New York Yankees Prospects: Denny Larrondo

New York Yankees, Aaron boone

The next New York Yankees prospect that we will be discussing is one that was in the news a couple of months back when the pandemic started. That prospect would be the talented right-hander from Cuba, Denny Larrondo. Larrondo made headlines when it was reported that he had tested positive for COVID-19 back in March. By all accounts, Larrondo has made a full recovery, so we can start talking about the kind of player that he is on the field. Larrondo stands 6’2 and weighs about 180 pounds. He has a very nice frame for a pitcher. He has a very quick arm that generates a fastball in the mid-90’s. He compliments his fastball with a curveball that shows great potential and a developing changeup. After being signed by the Yankees out of his native Cuba, Larrondo made his professional debut last year in the Gulf Coast League.

First year in the Yankees organization

Pitching for the GCL Yankees (East & West), Larrondo started in nine games, and he appeared in relief in three. Larrondo pitched a total of 32.1 innings last year and had an ERA of 5.01 with a WHIP of 1.21. While those numbers are not ideal, there are a couple of really good numbers if you dive into his season. He held opponents to an average of .171 and he didn’t give up one home run in those 32.1 innings. Larrondo has a very raw arm at this young stage of his career, but he is already showing a lot of promise. He’s a hard guy to square up when you’re at the plate. He’s got two plus pitches already with one coming along nicely. It’ll still take years for him to fully develop into someone who is major league ready, but I’m very encouraged with what I’ve seen and read about Denny Larrondo.

Development for Larrondo

Being young and inexperienced does have it’s drawbacks with the main one being control. Larrondo had poor numbers overall last year due to the amount of guys he walked. In those 32.1 innings, Larrondo walked 21 batters and hit 10. Almost every inning he was allowing someone on base for free. As he continues to develop, I believe that control will get ironed out. I like his frame, and I think the Yankees will continue to develop him over the next few years as a starter. I think that changeup that he’s shown will develop into a solid third offering. If it doesn’t get to the level it needs to be as a major league starter, Larrondo projects very nicely as a bullpen arm with a tightly spun curveball and a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s with life.

New York Yankees: Yankee Denny Larrondo tested positive for COVID-19 Virus!

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Yankee prospect Denny Larrondo positive for the Coronavirus!

The New York Yankees pitching prospect has been identified by several sources, including the New York Post, as testing positive for the coronavirus.  The pitcher was reporting for practice at the minor league prospect near George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  He is the first professional baseball player to test positive for the disease.

Larrondo is a pitching prospect from Cuba that the New York Yankees signed in 2018.  The eighteen-year-old pitched in twelve Gulf Coast League games last season.  Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, in a conference call on Sunday, indicated that a Yankee player had tested positive for the coronavirus but declined to name the player.  He did say that he was quarantined and that his symptoms had subsided.

The minor league complex in Tampa after the news of the positive test was thoroughly cleaned and shut down until March 25th when training might resume.  All of the players were put under quarantine, but some showed up Monday for prepared meals that were available outside of the training complex and then returned to the places they were staying.  One of those players was Austin DeCarr a Charleston River Dog pitcher who said: “We’re getting information from the team and it’s working out fine, we pick up food here and then go back to wherever we’re staying.”

The positive test sent ripples throughout all of MLB.  With the coronavirus at hand, little is known about when the minor league season will start.  The Yankees today said that they would follow CDC guidelines, which suggest that large gatherings should be avoided for eight weeks.  That time frame would put the resumption of spring training in June, and a regular-season re-start shortly after that.  Cashman commented that “he did not have any interactions with our major-league players,” Cashman said on a conference call.