Scouting the Yankees in the Arizona Fall League
You wouldn’t know Kaprielian hadn’t seen game action in almost six months watching his first Arizona Fall League start. The Yankees 2015 first rounder was sitting 95-97 and mixing in all of his pitches effectively. He struck out six opposing batters over three scoreless innings of work, allowing just one hit an no free passes.
When told about his starter’s velocity, Scottsdale manager Tom Goodwin responded, “It looked like it was getting up there really good. You could tell his fastball had a little extra giddy-up. The Yankees have got a body there!” Goodwin went on to compare Kap’s arsenal to Mets starter Jacob deGrom.
Giants top catching prospect Aramis Garcia also praised Kaprielian’s stuff after working with him for the first time. “He was throwing everything really well … his curveball, his slider. He threw a changeup a few times. He was down in the zone. And when he spots up with that fastball, it’s tough to hit … especially with the little late action that he has,” Garcia told reporters after the game.
Three scouts from 2080 Baseball were on hand to watch Kaprielian’s start. Here’s an excerpt from their write up:
"Kaprielian is an athletic, strong bodied righty with slightly rolled shoulders and a very strong lower half. He has power stuff and looks to have at least two plus pitches between his fastball and slider, and on Wednesday night showed the makings of an average changeup as well. He is 94-to-97 mph with the fastball and has some heavy sink middle to arm side with ride up in the zone. He gets good angle, and does a good job working to both sides of the plate. He has some feel to add and subtract with the slider – backing off a bit at 84-to-86 mph range early in the count and dialing up ¾ break with late bite at 88-to-91 mph for put-away. The changeup is 86-to-88 mph with some gradual circle fade that plays up slightly due to the effort and the arm speed."
They go onto compare him to one of the most dominant pitchers of the 90’s, Kevin Brown (hopefully they mean in his pre-Yankees days). However, they do express concern about Kaprielian’s durability because of his high-effort delivery.