Yankees' aggressive promotion tells you everything about hidden pitching prospect

Wait, what?!
New Hampshire Fisher Cats v Somerset Patriots
New Hampshire Fisher Cats v Somerset Patriots / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Yankees don't typically move aggressively with pitching prospects unless they're remarkably confident about the progress they've made in the shadows. When a pitching prospect has missed several years of action, that typically influences the team to move even slower rather than speed things up.

That is, uh, not how the Yankees are handling 2022 third-round pick Trystan Vrieling, according to the minor-league rosters they just released.

New York traded a good deal of their upper-level pitching away this past winter in exchange for Juan Soto (Drew Thorpe, Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vásquez) and Alex Verdugo (Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert), and they did so because they believed their big-league lineup needed a significant change (they were right). They also pulled the trigger several times over because they have faith in the arms they kept behind -- namely, Will Warren, Luis Gil, Clayton Beeter and Chase Hampton, who's unfortunately succumbed to an early injury.

The depth appears to be there, but the Yankees could use a few more breakouts to really keep their options open. That's where hitting on a wild card like Vrieling comes in. The Yankees clearly liked him back in '22, but due to injuries (much like fellow high draftee Brendan Beck), he hasn't appeared very often in organized ball. Vrieling has essentially been a ghost, outside of a few spring appearances and instructional league work, succumbing to an elbow fracture (of all things) last season to further stunt his development (or so we thought).

Despite all the complicating factors, the Yankees are still starting him directly at Double-A Somerset for his first taste of full-season ball this year. Wild.

Yankees start Trystan Vrieling with Double-A Somerset

Vrieling will be joining a rotation that's slightly less star studded than last year's edition, which featured Warren, Thorpe and Fitts, among others. Still, he'll be hoping to form a dangerous 1-2 punch with Brock Selvidge, who every Yankee fan got to watch at his peak during the Spring Breakout game.

Vrieling is, predictably, another Spin Rate King, whose regressive performance year-over-year at Gonzaga obscured a pitcher with the exact traits the Yankees prize most. Unfortunately, they haven't been able to show off what they've tweaked under the hood since Vrieling's draft date ... until now, when he'll get a chance to join an upper-level minor-league Gas House, right from curtains up.

The Double-A season begins Friday, April 5, and Somerset will be home against Richmond. There's no better time than the present to get out to the ballpark -- well, except maybe Jersey Diners Day.