For those of you who don’t want to judge pitching prospects until you have access to the eye test, Yankees righty Hayden Wesneski’s start on Friday against the Pirates in Bradenton is recommended viewing.
Wesneski, freshly ranked by MLB Pipeline as New York’s 15th-best prospect and rocketing upwards, became the first Yankee to take the bump in game action in 2022 this week, and delivered emphatically on his potential.
It’s difficult to read scouting reports and envision a big-league future for a mid-tier prospect, especially considering how many pitching prospects Yankee fans have seen come and go.
Once you watch Wesneski’s slider pop, though? You get it.
Wesneski, a sixth-rounder out of Sam Houston State in 2019, has got some sort of God-given talent and swagger, and he started off the spring with a bang — or, really, a zip.
His overall numbers (three innings pitched, an earned run, four whiffs) are fine, but this slider … is something else. Perhaps the baseball world is just desperate for live action, but if you snap a pitch off that goes viral outside of Yankee circles, you’ve probably done something right.
Yankees right-hander Hayden Wesneski has a nasty slider.
That is a flying saucer, bending in for a landing. That’s the kind of “trick” that can carry you to the bigs all by itself, even if the whole “starter” thing doesn’t work out.
As of now, it seems like the Yankees may have known something as they held Wesneski out of their 2021 deadline deals.
For the day, he walked one and whiffed four, and it also seems worth nothing that another slider sent former Red Sox and current Pirate Michael Chavis to one knee as he swung painfully over it. Ice Horse!
That emasculating swing was special, but there’s also something about catching someone looking, isn’t there?
Sliders ticking across the outside corner? That’s one thing. Sliders bending from the other box to the heart of the plate? That’s the Wesneski special.