New York Yankees: Rookie Pitcher Stephen Tarpley Turning Heads in Spring Training

Mar 25, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Stephen Tarpley (71) throws to the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Tarpley was just awarded the James P. Dawson Award for the best Rookie player at New York Yankees spring training this season. He was also added to the 25 man roster for opening day. Who is this guy and what does he bring to the Bronx?

The 26-year-old lefty pitcher from Los Angeles, California, went to high school in Arizona and was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 8th round of the 2011 draft, but he elected to attend USC and play baseball but after one year, transferred back to Scottsdale Community College.

In 2013, Stephen was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 3rd round of the draft and he signed. He then played with the Gulf Coast Orioles where he posted an 0-1 record with a 2.14 ERA in 7 starts.

He was then promoted to the Aberdeen Iron Birds, in 2014 and went 3-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 13 appearances of which 12 were as a starting pitcher.

On January 27, 2015, Tarpley was traded from the Orioles organization to the Pirates. He spent that year in their Class A South, West Virginia Power affiliate, going 11-4, with a 2.48 ERA, and 1.15 WHIP in 20 starts. He was then promoted again to Class A in 2016, Advanced Florida State League where he amassed a 6-4 record, 4.32 ERA in 20 starts.

On August 20, 2016, Tarpley was the “other player named” in a trade to the Yankees for Ivan Nova. He threw one game in for the Tampa Yankees that season.

New York Yankees: Tarpley’s career begins in Pinstripes

After he joined the Bombers, he was rapidly promoted, climbing through the minor league system. In 2017 between the Tampa Tarpons and AA affiliate Trenton Thunder, he went 7-0, with an 0.88 ERA and the same WHIP. People at the big league office noticed.

Tarpley was called up to the bigs on September 1, 2018, and has 10 appearances with the Yankees with only a 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and SO/W ratio of 2.17.

In spring training this year, Stephen held opponents scoreless in 11 1/3 innings pitched, only surrendered 6 hits, 1 walk and struck out 8 batters.

Yankee manager Aaron Boone said of Tarpley… “He opened my eyes last year, he kind of started to become part of the conversations in the middle of the minor league season as a guy that kind of jumped on our radar.”

Congratulations to Stephen Tarpley, on the James P. Dawson award, making it to the 25 man roster of the Yankees and first the radar which made you noticed. Let’s see your pitches light up those guns!