Yankees’ stud pitching prospects lighting up camp early

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

With spring training underway and the Yankees hard at work ahead of the 2024 regular season, all eyes are on the pitching staff and how the front office continues to address a starting rotation that could use another premium arm.

If General Manager Brian Cashman fails to bring in another top-flight pitcher, the Yankees will likely have to lean on some of their young prospects at some point, but they will be ready for the call, having already shown signs of quality this past week.

Yankees’ Prospects Rising to the Challenge

Right off the bat, 24-year-old pitching prospect Will Warren expects to play a part in the Yankees’ 2024 equation. Whether it be out of the bullpen or as a starter, Warren has the arsenal of pitches to make an immediate impact.

Last year, Warren pitched 29.1 innings for Double-A Somerset and 99.2 with Triple-A Scranton. In Scranton, he hosted a 3.61 ERA and 9.93 strikeouts per nine, but he struggled against left-handed batters. Warren has been working on adding a cutter to his arsenal and attacking lefties with a strategy, something that showed tangible results at the end of the 2023 season.

The Yankees are excited that Warren can help them and their quest for a championship this upcoming year, but don’t rule out Chase Hampton as another impact piece, who’s also been looking tremendous and assimilating with the top guys.

Spring Training Impressions

“They looked really good,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Two guys we’re certainly excited about and excited that they’re in camp with us and checking that box of that experience, which is important to be around our guys. I’m excited about their progress and definitely feel like those guys have bright futures.”

Hampton has a nasty repertoire of pitches, but don’t be fooled by his Double-A numbers last year, when he posted a 4.37 ERA over 59.2 innings. Hampton wasn’t utilizing his fastball as much, working on developing his other pitches. His fastball is arguably his best weapon, and the Yankees are planning to utilize it more prominently this upcoming season, which should see him fly through the minor-league system and become an available arm if the Yankees need any support.

Hampton is looking forward to the challenge of spring training, even if it doesn’t mean winning a roster spot immediately. The Yankees routinely deal with injuries, so Hampton could get his opportunity, if not in 2025, and he’ll only be 23 years old.

Preparing for the Big Leagues

“Just me being a competitor,” Hampton said, via the New York Post. “Going out there and trying to win as much as possible and honestly try to punch everybody out I see. So I think that was really the biggest thing.”

There’s a reason the Yankees held onto Warren and Hampton: They have special pitch sequences and are improving daily.

Warren had already been down in Tampa for about two weeks prior to spring training, getting ahead of the curve and learning from some of the team’s veterans before the rest of the team reported. Their work ethic and obvious commitment to development are catalysts for the opportunities they will receive in the future, and the excitement building around them is palpable.

“Both of them have advanced arsenals, so you can see what it looks like,” pitching coach Matt Blake said. “Now it’s just a matter of learning how to use them against more advanced hitters.”

Facing off against MLB-level hitters will be a challenge for Warren and Hampton during spring training, but this type of experience convinces management they can be assets. Fortunately, they will be working alongside rookie Austin Wells, who will be a familiar face and a calming presence behind the dish.

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