The New York Yankees need as many young arms as they can get. Wherever this patchwork rotation gets them in 2021 — they’ve performed well, all things considered! — it’s not exactly packed with long-term options the team can rely on.
Enter…a few nasty arms in the upper reaches of the minors who are finally hitting their ceilings, perhaps.
No, not Deivi Garcia. He’s been awful. Don’t rub it in.
If you’re not paying attention to Luis Medina and Luis Gil, who are both very much on helium alert and made their Double-A and Triple-A debuts respectively this week, we’d recommend turning your eyes there.
While Gil wasn’t able to maintain his stuff late into his first start in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, that shouldn’t be cause for concern; what’s amazing is how quickly he’s risen there in the first place.
Plus, if you’re more results-based, we recommend you enjoy Medina’s Double-A Somerset debut from all angles. His nasty breaking stuff and moving 101 fastball look nice in profile and from behind home plate.
Luis Gil and Luis Medina are making moves in the Yankees’ farm system.
All told, Medina — a widely-speculated breakout candidate this year if he could only find some damned control — went 5.2 innings at the new level allowing five hits, three earned runs, and just a pair of walks. He struck out 10, but just writing in black-and-white the total number of Ks doesn’t really put into perspective just how beautiful the effort was.
This is a man whose stuff is insane. It’s all much more impressive from this angle, which will convince you to never again pick up a baseball bat for the rest of your life.
On the year, Medina’s posted video game numbers: 38.1 innings across two levels with 60 strikeouts, 21 walks, and a WHIP of just 1.15, down from 1.57 in his most recent troublesome 2019 season.
Same stuff, different results.
Let’s not forget about Gil in this conversation, too, who earned a call-up to the cusp of the majors far sooner than any of us expected. The 23-year-old recorded similar stats to Medina’s High-A work at Double-A, striking out 50 in 30.2 innings pitched while maintaining a 1.21 WHIP. His first Triple-A start featured a forgettable five earned runs in five innings (four strikeouts), though he finished it with a flourish.
What’d Gil cost? A premium arm figuring out how to pitch at the game’s highest levels? Oh, just backup outfielder Jake Cave back in 2018. Whew.
This is not to proclaim the Yankees are back because they have a few impressive pitching prospects doing their things in the upper minors. This is just to proclaim that the depth you ordered might be coming quicker than anticipated.
Oh, and this is just to mention: there’s also a lefty prospect name Ken Waldichuk, freshly promoted to Somerset, who started his season with 30.2 scoreless innings at High-A, whiffing 55. OK, then! Alright! Simply letting you all know!