With the New York Yankees dealing with injury concerns in their bullpen, it is always nice to hear about minor-league prospects shooting up the system and dominating at the Triple-A level with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
One of the team’s top pitching prospects, Hayden Wesneski, has been dominating in Scranton, recording a 3.52 ERA over 46 innings pitched. He was beaten up a bit in his most recent start, but prior to that, he hosted a 2.23 ERA and hadn’t given up more than two earned runs in five consecutive starts.
Wesneski has blazing velocity, touching nearly triple digits with his fastball and featuring great break on his offspeed pitches.
“I think the biggest attribute he has is that he’s not scared,” Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake said, via NJ.com. “He’s going to go right after hitters. Other than his outing the other day, I think he’s done a good job so far.”
The Yankees gave Wesneski a chance during spring training to feature with the bigs, and he showed some top-end quality that could impact the Yankees’ top team down the road.
“I really liked his confidence and his attack plan when he came over for us,” the pitching coach said. “We threw him out there as a starter against Pittsburgh in spring training and it was the first time we really got a look at him. He’s comfortable. He’s authentic to who he is and he went right after them.”
To be a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball, you need to be fearless. When a player launches a home run off of you, you have to put it to the back of your mind and move forward as if it never happened. That is what separates good from great pitchers; the mistakes don’t compound.
Wesneski is still a while away from making his MLB debut, it could happen later on this season:
While we shouldn’t expect to see Hayden feature with the Yankees anytime soon, next year may be his first opportunity to either help in a bullpen role or supplement deficiencies at the back end of the starting rotation.
This year, Luis Gil and JP Sears have gotten the opportunities to mitigate fatigue in the rotation. With Gil suffering a significant UCL injury that will require Tommy John surgery, Sears seems to be the next man in line. However, if Wesneski continues to perform at this level, I wouldn’t be surprised if manager Aaron Boone gave him a crack later on in the season if the Yankees have a playoff spot locked up.