2. Jhony Brito
Jhony Brito is another in a long line of excelling Yankees arms. He also belongs to Sauer’s club: “Pitchers Who Could’ve Been Swiped in 2021, and Can Now Be Swiped Again.”
The 24-year-old reportedly tops out at 98, and across two levels of play this season (Double-A and Triple-A), he’s maintained a steady 2.44 ERA (2.36 in Somerset, 2.54 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre). The strikeouts have slowed down (8.14 per nine innings at Double-A, 5.37 at Triple-A), but the results remain in place.
Brito is less ballyhooed than his Triple-A rotation mates, and while we’d typically end that sentence by saying, “But he’s outperforming them!!” that’s not entirely true in Ken Waldichuk’s case. He has had a difficult time getting his greatness to stand out, though, surrounded by Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, JP Sears, Matt Krook, and Clarke Schmidt.
He’s also contended with bigger names like Luis Gil (struggled/injured), Deivi Garcia (struggled/highly questionable), and a rehabbing Domingo German. While the Yankees may have to eventually cut bait on a few of those bigger names, too, one might wonder if Brito has worked his way onto his opponents’ radars. After all, he’s the closest to the bigs of anyone we’ve named yet, and he’s got high-pedigree stuff. He could certainly stick as a bullpen arm somewhere next year if the Yankees don’t deal him first.