For the first time in a long time the Yankees have an impressive cadre of starting pitching options in the system. Right now all the attention is on the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and CC Sabathia, and what the Yankees do about their rotation in 2018, but Luis Severino gives them hope that there are players on the farm who can effectively fill in going forward. Before the MLB Draft, the Yankees need to assess their pitching options, and things are looking good.
When it comes to pitching prospects, most people look to James Kaprielian as the shining example of talent in the team’s system. While it’s disappointing to see him go down with an elbow injury, it’s also important to remember the many talented players the Yankees still have developing who are healthy and effective.
The Yankees are getting a lot of production from Jordan Montgomery, who made the team as a surprise out of spring training. He has held his own in the rotation for two months now, and other pitchers are waiting their turn. Guys like Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell, Dietrich Enns, and Ronald Herrera represent talent that can slot into the back of the rotation, if their help is ever needed.
Even the players who aren’t on the team’s 40-man roster have shown themselves to be gifted. Despite his overall lack of experience, Chance Adams has found his way to Scranton in just his third professional season. Domingo German, a survivor of Tommy John surgery, has put up some good numbers as he moves further away from his injury. It wouldn’t be surprising if either pitcher finds their way onto the roster.
There is plenty of talent at the Double-A level with top pitching prospects Justus Sheffield and Domingo Acevedo still developing in Trenton. Lesser known pitchers, like Josh Rogers and Nestor Cortes, are pitching well and due to attract attention. Neither are the big-name prospects that fans are looking for, but there is a good chance that they can offer some value.
High-A Tampa and Low-A Charleston seem to have collected a good amount of undervalued talent, all while everyone watches the organization’s upper levels. Ian Clarkin seems to be back to his old self after previously missing time to injury. New additions from last year’s trades, like Zack Littell, Nick Green, and Erik Swanson, have done well for themselves in their new organization. James Reeves and Taylor Widener have been moved to the rotation in the last two seasons, and both have seen success in the early goings. Other top prospects are still figuring things out.
Beyond the talent that is currently working their way up, the Yankees also have the injured Austin DeCarr and Dillon Tate waiting for their chance to get back on the mound. It would seem that even the hurt and struggling prospects have the potential to be impressive once they get back to their old ways.
No matter how you slice it, the Yankees are loaded with pitching talent from top to bottom. Right now the major league-ready players are lesser in terms of total upside, but this organization will take something over nothing after so many barren years. Maybe they don’t have the top flight pitching that will sit at the top of the major league rotation next year, but that could change soon enough.
Despite all the talent currently in the system, the Yankees should not be afraid to go back to the well and add more pitching this year. People say you can never have enough pitching, and it really is the truest words uttered in baseball. Despite all the promise, there’s always room for more.