Unexpected breakouts are what takes a pitching staff from good to outstanding. Performances that the front office and the coaching staff don’t see coming can give a team, in this case, the Yankees, the necessary resources to increase its ceiling.
The Yankees had several breakout pitchers in recent seasons. It was Deivi Garcia in 2020, Jonathan Loáisiga and Clay Holmes in 2021, and Ron Marinaccio and Michael King in 2022.
Which will be the ones taking their game to another level in 2023?
- Yankees still have a big starting pitching decision to figure out
- Yankees can still land top remaining free-agent left-fielder if asking price comes down
- Yankees settle with Gleyber Torres on one-year deal, avoiding arbitration
Potential breakout pitchers for the Yankees’ 2023 season:
Weissert was fantastic for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, last year, but his ERA with the big league club was a middling 5.56 in 11.1 innings.
Yet, there is a good chance that number is much, much lower this upcoming season. Weissert had a 1.96 ERA in Triple-A in 2021, and it was at 1.69 at the same level in 2022. Despite the high MLB RA, his expected ERA (a Statcast metric that prioritizes quality and quantity of contact) was an excellent 2.87.
If we take away his MLB debut against the Oakland Athletics, in which he conceded three runs and walked two while getting just one out, his ERA goes down to 3.27. Nerves could have played a role that night.
He has the strikeout ability and poise to be a weapon out of the bullpen in 2023.
Vasquez is one of the Yankees’ best-kept secrets. The 24-year-old has an elite curveball that helped him get 120 strikeouts in 115.1 innings at Double-A last year. His ERA was 3.90: not bad, but not excellent, either.
Ideally, the Yankees would work with him to refine his fastball and secondaries so he can remain a starter, but he could also be a fine multi-inning relief arm. In any case, he has breakout potential in 2023 and a chance to contribute in the summer months.
When the Yankees traded Joey Gallo to the Los Angeles Dodgers, they got a pitching prospect in return. That prospect, Clayton Beeter, could be a hidden gem and a key contributor for the 2023 Yanks.
Beeter’s ERA in 51.2 innings with the Dodgers’ Double-A team was 5.75 at the time of the trade. New York assigned him to the same level upon acquiring him, and he took off with a 2.13 ERA and a 1.99 FIP.
His strikeout numbers were even more impressive: he fanned 14.57 hitters per nine innings, and his K% was an elite 39.4.
Beeter is likely to start in Scranton. If he can keep his walks in check, he has major breakout potential in 2023.