When the New York Yankees were down some men in the bullpen, it required all hands on deck from those already in the minors and from the players who were given a call up to play in The Bronx. Greg Weissert was one of them, and his impressive pitching profile made him quite deserving.
Grade: I (Incomplete)
2022 Statistics: 12 games, 11.1 IP, 5.56 ERA, 2.87 xERA, 4.17 FIP, 0.971 WHIP, 0.8 HR/9
2023 Contract Status: Pre-Arb Eligible
Weissert is another pitcher within this roster (and another one who I’ve had the pleasure of writing about) who is hard to give a grade because of lack of service time for whatever reason. Weissert was a midseason promotion due to injuries in the bullpen, and it was evident that he felt some nerves from the outset. He had to be consoled by fellow teammates in the dugout against the Oakland Athletics after a supremely subpar performance in his first outing. However, when he was performing well, there was a lot to like from the 27-year-old rookie out of Fordham.
Something that we have touched on endlessly here at PSA is the Yankees' bullpen diversity. People much smarter than me have talked about it more in depth, but Weissert is a pitcher who provides just that. He has a unique delivery and his slider is one that buckled hitters plenty of times. I mean, this is just absurd.
Greg Weissert, Frightening Slider.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 3, 2022
21" of horizontal break. pic.twitter.com/npyMBqeoOM
Twenty-one inches of horizontal break is a crazy high amount, and any time you can step on the mound and make a guy in the right-handed batter’s box turn out of the way while still getting a strike as a right-handed pitcher, it’s going to be a viral moment just as this was.
Weissert’s MLB numbers were not very good last season. Yes, the sample is small, and that’s very important to remember. He could very well be an important piece of the bullpen in the 2023 campaign, alongside bigger names like Jonathan Loáisiga, Michael King, Clay Holmes, and new/old addition Tommy Kahnle. Weissert’s fastball velocity according to Baseball Savant was in the 71st percentile, but his spin on the fastball was only in the 21st, which could be something to watch out for as he earns more of a defined role with the team.
In 2022, Weissert used a four-pitch mix consisting of a sinker (38.2%), slider (36.6%), four-seam fastball (15.1%), and changeup (10.2%). The sinker and slider were his most used pitches and the ones that he used to put batters away, as evidenced by how insane the movement was on that slider. Why wouldn’t you use that to try and generate a swing? My colleague Esteban Rivera wrote an excellent analysis of that duo in Weissert’s repertoire in an article here.
It’s important to note that Weissert will be 28 in February, and while that’s not on the young side of the spectrum per se, it doesn’t mean that the Yankees and the pitching staff can’t try to squeeze more out of him. After all, bullpen arms can have often different shelf lives, regardless of age. The tools are there, and with his release coming at a more unusual angle than your average reliever, it’s very possible that the Yankees could see a future with the major league squad.
The 2022 campaign was short for the former 18th-round pick and there were both very good performances and other performances that I’m sure Weissert wants to flush down the toilet. However, every Yankees fan got to glimpse his wicked arsenal.
While there need to be some issues ironed out (to the point that they are not something in the back of every fan’s mind when he approaches the mound), Weissert brings plenty of good things to the table as a right-handed, slightly awkward-throwing reliever.