Top Five Arms Under 25 the Yankees Should Target This Offseason
The 25-year-old Foltynewicz finally looked like more than a guy with a big fastball this season. After a below replacement level rookie year in 2015, Foltynewicz had a 4.31 ERA and 4.24 FIP in 123.1 IP this year, good for 1.4 WAR according to Baseball-Reference’s metric and 1.3 WAR according to FanGraphs.
Perhaps most encouragingly, Foltynewicz cut his walk rate down to 6.7% in 2016, a career-low as a professional. Keeping the ball in the strike zone has been Folty’s biggest struggle since the Astros took him 19th overall back in 2010.
There have been times when it has looked like the flame-throwing righty would end up in the bullpen a la Dellin Betances if he didn’t make strides with his control, but that no longer seems like as much of a concern.
Aside from his incredible fourseamer, which averaged 95.2 mph this year, Folty’s next best offering is a slider he developed after coming over to Atlanta in 2015, which he threw 21.4% of the time in 2016. He also throws an average change and curve that both have the potential to be plus pitches down the road.
The Yankees reportedly focused on Foltynewicz in the Brian McCann trade talks with Atlanta in the lead up to the August 1st this year. Could that deal still get done this offseason?
Braves fans have been vocally against this trade, but New York has no reason to give away a very good defensive catcher who hits 20 home runs every year. They would need to get a good piece in return, especially if they eat a significant chunk of his contract.