Yesterday, I discussed some minor league position players we could see in the Major League camp come February, so today, I’ll discuss the pitchers I think we could see.
First up is the tall man, Andrew Brackman. Brackman had a good start to his professional career before the wheels fell off. Regardless, he’s on the 40-Man roster and should, once again, get a nice look in Spring Training. For Brackman, 2009 was mostly about health, as he was coming off of Tommy John Surgery. 2010, however, must be more results based and I think we are all hoping for a big step forward fr him this season.
Next is left hander Wilkin De La Rosa. This lefty hails from the Dominican Republic spent time in both Tampa (three games) and Trenton (16 games) in 2009. Overall, he struck out 8.8 batters per nine, while walking 4.2, though he allowed just 7.1 hits per nine inning and had a very solid 1.252 WHIP. This was Wilkin’s first year as a full time starter and he did well, but I expect the Yankees to turn him into a reliever. He should be up when the rosters expand in September and may come even sooner than that if he impresses.
Romulo Sanchez was just recently added to the 40-Man roster and word on him is that he can throw very hard. He came to the Yankees’ system in the Eric
Hinkse Hacker trade, and has previously spent time in the Majors with the Pirates (31 innings across 2007 and 2008). Like De La Rosa, he should be up in September and possibly sooner than that if results can follow his velocity.
Another recent addition to the 40-Man is the right handed Dominican Hector Noesi. In time with Tampa and Charleston in 2009, Noesi put up video game type numbers. His ERA was a measly 2.92 and his K/BB was an impeccable 7.87. He may not get a call to ML camp because he’s never pitched above A+, but those results are hard to ignore.
Ivan Nova was taken in the Rule V Draft last season, but the Yankees protected him this year. Splitting time between AA and AAA, Nova lowered his ERA from 4.36 to 3.68 and continued to keep the ball in the park, allowing just 0.5 HR/9. He absolutely crushed the Dominican Winter League as well, pitching to the tune of a 1.05 ERA with 17 strikeouts and just four walks in 25.1 innings.
Lastly, there’s my favorite of the Yankee pitching prospects, Zach McAllister. While Yankee fans are very familiar with Zach, he’s relatively unheralded outside the Yankee circle. Last year, Zach led the Eastern League with a 2.23 ERA and had a very solid 2.91 K/BB. All he’s done in his time with the Yankees (drafted in 2006) is put up great numbers. Still, though, he doesn’t get much praise from those outside the Yankee realm. Compare his numbers to
Phillies Blue Jays pitching prospect Kyle Drabek’s:
Kyle Drabek: 267.0 IP, 3.70 ERA, 1.259 WHIP, 8.1 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 2.35 K/BB
Zach McAllister: 378 IP, 2.81 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 7.3 H/9, 0.3 HR/9, 2.2 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 3.34 K/BB
Scouts say Drabek has a higher ceiling than Z-Mac because the former can dial it up to the mid-upper nineties. However, numbers wise, they’re pretty damn close. McAllister doesn’t profile as a top-of the line starter, but he’s incredibly solid and could even compete for the fifth starter’s spot in 2011 (if the Yankees don’t make any big free agent signings in the SP market). I definitely hope we see him pitching to Major Leaguers in Spring Training.