The New York Yankees have needed to dive deep into their prospect pool early in this season, with names like Randy Vasquez among the arms that have gotten a cup of coffee in the big leagues. Matt Krook, who has been lighting it up in Triple-A Scranton, is next on the list.
Krook, who has successfully made the transition to a reliever this season, has been called up by the Yankees in the middle of their three-game stint against the San Diego Padres. This was only a matter of time, as Krook's numbers clearly warranted a promotion.
While Krook might need to get sent back down after he does his job against San Diego, there is a path to him pulling an Ian Hamilton and performing so well that Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman decide to keep him on this team long-term after years in the minors.
Matt Krook has been called up by the New York Yankees.
Krook was picked 35th overall by the Marlins in the 2013 MLB Draft, just three choices after Aaron Judge (and two after Yankees great Ian Clarkin), but did not sign. After being picked by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2016 Draft, Krook was traded to the Rays in the Evan Longoria swap and was claimed off waivers by the Yankees in 2020.
After a terrific 2021 season, Krook regressed to the tune of a 4.09 ERA in 22 starts. He has thrived since making the move to reliever, posting a 1.04 ERA this season. Krook has allowed just five hits in 17.1 innings while striking out 34, but he has walked 12.
On top of a blistering upper 90s fastball, Krook's best pitch is a cutter/slider hybrid that is close to 90 miles per hour on average. This will be his go-to two-strike offering and one of the main tools he will use to get big-league hitters out consistently.
Krook is a volatile player that is prone to fits of inaccuracy, but it is clear that he has the skills needed to be a nearly unhittable southpaw in the major leagues if he can figure out how to keep the ball over the plate.