Interview Conducted by David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer
Alvarez went 9-7 with a 5.17 ERA as a starter in his first two seasons at Florida Atlantic, but shined in the Cape Cod League as a reliever and the Angels were watching as they started R.J.'s professional career in the Orem Owlz bullpen where he posted a 0.53 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 34 innings.
Opposing hitters have to face Alvarez's high effort delivery which causes deception to go along with a 95-97 MPH fastball, clocked as high as 100 MPH. Alvarez slider is a true knockout punch to go along with his heater. Alvarez has a changeup, but he didn't use it with the Owlz and may never since he's expected to remain in the bullpen. Alvarez throws across his body and at times it can affects his command.
The Angels sent Alvarez to the Inland Empire 66ers in an effort to move him quickly. So far he's rewarded them with a 3.12 ERA, striking out 24 over 17 1/3 innings, while limiting opposing hitters to a .190 BAA.