Yankees’ new top pitching prospect could make an impact in 2024

Syndication: Courier News, drew thorpe, yankees, will warren
Alexander Lewis / MyCentralJersey / USA TODAY NETWORK

After the New York Yankees sent a significant number of pitchers on their way this off-season in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Juan Soto, and Trent Grisham, the team is now looking to pick up the pieces. General manager Brian Cashman is scouring the free agent market and trade scene to try to find supplementary acquisitions. He may have no choice but to spend big on Jordan Montgomery, if not trade for a starting option like Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians.

Ideally, the Yankees wouldn’t have to trade away a significant number of prospects for a starter like Corbin Burnes or Dylan Cease, but leveraging depth that will have a hard time cracking the roster anyway may be beneficial. Floating Everson Pereira as a movable prospect could support the Yankees’ need for pitching, especially since they’d prefer to move position players at this point.

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The Yankees Will Lean on Several Young Pitchers

However, they’re also expected to lean on several youngsters making the transition. Notably, Will Warren should have an opportunity to not only crack the bullpen but also snag a back rotation slot. Warren is 24 years old and hosted a 3.61 ERA across 99.2 innings in Triple-A this past season. He has a good repertoire of pitches, and his upside is legit.

Two years younger than him, though, Chase Hampton, at 22, is also trying to make his MLB debut. Hampton pitched 59.2 innings in Double-A this past campaign, hosting a 4.37 ERA, 10.26 strikeouts per nine, including a 65.8% left-on-base rate and 32.9% ground ball rate. Hampton is now considered the Yankees’ top pitching prospect after Drew Thorpe was moved to the Padres.

Don’t get discouraged by his ERA. Hampton has tremendous stuff that could translate well for the Bombers. His fastball averages 91–95 mph but features high spin rates, good carry, and arm-side run. He generates a significant number of swings and misses with his curveball and slider, giving him a tantalizing pitch mix. That’s not even to mention his nasty change-up that fades away from batters. He could end up sliding into the bullpen if the Yankees need support at some point in 2024, but he has the makeup of a starter, and they’re simply waiting for him to reach his potential.

Hampton transitioned to Double-A, arguably the most difficult minor-league level, after just two months of his professional career. With a good delivery and dynamic release, Hampton shouldn’t be overlooked as an impact player next season, if not in 2025, when the Yankees could utilize him as a primary starter.