Making your MLB debut for the New York Yankees at the ripe age of 22 usually poses a few complications. Confidence and trust can likely be included, and there is no doubt the pre-game jitters take a toll on your psyche.
For top pitching prospect Jonathan Loaisiga, he endured those complications. The once outcasted San Francisco Giant has found his way to the Yankees’ farm-system. Before coming to New York, he had recorded a single start since 2015.
He famously became a danger to the Single-A and Double-A leagues with the Bombers, recording an ERA of 2.89 with 67 strikeouts and eight walks in 56 innings. The Yankees called upon the right-hander straight from Double-A, not even allowing him time to grow into the next level. They thought he was ready, and while his control was questionable, he showed great velocity and a nasty curveball.
The young pitcher made a case for himself as a potential impact player in the league. Now, the question is:
Will the Yankees utilize Jonathan Loaisiga in 2019?
The Yankees recently traded for oft-injured pitcher James Paxton and retained J.A. Happ. The rotation now looks something like this — Happ, Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia. With injuries an ever apparent caution sign, the Yanks have some solid youth depth that could play a part next season – one of which could be Loaisiga.
In 24.2 inning pitched last season, Jonathan earned a 5.11 ERA, 33 strikeouts and 12 walks. He allowed three homers and 27 hits, which averages more than a hit per inning against the 22-year-old.
The numbers don’t look all that attractive regarding Loaisiga’s limited sample size, but next season could be the perfect opportunity for him to continue developing. The Yankees will have a solid batting order that can provide run-support, and instilling their confidence in him could be just what the needs to unleash his potential.