In the fourth round of last year’s MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected the 2019 American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year. That pitcher was East Carolina standout, Jake Agnos. Agnos is a pitcher on the mound who is known for his killer instinct on the mount. For his school he struck out an astonishing 124 batters in 83 innings last year. Agnos attacks hitters with his fastball that can top out in the mid-90s and his plus curveball which has a sharp 12-6 break. Agnos only made a few appearances last year in the Yankees organization, but he definitely showed areas where he can shine within the organization. Agnos, who stands 5’11 and weighs 207 pounds, doesn’t produce a ton of power on the mound. However, he possesses the stuff to keep guys off balance and rack up a lot of strikeouts.
Transition to Pro Ball
As mentioned above, Agnos made his organizational debut last season. In 5 games in rookie ball, the left-hander started 4 games and pitched to a 5.25 ERA. He only threw 12 innings last year, but he was able to strike out 15 batters which are a really positive sign. It is always nice to see guys strikeout numbers translate over to professional ball after dominating the college ranks. Agnos started working on a changeup but really doesn’t feature it all that much to this point. I wouldn’t even grade that pitch out as average yet just because he doesn’t really have a good feel for it. In college he could get away with dominating guys with his two-plus pitches, but if he wants to be a starter, the development of that third pitch is key. With so few innings pitched, the main thing to look at is the strikeouts. Don’t fall in love with the ERA or WHIP when it’s such a small sample size.
Starter or Reliever?
Moving forward, again the key will be if Agnos can develop a third pitch. With two dominant pitches and his stature, he might be geared up towards a future in the bullpen. Dominant lefties out of the bullpen are not easy to come by, so for his own professional development, I might steer him in that direction. If he is dead set on wanting to be a starter, it will all come down to change up development. With a dominant curve and a very good feel for his fastball, I really like Agnos’s long-term out of the bullpen. I think he is the type of guy who could rise through the system pretty quickly and dominate. It’ll be interesting to see how the New York Yankees move him forward, but I expect their developmental path to becoming a lot more clear for Agnos over the next year.