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Yankees Prospect Profile: Tyler Webb

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Will this lefty break camp with the Yankees?

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Background

The Yankees selected Tyler Webb in the 10th round of the 2013 Draft out of the University of South Carolina. The huge (6'6") left-handed reliever had a tremendous season his senior year, when he posted a 1.47 ERA along with 12.56 K/9 through 43 innings. Despite his size, Webb doesn't rely entirely on power, choosing to mix in fastballs which sit around 90 mph and curveballs. He also had Tommy John surgery in college, and he has experienced some fluctuation with his fastball velocity, though he hasn't had any real health issues since then. Webb's journey through the farm system started in Staten Island, where he pitched just five innings before being promoted to Charleston where he finished the season with 40 strikeouts in 30.1 innings.

2014 Results

Webb started his first full season in the minors in High-A Tampa. It wasn't long before he was promoted to Trenton, and finally to Scranton, where he ended the season. One positive is that Webb was able to maintain his strikeout numbers as he moved through the system. He even improved upon his 2013 numbers slightly, putting up 12.3 K/9 overall compared to 12.2 the year before. Webb also finished the season with a solid 2.9 BB/9. However, his ERA and FIP both inflated as he faced stiffer competition. Webb had a 4.04 ERA and 2.65 FIP through 35.2 IP in Double-A, then a 4.05 ERA and 3.76 FIP through 20 IP in Triple-A. He did have one particularly rough outing in Scranton where he gave up 4 runs in 0.2 IP, so small sample size could be to blame for making him look bad, especially since his strikeout numbers were still good across all three levels.

2015 Outlook

Despite putting together a very good season, and the fact that the Yankees could have used a lefty reliever to replace Matt Thornton, Webb did not end up being called up when rosters expanded in September. He did receive an invite to spring training, like fellow lefty Jacob Lindgren. This is a good chance for both of them to show what they've got, but the team isn't exactly lacking in lefties after adding Andrew Miller, Chasen Shreve and Justin Wilson to the roster over the offseason. Webb will probably start the year in Triple-A, but he could be a candidate to be called up early in the season if someone gets injured. He does have more time in the minors than Lindgren, so it will be interesting to see who gets the nod to be called up between the two if they both happen to be in Scranton at the same time. If he does make it to the Yankees bullpen this year, it could be the tallest group of relievers ever.