Last winter, the only thing I heard when it came to the New York Yankees is how they didn’t have any pitching and how they were going to be in trouble in the 2011 season because they were weak at that position.
What the fans don’t realize, and it is funny how this never seemed to be brought up in the offseason, is how deep the Yankees actually are in starting pitching.
The fans of the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees should be flooding to the stadium just to see the pitching talent this team has.
They started this season with an all-prospect starting rotation. How many teams can say that?
They have one of the three most hyped pitchers in the organization in Andrew Brackman. He is projected to be a top of the line starter in the majors someday.
I’m not entirely convinced on Brackman just yet though. He’s got good stuff but the control is just not there yet. He’s one of those players that only time will tell but it’s still worth going to see such a highly ranked pitcher.
The SWB rotation also has D.J. Mitchell, Adam Warren, and David Phelps in their stacked rotation. These players have been called the Yankees “second tier prospects.” They’re only called that, though, because the Yankees have the three super-prospects in Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances (both are at Double-A Trenton) and Brackman.
Those pitchers are good enough that they would be top prospects on any other team. Some of them might even already be in the majors by now if they weren’t with the Yankees.
They each have their advantages and disadvantages, though.
D.J. Mitchell has always struggled in his career against lefties. This raises some concern because as a starting pitcher you need to command both lefties and righties. It seems, though, that Mitchell might have that figured out because lefties are only hitting .266 against him this year.
He is an interesting prospect but I think he has the lowest chance out of the three pitchers to be successful at the big league level.
Adam Warren, on the other hand, is having a terrific season. He’s pitching to a 3.09 ERA so far this season and he’s off to the best start out of the group.
Warren is the type of prospect that gets you excited to have him on your team. He hasn’t struggled at any level, going back to his college days in North Carolina. The fascinating part about Warren is that he throws three different fastballs: one that breaks left, one that breaks right and one that drops. Having all three of those pitches will really help Warren go far.
The final prospect is David Phelps. He is the pitcher that I like the most in SWB. Phelps is known for having what they call a “bulldog mentality” because his game is to attack the strike zone. Attacking the strike zone allows Phelps to keep his pitch count down and it lets him go deep into the games.
In my opinion, Phelps has the best shot. His approach at the plate is exactly what you need to handle those pressures of pitching in New York and he has the stuff to go with it.
With the injuries that the Yankees have been getting hammered with, fans should really be keeping an eye on these players. I think at least one of them will be up in the Bronx sooner rather than later.
Tommy Romanelli is a WA Grad and a sophomore at LCCC. He writes for pinstripesplus.com. His thoughts on the SWB Yankees will appear in the Dispatch throughout the season.