Under the Radar Yankees Prospects: Austin DeCarr

Mar 2, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jake Cave (93) hat glove and ball rests near the clubhouse during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jake Cave (93) hat glove and ball rests near the clubhouse during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Yanks Go Yard is combing through the New York Yankees minor league system in search of hidden gems in this ongoing series. Today, pitcher Austin DeCarr.

When New York Yankees pitching prospect Austin DeCarr made his late-June debut for short season Staten Island this year, it was his first game action since the 2014 season for the 21-year-old righthander. DeCarr underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of 2015 and has had elbow issues dating back to his high school career.

Selected in the third round of the 2014 draft, DeCarr chose a $1 million bonus over his previous commitment to Clemson. He made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League, allowing 12 earned runs while striking out 24 and walking seven in 23.1 innings of work. He was expected to pitch for Pulaski or Staten Island the next year, but elbow pain during spring training has pushed his development back by more than a year.

The most important thing about 2016 for DeCarr is that he finished the year healthy with his elbow in good working order. He made 10 starts for the SI Yankees, pitching to a 4.12 ERA while striking out 17.4% of the batters he faced and walking 9.6%. The numbers don’t jump out at you, but the year was definitely a modest success for the young pitcher.

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DeCarr is a finesse pitcher who mixes a low-90’s fastball with good movement, a curveball which most scouts see as his best offering, and an OK changeup.

Even with his year off, DeCarr was younger than his average competition in the New York-Penn League this season and still has plenty of time to re-establish himself in the ranks of the Yankees pitching prospects. He seems likely to begin 2017 with the Low-A Charleston Riverdogs for his first exposure to full-season ball.

Of course, after throwing just 62.2 innings of game action over his first three seasons as a professional, DeCarr will probably be on a strict innings limit next season. If he were to get to 20 starts and 100 innings next year, that would be a major victory for the youngster’s age 22 season.

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DeCarr doesn’t have front-of-the-rotation stuff, but could develop into a number three or four starter if he can put in a few healthy seasons in the minors to catch up on lost time.