Welcome to top prospect month at Pinstriped Prospects. Throughout this month we will be bringing you the top five prospects at each position, leading up to the release of our top 100 Yankees prospects list.
The Yankees organization is one of the deepest minor league systems in baseball. Especially on the mound. They have built a strong pipeline of power arms up and down the farm. A lot of that depth is at the lower levels of the farm system.
When the Yankees pro scouting department found Jonathan Loaisiga, he had only appeared in 13 professional games, all in 2013 in the Dominican Summer League. He missed two seasons due to injury, signed with an Italian Baseball League team and then signed with the Yankees.
He made just one start with the Yankees organization, with the Charleston RiverDogs, before going under the knife for Tommy John Surgery. He returned to action in 2017 and was impressive, enough to be added to the 40-man roster after just 32 2/3 innings in 2017 and never pitching above Class-A.
In 2018 he came back, pitching at three different levels, with the majority of his games coming at Double-A. He went 6-1 with a 2.59 ERA and 2.89 ERA with 67 strikeouts over 56 innings of work.
Loaisiga went on to make his major league debut on June 15, making a start against the Tampa Bay Rays where he struck out six in five innings in route to his first win. In total he appeared in nine major league games, four of them starts and struck out 33 batters over 24 2/3 innings.
Loaisiga is a small frame pitcher that has drawn comparisons to former Boston Red Sox and New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez. The young right-hander averages 95.9 miles per hour with his fastball according to Statcast. He backs it up with a slider that sits at 84.7 MPH, a changeup that is at 88.2 MPH and a curveball at 83.9 MPH.
Initially signed by the Yankees as an international free agent in 2016, right-handed pitcher Roansy Contreras was one of the most impressive pitching prospects in the organization this past season.
In his first professional season, he went 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA over 14 games, 11 starts, between the DSL Yankees and the FCL Yankees. He struck out 34 batters over 53 2/3 innings of work. In 2018 he started with the Staten Island Yankees where he struck out 32 in 28 2/3 innings over five starts before going to Class-A Charleston. With the RiverDogs he went 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts and striking out 28 batters in 34 2/3 innings.
Contreras is a three-pitch pitcher, featuring a fastball in the mid-90s, a changeup, and a curveball. He has an aggressive pitching style, attacking the strike zone with authority. Contreras has shown the ability to locate his pitches and mix them effectively to keep hitters off balance. Additionally, he is not afraid to work the inside portion of the plate against lefties and righties.
Deivi Garcia was signed by the Yankees for $100,000 on July 2, 2015, out of Bonao, Dominican Republic. In his first season, he struck out struck out 61 batters over 48 1/3 innings pitched in 12 starts with the DSL Yankees. He earned a 1-5 record with a 2.61 ERA while limiting opponents to just a .149 batting average against.
He returned to the DSL Yankees in 2017 where he was 1-1 with a 1.17 ERA in three games striking out 18 batters in 15 1/3 innings pitched before being promoted to the GCL Yankees. With the GCL Yankees Garcia went 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA in four games, two starts. He struck out 24 batters in 16 2/3 innings pitched.
Garcia ended his 2018 with the Pulaski Yankees where he went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six games, five starts, striking out 43 batters over 28 innings.
He spent his 2018 season with three different teams in the Yankees organization. In eight games with the Charleston RiverDogs, he went 2-4 with a 3.6 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 40 2/3 innings. He had five games in Tampa where he went 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. Garcia ended his season in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder where he won his only start, striking out seven in five innings.
Throughout his rise in the farm system, Garcia was praised his maturity and confidence on the mound. While he does not throw as hard as other pitchers in the system, his pitches tend to play up thanks to the tremendous spin rates he puts up. His delivery generates a lot of deception that batters have trouble picking up at the plate, allowing him to put up some of the strong numbers he had in 2018.
Clarke Schmidt was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2017 draft out of the University of South Carolina, just a month after he had undergone Tommy John Surgery. Before the surgery, Schmidt was widely considered a top 10 talent in the draft.
He spent the entire 2017 season rehabbing from the surgery and made his professional debut in 2018 in the Gulf Coast League. In six games, five starts, in the GCL he went 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA, and 20 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched. The Yankees liked what they saw from him and promoted him to the Staten Island Yankees where he went 0-1 with a 1.08 ERA in two games, striking out 10 batters over 8 1/3 innings of work.
Schmidt sat most in the 93-94 miles per hour range with his fastball after returning from Tommy John surgery. He compliments his fastball with a curveball, slider, and a changeup.
The Yankees signed Luis Medina in July of 2015 for just $280,000. He went on to make his professional debut in 2016 with the DSL Yankees. He did not record a decision in three games with the DSL Yankees and allowed just one run in 4 2/3 innings of work while striking out four and walking four. He only allowed two hits before a minor injury caused him to be shut down for the remainder of the season.
He opened the 2017 season with the DSL Yankees once again, this time he was 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in four games, three starts while striking out 17 batters in 15 2/3 innings of work. He was then promoted to the Pulaski Yankees in August, where he pitched in an additional six games, all starts. With Pulaski, he was 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 23 innings of work.
Medina returned to Pulaski for his season consecutive season in 2018. His second tour of duty in the league did not go well. The righty allowed 46 walks, almost double what he allowed the previous season. He struck out 47 batters over 36 innings in 12 starts. His 25 earned runs allowed meant he had a 6.25 ERA.
He has a plus-plus fastball that sits in the high-90s and routinely hits 100 miles per hour. His problem though has been in his command, a particular focus on his development. He has two secondary pitches, a curveball, and changeup, both are above-average right now but have the potential to become plus pitches in the future. He is still young, and extremely raw.