2. Will Warren
Will Warren’s emergence isn’t necessarily a surprise, if you listened to the Yankees executives and development folks extolling his virtues this spring. To see his raw stuff translate from the draft’s middle rounds to the mid-minors, though, has been very impressive.
2021’s eighth-round pick out of baseball hotbed Southeastern Louisiana (sorry, misread that, that says “hot and bad”), Warren’s legitimate stuff features a high-quality breaking ball, mid-90s fastball velocity, and significant run. Unsurprisingly, this arsenal comes with an intimidating mound presence and an advanced feel for swings and misses.
Thus far, Warren’s pro debut has consisted of three starts at High-A Hudson Valley, featuring a sparkling 3.46 ERA, 19 whiffs in 13 innings pitched, and a 1.08 WHIP. So far, no one’s getting on base, and Warren’s allowed very little hard contact (just nine base hits).
Much like in 2020, when Hudson Valley’s rotation featured breakouts Waldichuk, Randy Vasquez and Hayden Wesneski, the Renegades are loaded with arms once again. Warren’s been joined atop the leaderboard by Matt Sauer, Edgar Barclay and Beck Way, a favored potential breakout arm from the 2020 draft. 2019 top pick TJ Sikkema’s long-awaited return also looms in the coming weeks.
So far, Warren has taken the crown, though, as the scouts foretold this spring. His rise may be as swift as Wesneski’s and Waldichuk’s, and he could be making the trek to Double-A Somerset by midsummer.