2014 Statistics: 3.80 ERA, 2.55 FIP, 12.3 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 68.2 IP
2014 Level/Roster Status: Triple-A/Non 40-man
Rob Refsnyder might get most of the attention when it comes to the 2014 Yankees farm system, but the real standout position of the year was the bullpen. Jacob Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow, and Tyler Webb all had incredibly successful seasons as relievers in the minors and, if the big league team was more successful, perhaps some of them could have seen time in the majors. Unfortunately, despite their success, it wasn't meant to be.
Out of those three, the one who likely had the best shot, considering the Yankees could have used him the most, was probably Tyler Webb. Back in August when the Yankees allowed the Nationals to take Matt Thornton off their hands, it was believed the move was to clear space for Jacob Lindgren to move to the majors. With their primary lefty gone, the team seemed poised to call up someone from the minors to replace him. At that point, though, Lindgren had just been moved up to Double-A and, having already pitched a full college season, it didn't seem like he had too much left in the tank.
Webb then became the legitimate candidate for a call up. He was the 2013 version of Lindgren, having been drafted out of college as a closer and as a fastball-curveball pitcher who doesn't rely entirely on velocity to collect a high amount of strikeouts, he sounds a lot like a left-handed David Robertson. This year he continued to strikeout batters, collecting nearly 100 in only 68.2 innings while also managing his control with a respectable 2.9 BB/9. While he had an ERA over 4.00 in both Double-A and Triple-A, where he really seemed to struggle was when he made it up to Scranton and pitched to a 3.76 FIP. The strikeout numbers didn't change, so it's possible that could all come down to a small sample size of only 20 innings that included a three-hit, four-run, 0.2-innings outing that made him look worse than he was.
Going into 2015, the Yankees don't have a left-handed specialist on board. Rich Hill will be gone and David Huff will likely get non-tendered, so that would leave people like James Pazos, Lindgren, and Webb to compete for the role in spring training. Pazos has struggled with control (4.1 BB/9) in Double-A and the Yankees might want to take it slow with Lindgren by allowing him to start the season in Triple-A. That could leave Tyler Webb as the favorite to break camp with the team, and while it's a very small role, the 24-year-old could play his way into more situations if he proves to be equally effective against right-handed batters.