At the beginning of this week, Rafael Dolis was the most James Mungro of all of us.
He came to training camp as a non-roster invitee and put up solid numbers but slid quietly through camp and this competition. The James Mungro Memorial Awardo presented by (sponsor pending) could be awarded in a matter of days. Dolis is one of three remaining candidates (if you missed it, Omar Duran was ousted from major league camp and the contest.), yet we know nothing about him.
His combination of remaining anonymous and staying dominant so long is everything you ask for in a candidate.
Unfortunately for him, just pointing out this fact no longer makes him so anonymous. The rest of this post isn’t going to help either.
JMMA winners need a unique trait. Dolis has two: a 98 mph fastball and absolutely no control. Dolis is the Dominican Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn of his generation.
His fastball propelled him to being named the Cubs’ No. 7 prospect in 2011 and to reach the majors the next year. His lack of control caused him to post a 6.39 ERA. The highlight (or lowlight) of his stint? Probably this walk-off hit by pitch.
His fastball caused him to put up 5.0 perfect innings for the Cubs the next year. His lack of control ensured he wouldn’t get back to Wrigley field again. The Cubs released him after the 2013 season.
Dolis signed a minor league deal with the Giants for 2014, but pitched in just four games for the Giants’ Triple-A team. He lasted 4.1 innings, walked three batters and struck out four. That’s a 6.23 walks-per-nine-innings rate. Oh, he also posted a 16.62 ERA. The Giants cut him near the end of May.
What Dolis did between then and when he appeared in Lakeland is a mystery, but when he showed up, he was ready.