2016 Statistics: 26 G, 1.73 ERA, 8.3 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 135 IP
2016 Level/Roster Status: Double-A/Triple-A/Non-40
The Yankees selected Dietrich Enns out of Central Michigan in the 19th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. As he made his way through the farm system, Enns more or less split his time working as both a starter and a reliever. In May 2014, Enns was forced to cut his season short to have Tommy John surgery. He successfully went through the rehab process and returned in June of 2015. Interestingly, Enns has mostly worked as a starter since his return. He finished the 2015 season with a 0.76 ERA through 47 and one-third innings in Tampa.
After tossing well over 100 innings in Tampa across three different seasons, Enns finally earned a promotion to Trenton. The lefty was dominant right out of the gate, pitching 24 and two-thirds scoreless innings before he allowed his first run of the season to score during his fifth start. Enns even took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in back-to-back starts. For his efforts, MILB.com awarded Enns the Eastern League Player of the Month in April. He made 12 starts with Trenton before finally sticking in Scranton for good (after briefly being called up to start two games).
In some ways, Enns pitched even better in Triple-A, which is encouraging. He posted a 1.93 ERA in Trenton, but that dropped to 1.52 in Scranton. His home run rates remained the same across both levels, and he actually gave up less hits in Triple-A (1.12 WHIP), and walked less batters (3.6 BB/9). However, Enns’ strikeouts did drop from 9.5 K/9 to 6.9 K/9. He was still able to hold opponents to a .208 batting average though.
By the time September rolled around, he was more than deserving of a September call-up, especially considering the fact that the Yankees were dealing with injuries to both Chad Green and Nathan Eovaldi. Unfortunately, Enns was not a legitimate consideration because the Yankees had him on an innings limit. He was actually moved to the bullpen at the end of the minor league season because 2016 was his first full season back from TJS, and he had only pitched 58 and two-thirds innings in 2015.
The Yankees are going to have to decide whether they want to add Enns to the 40-man roster or risk losing him in the Rule 5 Draft. He could have been scooped up last year and he wasn’t, but now he has another full year under his belt, and he pitched consistently well between Double-A and Triple-A. Assuming that Enns is still with the team next year, he should get a long look during spring training. He might even be in the mix for some sort of starter competition, though he could also be an option in the bullpen. If he doesn’t make the team in April, he will likely make it to the big leagues to help out at some point during the season.