Yankees Farm Report Part Four: Triple-A Scranton RailRiders
Yankees prospects all want to be where we are now: Triple-A. Some will get here, but they will be hard-pressed to match the talent both ready and almost ripe on the Pennsylvania farm. Because there are several 2017 New York Yankees already here, both pitchers and hitters. This is the final installment of our series but, fortunately, we saved the best for last.
The Yankees are a win-now team, as evidenced by their first-place standing. And there is no bigger sign that they are about to get even better than that four of their top eight prospects are all at Triple-A. And they’re not just the Yankees top prospects; they are some of the best in baseball. This time, let’s start with the pitchers.
The last time I wrote about the minors, I wondered what it would take for Chance Adams to get promoted to Scranton. Now I wonder what it will take for him to get a chance in the Bronx. He has continued to stand and deliver, putting up an ERA of 1.57 and a WHIP of 0.78 in his four starts.
Everywhere you look, this guy is impressive. Adams has 27 strikeouts in his 23 innings, but only seven walks. And he seems to continue to improve. Here is his line from his last start: 6 IP, 1 Hit, exactly Zero runs, 2 Walks, and 12 strikeouts. That all adds up to Chance Adams being the best pitcher in the International League.
Somehow, he is only the seventh-ranked Yankees prospect and 98th in baseball.
The only starting pitchers in front of Adams in ERA are Jose Berrios and Hector Velazquez. Berrios (1.13) is already pitching for the Twins, and well. Velazquez (1.50) is a 28-year old with more seasons with an ERA above four than below.
And even he has had a chance to pitch for the Red Sox, just not well. The next qualifier is Marcus Waldmen and his ERA is all the way up to 2.25.
Right now there is no reason to make a change in the starting rotation. But at some point, either Tanaka will need to sit for a start or Montgomery will hit a rough patch. I could predict an injury, but that’s just bad hoodoo.
Either way, there will be an opening, and Chance Adams has earned that ch…, um, opportunity.