1. Hayden Wesneski
With a slider for the ages, Hayden Wesneski is firmly what’s next. Though he only got one opportunity to strut his stuff in game action, Wesneski made it painfully clear during the March 18 spring opener against the Pirates that his meal ticket to the majors can get him a big-league paycheck, as long as he keeps refining it.
Sometimes, you watch a pitcher you’ve heard buzz about and immediately don’t understand it. Sure, he throws hard, but where’s it going? What’s the differentiator?
With Wesneski, it’s immediately obvious he has the type of frisbee slider you can’t just learn, and he controls is spectacularly. Though his big-league audition was only one start long, he blew up Pitching Ninja in a single afternoon, which takes real talent.
The sum total of his big-league spring may have included three innings, two hits, one walk, four whiffs, and some miracle benders, but the lingering impact of that slider lives on.
Prior to the spring showcase, most Yankee fans knew Wesneski only as a fast riser without context. Now, they know him as the kid at Triple-A knocking on the door of the big leagues with a world-class bender.
Also not on the 40-man, Wesneski will have to make real noise to get a promotion. But based on his spring cameo, he likely will do just that.