Yankees will need to add pitcher Miguel Yajure to 40-man roster

A New Y (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
A New Y (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

It’s not every day that a pitcher still in High-A is considered being added to the 40-man roster but that’s precisely what the Yankees will need to do this offseason with 21-year-old Miguel Yajure.

You never want to lose talented young players for absolutely nothing. After all, the Yankees were lucky to have Mike Ford and Nestor Cortes returned to the organization after being selected by the Mariners and Orioles, respectively, in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft.

Therefore, over the past few winters, general manager Brian Cashman has creatively traded some mid-level prospects on the 40-man roster for younger, lesser developed talent.

In 2016, the Yanks sent Ben Gamel to Seattle for pitchers Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula. Then a year later, Cashman swung another deal with the Mariners, swapping Nick Rumbelow for Juan Then and JP Sears.

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With highly regarded prospects such as Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial and Michael King all about to become Rule 5 eligible, Cashman will once again have his hands full making room on the 40-man.

However, another lesser-known pitcher will also need protection — and his name is Miguel Yajure.

Even though the 21-year-old has yet to pitch above High-A Tampa, Yajure’s stock is trending upwards. Signed for $30,000 in March 2015 out of Cabimas, Venezuela, Yajure currently ranks second-lowest in three Florida State League stats — ERA (2.15), WHIP (1.08) and strikeouts (118), which he’s just three shy of the league lead.

After missing all of 2017 following Tommy John surgery, Yajure’s four-pitch arsenal has really started to round out. A 97 MPH fastball is only made better by a plus changeup, curveball and an ever-developing cutter.

Ranked as the Yankees No. 27 prospect, a high-ranking scout recently told Brendan Kuty of NJ.com that Yajure may be the organization’s best pitching prospect right now.

After appearing 21 games (121.2 innings), Yajure is 8-6 with an 8.8 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9.

While some will contend that Yajure still has two levels of minor league ball to prove himself at, do not forget that Yankees No. 1 overall prospect Deivi Garcia has jumped three levels this season, and is now in contention for a September call-up.

Tampa Tarpons manager Aaron Holbert loves Yajure’s competitive nature and believes he’ll one day soon help the big league club.

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"“I know we’re talking about how this is A-ball,” Holbert said. “But this is solid competition down here. And he’s still young for his (league). Normally you always assume, sky’s the limit and he’s going to keep developing and keep working toward his future success. This guy is going to continue to take off and be a solid contributor for the New York Yankees in the near future.”"