1. Ken Waldichuk
Terrible news: 27th-ranked prospect Ken Waldichuk has finally allowed some runs at the Double-A level after being promoted.
Much better news: his ERA on the season remains 1.11 after 30 scoreless innings in Hudson Valley. He’s struck out 72 men in 40.2 innings total, including 17 in 10 Double-A innings. He’s doing things with the baseball that have changed his profile from “high-ceiling option” to “uhh…we see the ceiling now, actually, does it go higher?”.
Waldichuk, still just 23 and with a 6-4, 220-pound frame, has been hurling mid-90s heat and a wipeout slider in his first full season of professional baseball. We’re not sure exactly when he might “arrive,” but we’re also fairly positive he’d be a better option than Justin Wilson right freaking now.
If this is what the back end of the Yankees’ pitching pool looks like, then we’re actually encouraged. We’re not just talking about Luis Gil and Luis Medina. There’s Otto, Waldichuk and Janson Junk, who’s got a 1.07 ERA at Double-A. There’s Ron Marinaccio, too, with his 34 Ks and 2.57 ERA in 21 innings out of the Double-A bullpen. There’s Hayden Wesneski, another 23-year-old with 58 whiffs in 46.0 innings, also stationed in Somerset.
Uh … if you haven’t yet, go see Somerset. The future might be brighter than you thought.