Right-handed pitcher Jio Orozco came to the New York Yankees via trade in August of 2016 when the Bronx Bombers sent outfielder Ben Gamel to the Seattle Mariners. Orozco came over with fellow righty Juan De Paula.
At the time of the trade Orozco was considered the 24th best prospect in the Seattle Mariners farm system by Baseball America. Seattle originally drafted in in the 14th round of the 2015 draft out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona where he was a teammate of fellow Yankees prospect Donny Sands.
After signing with the Mariners, Orozco reported to the Arizona League where he made his professional debut with the Arizona League Mariners. He went 3-1 with a 2.95 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings over eight games that season, starting just three games.
Orozco was almost perfect that season at home for the AZL Mariners, with a 1-0 record and a 0.00 ERA allowing just one hit and one walk in 7 1/3 innings.
In 2016, Orozco returned to the Arizona League where he went 2-2 with a 4.07 ERA over 12 games. The right-hander struck out a career-high of nine batters a game twice, once on July 16 against the Indians and once on August 28 against the Rangers.
2017 was Orozco’s first season with the Yankees, and the Bombers were aggressive with his assignment, having him start the season in the South Atlantic League with the Charleston RiverDogs.
He started 12 games for the RiverDogs where he struck out 48 batters in 56 1/3 innings while earning a 4.95 ERA.
On June 21 the Yankees decided to send Orozco down to the Appalachian League to work on some changes, there his season turned around and after five games, four starts, he struck out 26 batters in 26 2/3 innings and earned a 2.36 ERA.
His success there earned him a promotion to Staten Island of the NY-Penn League on July 22. There he went 3-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings.
Orozco returned to the South Atlantic League for the 2018 season, appearing in just 10 games for the RiverDogs before going on the disabled list due to foot injury. In 10 games, 9 starts, he struck out 36 batters in 46 innings pitched.
Orozco has the potential to become an impact arm, with a fastball that already has touched as high as 95 miles per hour and two secondary pitches in his curveball and changeup. Despite an injury, Orozco was able to flash better control of his pitches in 2018.
Orozco will likely return to the Charleston RiverDogs to start 2019, with a quick promotion to Tampa if he shows he is healthy and finds success against the Single-A hitters.