Blind Looks: Ranking Young Yankees Pitching

Having spent much of the year scouting indy ball, my baseball focus was torn away from MiLB. This fall was my first exposure to the majority of the Yankees low minors. I had no knowledge of stat lines, what players looked like on video, or even what level they played at. An idea presented itself on a silver platter: blind looks, or scouting players with literally no background knowledge. The last three weeks I saw the Yankees four times and now understand what the hubbub is all about. This org runs ocean floor deep with pitching depth, and I thought it would be a fun exercise to rank Yankees youngsters (aged 20 or less) solely off of blind looks.

1) Deivi Garcia – My favorite young Yankee pitcher had unquestionably the best command and pitchability of the group. Deivi Garcia makes pitching an art form. He has 9 quadrant command, putting fastballs wherever he wants to. I originally wrote the command is plus, but now I am thinking that was light. Deivi has amazing feel to pitch, living on the corners and expanding the zone with intent. The mechanics? Clean, easy, with very little effort. He has the best chance to remain a starter among this group, and his advanced feel for pitching differentiates him from the other pitchers on this list.

2) Luis Medina – The stuff is top of the rotation caliber. It’s a premium arm with a short, electric action from a high slot. On Saturday his fastball sat high 90s and touched 100 with sink and run. The pitch mix was fastball heavy, and Medina tried to elevate it with two strikes. The curve is a weapon, an 80-84 mph hammer with filthy, late break. At times Medina would lose his release point, overthrowing to the gloveside. He looked to be overthrowing with two strikes, often high fastballs above the zone. Considering he is 19, I am not overly concerned about it. Medina has a projectable frame, but I wonder if adding weight is even necessary with his current stuff. The objective should be to add strength only to the extent to which flexibility and present stuff are not compromised. Medina will go as far as his command takes him. His 20th percentile outcome is a #2 starter and his floor is high leverage reliever. The stuff is too good to ignore.

3) Luis Gil – In the past, scouts have told me, “when in doubt, gamble on the athlete.” Well, what if I am picking between two great athletes? The third pitcher was a tough choice, but I opted for the guy whose body I preferred. Luis Gil is high-waisted and lanky, with big projection and an easy arm. It’s a “playing catch” delivery and the fastball sits 93-95 with life and cut, the result of his cross-body arm action. His low-80s curve had big two-plane break, and he abused Jean Carlos Encarnacion with spin. I would love to see Gil turn over a lineup three times, but the ease of his delivery and quality of his stuff lead me to believe he can start. I ultimately chose Gil over Roansy Contreras because I believe Gil has a better chance of sticking in the rotation.

 

4) Roansy Contreras – The arm speed is special and the delivery is extremely athletic. Contreras works directly toward home with good momentum and keeps hitters honest with a tightly spun curve in the high 70s. Earlier this week he sat 93-94 with the fastball. The fastball was fairly straight and lacked plane but also jumped out of his hand. At the end of the day, I think Contreras’ stuff plays better in the pen. However, it goes without saying that the Yankees should give him every opportunity to remain a starter until he proves that he can’t.

5) Tanner Myatt - An 11th round pick out of Florence-Darlington Technical College (JUCO), Myatt stood out in Saturday’s game. Listed at 6’6” 225, he is long-limbed and lean. Along with the frame comes plus extension and a perceived velocity bump. Myatt has good body control for his size, something that often eludes tall pitchers. He works downhill with a slot that borders on low three quarters. The fastball sat mid 90s and Myatt could run it inside on right-handed hitters. The second offering was his curve, which had inconsistent shape but flashed above average. The pitch mix was predominantly FB/CB, but a changeup around 90 was shown. It had moderate depth and no run. Don’t be surprised if Myatt emerges from relative obscurity to rise up lists this season. He has the body, stuff, and athleticism to make it happen.