New York Yankees Minor Leagues: James Kaprielian Promoted To Staten Island


Back in June, the New York Yankees drafted UCLA right-handed pitcher James Kaprielian with the 16th pick in the first round. While Kaprielian did start his professional career later than expected, he was promoted earlier today. After making two appearances in the Gulf Coast League, the 21-year-old right-hander is moving up the system and is now joining the short-season single-A Staten Island Yankees:

In those two appearances with the Yankees’ second GCL affiliate, Kaprielian went 0-2 with a 11.57 ERA, giving up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. With the promotion of Kaprelian, the Yankees now have both of their first round picks with the team as he joins shortstop Kyle Holder, who was selected with the 30th pick.

This past season, at UCLA, Kaprelian went 10-4 with a 2.02 ERA and had 114 strikeouts over the course of 17 starts. However, he does have experience out of the bullpen if you go back to his freshman year in 2013, when he had a 1.55 ERA in 34 games.

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As to how Kaprelian might be used in Staten Island, they could use him in a similar way that they have with left-hander Jeff Degano. On Sunday, the Yankees’ second round pick (57th overall) in this year’s draft, made his Penn-League debut. The Indiana State product went 2.1 innings, gave up two runs on four hits, struck out two, and walked one on 45 pitches (28 strikes) against the Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland Athletics).

One role you could see Kaprielian go into could be in a bullpen role. Earlier in the day, the team announced that reliever Jose Mesa Jr. would be heading to the Yankees’ low-A affiliate in Charleston. Mesa had a 0.42 ERA in ten appearances out of the ‘pen for Staten Island, striking out 35 batters and walking nine in 21.2 innings:

Whichever role the Yankees choose to put Kaprelian in, he should be an asset for a team that enters the second half of their season in first place. The Baby Bombers are 28-26 and they have a 1.5 game lead in the McNamara Division with 21 games to play. With ten home games left in the 2015 season, fans should make their way out to Richmond County Bank Ballpark in Staten Island to watch Kaprielian and this team as they make their push towards the postseason.

Pat Osborn’s club is on the road for the next five days before they return home to begin a series with the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Baltimore Orioles) Monday night at 7:05 PM ET.

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