Yankees preparing to get back forgotten high-upside bullpen arm

scott effross, yankees
Aug 20, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Scott Effross (59) pitches the ball against the Toronto Blue Jays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tom Horak-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have had an impressively strong bullpen over the past few seasons despite minimal investment. They’ve acquired players like Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes for next to nothing, and thankfully, they were able to keep both despite rumors indicating they could leverage one of them in the Juan Soto trade.

The bullpen projects to be excellent once again in 2024, especially since they’re getting back Scott Effross, a pitcher they acquired from the Chicago Cubs at the 2022 deadline. Effross spent only half a year with the Cubs after pitching 14.2 innings in 2021 before being moved to the Yankees. With the Bombers, he tossed 12.2 innings, hosting a 2.13 ERA and subsequently tearing a ligament in his elbow that required Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees Could Get Great Value Out of Scott Effross

Effross displayed plenty of promise and excitement. The Yankees are preparing to leverage that upside in 2024. With two years of service time and control until the 2028 off-season, Effross can be a tremendous piece moving forward.

In 2022, he ranked in the 94th percentile in off-speed run and the 84th percentile in pitching run value in general. He was just below the great category, also hosting a 94th barrel percentage and 89th percentile chase rate. This is a player that rarely gives up contact and forces a significant amount of swings and misses.

While his velocity is low at best, just barely touching 90 MPH on average with his fastball, he produces a significant amount of break. In fact, his four-seam fastball generates 40% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher, and all of his supplementary pitches above average vertical and horizontal movement. However, it is his arm slot that makes it so deceptive, throwing it at a flat plain with side arm motion.

That submarine style of pitching even more deception on his pitches, which confuses batters and gives him leverage. Of course, it is a very unnatural way to throw a baseball and increases the probability of injury, but he’s working his way back diligently and has been enjoying bullpen sessions the past few months, ramping up ahead of the new year.

The expectation is that Effross will be ready to go for spring training, and his newly reconstructed elbow will be fully operational. At 29 years old, he could have a significant role in the Yankees bullpen, but it will take him some time to get back up to full speed naturally.

In the meantime, the Yankees have plenty of quality arms and have been adding some low-key pieces to the mix in hopes of developing them. I wouldn’t be surprised to see general manager Brian Cashman sign another bullpen arm with some upside to a low-key deal, if not trade for an underrated arm.

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