The New York Yankees may be struggling in the present, but glimmers of hope are shining through their minor-league system, forecasting potential impact players in the near future.
Promising Pitchers in Focus
While fans and analysts have their eyes on top prospects like Jasson Dominguez, Everson Pereira, and former first-round pick Spencer Jones, it’s a pitcher, Drew Thorpe, who has caught attention after his impressive Double-A start on Friday night.
Drew Thorpe: A Name to Remember
A former second-round pick in the 2022 June Amateur Draft, Thorpe opened his Double-A account by pitching eight scoreless innings. His performance boasts a 2.81 ERA, including 11.39 strikeouts per nine innings, with a 76.7% left-on-base rate, a 48.4% ground ball rate, and 3.22 xFIP over 109 innings with High-A Hudson Valley.
Facing the formidable Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Mets’ Double-A affiliate, Thorpe threw 93 pitches, 61 of which were strikes. He induced 11 ground balls, allowed only one fly ball, and struck out nine batters. Following a lead-off hit in the first inning, Thorpe’s performance was nothing short of remarkable.
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A Rising Star at Just 22 for the Yankees
At the young age of 22, Thorpe is making a strong argument for an MLB promotion in 2024, possibly later in the season. Though he needs further experience in Double-A and Triple-A, his potential is undeniable.
Notably, Thorpe possesses one of the best change-ups from the 2022 draft class and exhibits the capacity to generate significant swing-and-miss numbers. Alongside his excellent change-up, his lethal slider is a weapon, though he continues to develop his fastball, which averages in the low 90s and reaches up to 95 with decent sink.
Should he add more velocity to his fastball, Thorpe could become a valuable asset at the MLB level, potentially as a starter.
Other Names Making Waves in the Minor-League
The Yankees’ minor-league system isn’t just about Thorpe. Other promising pitchers like Will Warren and Clayton Beeter are working their way through, and Richard Fitts, currently in Double-A, is hosting a 3.38 ERA, 9.78 strikeouts per nine, and an 80% left-on-base rate over 119.2 innings.
While some may question the strength of the Yankees’ farm system, the reality is more optimistic. Several potential impact players are ready to make their mark; they need the opportunity to shine at the MLB level.
Time to Lean on Youth
After a disappointing 2023 season, the Yankees must reconsider how they have treated their prospects in recent years. Rather than holding them back, it might be time to rely more on the youthful talent bubbling up through their ranks. The potential is there, and the future could be bright if these young players are given the chance to develop and contribute at the top level.