The New York Yankees have agreed to a contract with 17-year old right-handed pitcher Brandon Stenhouse. The Melbourne Australia native has had Yankees’ scouting eyes on him for a couple of years now, and with at least two other MLB clubs showing interest, the Yankees believed now was the time to strike, agreeing to the deal on Monday.
Stenhouse has been pitching in the Victorian League for the Cheltenham Rustlers. The contract is believed to be for several hundred thousand dollars, and he will report to the team’s spring training complex in Tampa for two week’s worth of orientation before returning to Australia to complete his high school education. The Yankees made the decision to sign Stenhouse after a standout performance at the Under-18 National Championship series in Canberra. His fastball has been clocked in the 93 mph range. Along with the financial portion of the deal, the Yankees also established an educational scholarship for Stenhouse along with giving him an equipment bag full of Yankees gear.
Once Stenhouse completes his final exams in Melbourne, he will return to the United States and begin the long road to the Major Leagues. Yankees Australian scout John Wadsworth was excited to finally be able to sign the young man whom he had previously watched for several seasons, stating:
I have been waiting for many years to see if Brandon Stenhouse had the physical and mental makeup to be considered as a possible Yankee…I am pleased to see just how far this young man has progressed and his future is exciting to us all.
Stenhouse will join fellow Victorian baseball prospect Adam Silva in the Yankees’ farm system. He reportedly grew up a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and wasn’t much of a Yankees fan, saying “I didn’t expect it to be them.” Wadsworth has told Stenhouse that he will be given every opportunity to work his way through the Yankees’ system, and that it generally takes pitchers from Australia five or six seasons before they break in at the big league level.
Billy serves as the co-editor of Yanks Go Yard. You can follow him on Twitter@Billy_Brost.