Yankees: 3 prospects poised for major breakouts in 2021
1. Luis Medina
Everybody’s talking about the Yankees’ highest-ceiling pitching weapon.
“Luis Medina might have the highest ceiling of any Yankees pitching prospect” might be the most overused line of the next several months.
But based on the evidence we have from this offseason, it seems that the toolsy Medina might’ve finally put everything together pitching for Team Dominican Republic in the Serie Del Caribe; he also earned Puerto Rican Winter League’s Pitcher of the Year award.
So why is Medina due for a breakout when we’re already entering 2021 at the height of his hype? Quite frankly, the righty has been…straight-up bad during his minor-league career.
In 2019, Medina uncorked two nasty starts at High-A Tampa (10.2 innings, 12 whiffs, 0.84 ERA), but largely got shelled at Low-A Charleston, posting a 6.00 ERA while racking up the strikeouts (115 in 93 innings pitched). The main problem in an extremely problematic season were the walks — Medina gave 67 batters a free trip to first base during that campaign.
The lanky righty spent all of 2020 at the team’s Alternate Site, being mentored by reliever Fernando Abad in an attempt to harness his unfair changeup and 100 MPH fastball into an arsenal that nicks the corners enough to thrive at higher levels.
Based on what we’ve seen all winter long, he’s far closer to reaching his ceiling, which might be a high-leverage reliever but could be a legitimate ace. The ceiling is the roof for Medina, who’s going to be a top-five talent in the system next year if all goes as expected.