Yankees: One underrated pitching prospect could crack the 26-man roster

jhony brito, yankees
Mar 19, 2022; Sarasota, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Jhony Brito (36) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles during spring training at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have a strong bullpen composed of young pitchers and some proven commodities. The team expects to rely heavily on arms like Ron Marinaccio, Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loáisiga, and many more familiar faces.

However, there are prospects also climbing the system and gearing up to offer their support during the 2023 season. Greg Weissert is an obvious edition but “workhorse” Jhony Brito could also be in the mix to land on the 26-man roster.

“There are guys in Triple-A ready, Jhony Brito, Matt Blake mentioned Brito being someone that he was really intrigued with when he was at Carlos Rodón’s press conference”

– Chris Kirschner of The Atheltic.

The Yankees might have something with Jhony Brito:

Brito is an exciting young player at 25 years old. He spent 70.2 innings with Triple-A Scranton last year, collecting six wins across 18 appearances. He enjoyed a 3.31 ERA, 6.75 strikeouts per nine, 0.64 HR/9 rate, 75.6% left on base rate, and a 54.4% ground ball rate.

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As you can probably tell, he is a big ground-ball producer, which is exactly what the Yankees want out of their bullpen arm. Weak contact and reducing fly balls are always a positive, so the Bombers may view Brito as a potential impact prospect out of the bullpen this year.

Per Ryan Garcia of Empire Sports Media, Brito’s best pitches are a sinking fastball and changeup:

Jhony Brito’s best pitches are his sinking fastball and changeup, which allowed him to generate a GB% of 54.4% at Triple-A. Initially, a 10.1% K-BB% seems indicative of a poor season, but Brito had a 3.31 ERA in his time with the Scranton Railriders. 

To open spring training, Brito has already had a few opportunities to face off against some of the Yankees’ top hitters, striking out a number of them. With his type of longevity, the team could also use him as a spot starter if need be, similar to how JP Sears was utilized in 2022. Nonetheless, aside from his good stamina, he can be a tremendous relief arm.

Considering that Blake has already named him as a potential call-up several weeks ago, it is nice to see he’s living up to expectations early in spring training, but we will ultimately see what he can offer in live competition. If he performs well and limits production, his chances of landing on the roster are quite high.