Welcome to the Baby Bomber Era
The Yankees are experiencing a youth movement for the first time in a while and there are quite a few “Baby Bombers” with high expectations. Over the next few blogs, I will review a few of these players, where they stand and what can be expected.
For Part 2, we will talk about a few Baby Bomber pitching prospects that are currently in the minor leagues.
James Kaprielian is the Yankees top starting pitching prospect. Before I get into him any further, I must acknowledge that Kaprielian was placed on the minor league DL on Thursday and there is concern he may have an elbow issue. Right off the bat, this is terrible news because the fear of Tommy John surgery looms and the Yanks were hoping to see this kid with the big club in 2017. This also comes after he missed nearly all of 2016 with an injury moving him one step closer to the label of “injury prone” player. The Yankees selected him in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft and have high hopes as he dominated at the college level for UCLA. With a strong need for starting pitching, the Yanks have a lot of hope riding on this guy and his future remains a question mark at the moment. If he does need TJ surgery, we won’t see him back with the big club until the middle of next season.
Chance Adams was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and has pitched very well in his short time in the minor leagues. Adams was converted to a starting pitcher in 2016 (he was a reliever in college) and finished the season in Double-A Trenton. Between High-A and Double-A, he finished 2016 with a 13-1 record and 2.33 ERA. He is currently ranked third amongst Yankees pitching prospects (Kaprielian and Sheffield are ahead), but he may be the first to the majors of that group at this point. Adams believes the key to his success is throwing his changeup for strikes and with a strong start in the minors in 2017, he may find himself in the Bronx before the summer heats up.
Jordan Montgomery seemingly has come out of nowhere to extreme relevance in Yankeeland. The truth is that the former 2014 fourth round pick has been pitching steadily upward throughout his minor league career and is now primed to join the Yankees in 2017. Montgomery is a big 6’6 lefty who has compiled 294 strikeouts with a 2.57 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 297.2 minor league innings. He is also my prediction for the Yankees fifth rotation spot when needed on April 16th and based on his performance yesterday for the Tampa Yankees (5 innings 3 hits 0 ER 8 SO), he seems the logical choice. It should be exciting to see how this 24 year old pans out.