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The resurgence of the Yankees farm system in 2015: Pitchers

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Can the Yankees finally develop a frontline starting pitcher?

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The calling card for the Yankees minor league system recently has been relievers and back-end starters. Looking to address this, the team hired Gil Patterson to replace Nardi Contreras as pitching coordinator. With the emergence of Shane Greene, combined with the improvement of Bryan Mitchell, it appears to have been worth the investment. For the first time in years, it looks like the team has some solid starting pitchers developing in the system. Here are 10 pitchers to keep your eye on next season.

Luis Severino

Severino took the minors by storm in 2014. The Yankees very aggressively pushed him through three levels before ending the season at Double-A Trenton. His arsenal includes a mid-90’s heater, changeup, and slider that he used to dominate opposing batters. If Severino can find consistency with his slider, he could become a top-of-the-rotation starter in the Bronx as soon as 2016.

Ian Clarkin

Drafted in 2013, Clarkin features a plus-fastball, plus-curve, and an average changeup. To reach his potential of a mid-rotation starter, he’ll need to improve his command. Overall at Charleston, he put up a 3.29 FIP and 9.1 K/9, before making one start at High-A Tampa to end the season. Clarkin will most likely begin 2015 with High-A Tampa; however, if his command progresses he could move quickly.

Manny Banuelos

After missing the majority of two seasons, Banuelos finally returned to the mound in 2014. Unfortunately, he had trouble commanding his pitches and the 2.29 K/BB ratio reflects it.  On the positive side, he still possesses a low-90’s fastball, plus-changeup, curveball, and cutter. Next year will be huge for Banuelos’ future. An improvement in command at Triple-A Scranton would put him back in the big league rotation picture next season.

Bryan Mitchell

Up until this season, Mitchell had remained an enigma.  His repertoire includes a mid-90’s fastball, plus-curve, and a developing change. The problem is he has had a hard time commanding those pitches. Throughout the years many scouts have compared him to A.J. Burnett due to the knockout stuff not translating into consistent results. It’s clear that he’s a part of the team’s plans, as he was called up in September. Turning 24 next season, time is starting to run out for him to put it all together.

Ty Hensley

After missing all of 2013 following hip surgery, Hensley returned to action this season. In the Gulf Coast League and Staten Island, he put up an 11.7 K/9 to go along with a 2.99 FIP. Hensley is a power pitcher, featuring a mid-90’s fastball, hammer curve, and a developing changeup. The potential is there for him to be a top of the rotation starter in the future if he can learn to harness his stuff.

Austin DeCarr

Drafted in the third round of this year’s draft, DeCarr started his career in the GCL where he showed good command. He has a plus-fastball, plus-curveball, and a below-average changeup, all of which he throws for strikes. If the changeup develops, he has the upside of a number three starter. DeCarr will most likely start the year in Staten Island or Charleston.

Jacob Lindgren

The 2014 second rounder flew through the system, ending the year at Double-A Trenton. Lindgren is armed with a MLB-ready slider and mid-90’s fastball that he used to embarrass minor league hitters, finishing the year with a 17.3 K/9 and a 3.41 FIP. He could very well make the team out of spring training, if not it won’t take him long to get there. Lindgren is a dominant late-game reliever in the making.

Nick Rumbelow

Climbing four levels, Rumbelow finished the year at Triple-A Scranton. He is the prototypical Yankees power reliever.   Using his mid-90’s fastball and a plus-hard curve, he put up a 12.5 K/9 this season and a paltry 1.74 FIP. Jacob Lindgren may gather the headlines, but Rumbelow is on the cusp of joining the Bronx bullpen.

Jaron Long

Long was the feel good story this minor league season. Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013, he was named Trenton Thunder "Pitcher of the Year" this year. Long relies on groundballs and pinpoint control to get batters out. His repertoire includes an average fastball, plus-changeup, sinker, and cutter. Long will always have to hit his spots to be successful. It will be interesting to see what he does this upcoming season.

Tyler Webb

Tyler Webb is a big 6’6" lefty featuring a low-90’s fastball and a quality curveball. Across three levels, he pitched to a 2.35 FIP and 12.3 K/9 in 2014. Matt Thornton was let go by Brian Cashman in part to Webb being ready to contribute in the majors. I would be surprised if Webb didn’t make the team out of spring training in 2015.

This season could be a turning point for the Yankees farm system. The continued development of pitchers, such as Luis Severino and Jacob Lindgren, should be exciting in 2015. The talent is there and there’s reason for optimism that impact talent will begin to arrive in the Bronx over the next couple of seasons.

Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com