Surging Starters In The Pipeline

(This post has been syndicated from New York’s Homegrown)

One of my favorite things to do is to follow prospects and minor leaguers and track their development from season to season.  You cheer them on and suffer with them through the ups and downs of his career and if he finally makes it, you can’t help but feel like you were a reason for it.  Each year, a prospect could get off to a hot start or go through a cold stretch that could effect that prospect status.  Well, there have been two Yankee starting pitching prospects that have re-vitalized their standing, both in different senses.

Courtesy of RAB

The Scranton Yankees starting rotation was highlighted by Hector Noesi, David Phelps, and Andrew Brackman.  Noesi and Phelps figured to be depth guys for the big leagues, while Brackman was figured to make his final jump up the prospect list and make an appearance in pinstripes.

As things have turned out, Noesi has been broken in through the bullpen, Phelps was having a fine year until getting injured, and Brackman has just quite frankly been a disaster.  Through this all, DJ Mitchell and Adam Warren have been having nice years, especially Warren recently.

So far in 2011, the former Tar-Heel is 6-2 with a 2.87 ERA to go along with a 3.98 FIP, 6.03 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.45 walks per nine.  Overall, it sounds like he has been getting a lot of luck, but recently, he has just been dominating.

In his last four starts, he tossed 27 innings and allowed only two runs while striking out 23 and walking just eight.  His peripherals have been much better recently, and perhaps he has figured something out, which could make him one of the next starters in line to get a call if the big league team needs starting pitching help and his recent performance definitely makes some scouts think that he could actually make it as a back-end starter.

Courtesy of Fox Sports

Speaking of figuring stuff out, Jairo Heredia has turned it on this season in Tampa. Heredia, 21, had a tough year in High-A last season and struggled with control although scouts acknowledged that he had great stuff.  He seems to have put it together in 2011 pitching to a 2.83 FIP while striking out more than nine per nine innings and walking less than two per nine innings.  That in itself is just ridiculous.

For me, Tampa has been a pretty boring team to follow until recently with the call ups, but Jairo has definitely been fun to watch.  He threw a combined 95 innings last season which based on the Yankees organizational pitching codes leaves him due for approximately 135 this season.  Right now, he is at 62.1 so he should be able to pitch for most of the season, but the Yanks should definitely be careful with him as he has definitely beefed up his standing as a prospect.

Warren and Heredia, although, both having good years, are having it at different points in their professional careers.  Warren is knocking on the door of the Majors and this recent hot streak could get him a call and a chance to finally start while Heredia’s great season makes him one of the Yankees top pitching prospects, but he still a couple of years away.  Keep an eye on these because it will be interesting to see if they can sustain it.

(Heredia has been placed on the DL since this post was written)

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