA) and 24 walks (12.7%) while striking out 50 (26.5%). Despite those numbers, the White Sox called him up on July 27, and Vieira unsurprisingly struggled in his 16 games. In his 17 23 innings, he posted a 7.13 ERA and 1.70 WHIP, allowing 21 hits (.292 OBA) and nine walks (10.6%) while fanning 15 (17.6%).

Blessed with plus-plus arm strength, Vieira works 96-99 mph (peaking in triple digits) with his four-seam fastball. He also flashes a two-seam version that will sit 94-95 mph and top out at 96 mph, but it doesn’t always have great downward life and can stay on the same vertical plane and run arm-side. In addition to the two fastballs, Vieira has a deeper arsenal than most late-inning relievers, although all his secondary pitches are quite unrefined: a breaking ball (84-87 mph), and splitter (90-92 mph). The splitter is raw right now, with poor command and very inconsistent results; Vieira’s breaking ball is more of a hard slider that has wipe-out effectiveness on its best days, but extreme wildness on its worst. It has the potential of being a wipeout pitch with some downward plane and good late 10-to-4 break.

Even more than having difficulty with his secondary pitches, Vieira clearly has issues with command and control — mostly due to inconsistent mechanics. If he can harness his stuff and improve his control, all while developing a true secondary out pitch, Vieira could be closer material.

Vieira had a terrible spring and did not break camp with the White Sox. That was somewhat surprising, even considering that the club acquired two veteran late-inning righties, Alex Colomé and Kelvin Herrera, in the offseason. In part due to his being on the 40-man roster, Vieira was called up on April 28, after Nate Jones was placed on the injured list. Vieira had struggled at Charlotte, with a 5.00 ERA over nine early-season innings (seven games), in spite of a 2-0 record and two saves. He’s yet to appear in a game for Chicago since being called up.

Take a look!

2019 South Side Sox Top 100 Prospects

47. Thyago Vieira, RHRP
48. Corey Zangari, 1B
49. Yermin Mercedes, C
50. Anderson Comas, RF
51. Gunnar Troutwine, C
52. Codi Heuer, RHSP
53. Andrew Perez, LHRP
54. Josue Guerrero, LF
55. Jacob Lindgren, LHRP
56. Ryan Cordell, CF
57. Joel Booker, LF
58. Bennett Sousa, LHRP
59. Blake Battenfield, RHSP
60. Caberea Weaver, CF
61. Matt Foster, RHRP
62. Tate Blackman, 2B
63. Hunter Schryver, LHRP
64. Romy González, CF
65. Carlos Perez, C
66. Trey Michalczewski, 3B
67. Taylor Varnell, LHSP
68. John Parke, LHSP
69. Mike Morrison, RHRP
70. Zach Remillard, 3B
71. Luis Martinez, RHSP
72. Zach Lewis, RHSP
73. José Nin, RHRP
74. Colton Turner, LHSP
75. Jhoandro Alfonso, C
76. Ramon Beltre, 2B
77. Charlie Tilson, CF
78. Hunter Kiel, RHRP
79. Jason Bilous, RHSP
80. Nick Johnson, RHRP
81. Danny Dopico, RHRP
82. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
83. Logan Sowers, RF
84. Maiker Feliz, 3B
85. Brayan Herrera, RHSP
86. Craig Dedelow, LF
87. Wilber Pérez, RHSP
88. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
89. Johan Dominguez, RHRP
90. Mitch Roman, 2B
91. Ty Greene, C
92. Tanner Banks, LHSP
93. Jake Elliott, RHRP
94. Kevin Escorcia, LHRP
95. Luis Rodriguez, RHSP
96. Ian Dawkins, LF
97. Victor Diaz, RHRP
98. Travis Moniot, LF
99. Will Kincanon, RHRP
100. Brian Clark, LHRP

More information on South Side Top Prospects.