At the 2016 MLB Trade Deadline, the New York Yankees traded outfielder Ben Gamel to the Seattle Mariners for a pair of pitching prospects. One of those prospects was the Mariners 14th round pick in the 2015 draft who had really impressed scouts since making the professional jump. That pitching prospect that the Yankees got would be the Arizona native, Jio Orozco. Standing 6’1 and weighing 210 pounds, Orozco is the type of pitcher who is going to go right at hitters. Possessing three pitches that have above-average potential, Orozco is making waves within the New York Yankees organization. Orozco is the type of guy who pitches with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. You won’t find him on a lot of prospect lists for the top arms in the system, but that plays to that chip. Quietly, Orozco is developing into one of the better pitchers in the Yankees system.
Impressive & Consistent 2019
Last year was a very solid year for the right-hander. Orozco pitched in 18 games between Charleston and Tampa and started 16. Orozco went an impressive 7-4 with a 3.10 ERA and had a WHIP of 1.23. Orozco is really flying under the radar, but really impressed scouts last year. Orozco can go right at hitters with a fastball that consistently sits in the mid-90s. What makes his fastball so good is the late sink he has on it. If his fastball is on, a lot of players drive it straight into the dirt or they miss it altogether. In addition to his impressive fastball, Orozco possesses a sharp 12-6 curveball that has above average spin. Orozco also has a changeup that is progressing nicely and is turning into a solid third option for him when he’s on the mound. It is always key in a young pitchers’ development to have at least three above-average pitchers if you want to crack a major league rotation, and Orozco has that. All three of his pitches grade out at an above-average level when they’re on, and he is the kind of pitcher the Yankees really like. In watching film, he is the type of guy who has two versions of being on his game. One version causes a ton of swings and misses and the other version will induce a ton of ground ball outs.
Like with any prospect, there is some things that Orozco needs to work on. One of the things that Orozco needs to continue to work on is his consistency with his location. The last two seasons have been steps in the right direction for Orozco in terms of the amount of guys he’s allowing on base, but even more fine tuning of his location will move him through the system quicker. His fastball is his best pitch, but he needs to continue to work on perfecting his breaking balls. Orozco is actually one of my favorite prospects in the Yankees system in terms of their arms. He just looks like a pro and you usually feel good about him giving you a quality outing when he’s on the mound. While he might not have ace stuff, he’s definitely one of the better starters the Yankees have in their system.