Yankees have a lowkey stud starting pitcher climbing the farm system

Ken Waldichuk, yankees,

The New York Yankees have done a phenomenal job developing some of their young pitchers the past few seasons. While Michael King and Clarke Schmidt are finally hitting their stride in the MLB, another young pitcher is climbing the farm system who could make a tremendous impact to the next level.

Somerset starter Ken Waldichuk has been dominating this season in Double-A at just 24 years old. Waldichuk crushed Single-A ball last season, recording a 0.00 ERA before making his way to Double-A, where he struggled to adjust. This season, it’s been an entirely different story.

“He’s been dominant,” Double-A Somerset Patriots manager, Dan Fiorito told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.

Waldichuk oozes confidence, mowing down batters at an impressive rate.

“He’s a workhorse,” Fiorito said. “He’s somebody who, every time he gets the ball, he seems so confident we’re going to go out there and get a win.”

Waldichuk features a 13.50 strikeout per nine rate and 91.5% left on base rate this year. His 51.4% ground ball rate is also outstanding, representing a number the Yankees will love for their stadium. After being elevated to Double-A in 2021, Ken did labor to a degree, recording a 4.20 ERA over 79.1 innings. However, he’s taken a significant step forward this year and continues to impress the Yankees brass.

“He attacks hitters,” Fiorito said. “He’s getting better and better with his the impressive stuff that he has, being able to control it and throw it in the zone and when he’s doing that and he’s showing his plus fastball and it’s upper 90s with run and ride, and then you throw in the slider and changeup.
Waldichuk is quickly climbing the Yankees prospect list, now within the top 10 by most accounts. It is clear that his control and velocity have become more prevalent, increasing his value and efficiency.
If he continues to develop at this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ken earns an opportunity in Triple-A before the season is over. Next year, who’s to say he doesn’t dominate and make his way to the MLB roster, potentially making an impact as a relief arm before being bumped up to stater. Adding another lefty arm to the rotation might be valuable.