Yankees right-handed pitching prospect Will Carter was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the 35th round of the 2014 draft out of Walters State Community College, but opted not to sign. Carter pitched in 2015 for the University of Alabama and parlayed that into being selected by the Yankees in the 14th round of the draft that summer. and signed for slot money.
Carter began his professional career in 2015 with short season Staten Island of the New York Penn League shortly after signing. The 22-year old righty went 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA in 9 games spanning 14 1/3 innings of work.
The 2016 season saw Carter begin the year in Low-A Charleston and ultimately finish it in Double-A Trenton. Carter made just one start for the RiverDogs before going on the disabled-list with an undisclosed injury. After missing nearly a month of action, Carter was inserted into a vacant slot in the Tampa Yankees rotation where he started 12 games for the teams High-A affiliate. In 59 1/3 innings for the T-Yanks, Carter went 2-3 with a 4.85 ERA and allowed 65 hits and 18 walks with just 33 strikeouts. Carter was later promoted to Trenton where he closed his season there. He pitched 43 innings and put up a 4.40 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 1.42 WHIP, 5.86 K/9, 3.77 BB/9, and a.21 HR/9.
The 24-year old Carter began the 2017 season on the disabled list and didn’t make his debut until June 20 as a reliever for Trenton. Carter made his first nine appearances as a reliever and at one point hurled 24 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Carter settled in and went 3-1 with a 3.25 ERA in 15 games/six starts. While he fanned just 23 and allowed 53 hits and 13 walks in just 47 innings of work, his high ground ball rate allowed him to navigate through a lot of messy situations.
Carter has a fastball that generally sits 92-94 MPH and has been known to reach as high as 96 on the radar gun. It has a lot of run and sink but hitters make a lot of contact due to his inability to command it consistently. He also offers an average curveball that he often uses as a finishing pitch, but it is regarded as an average pitch for him at this point. Carter also throws a change-up but that is his clear third pitch and lacks consistency in execution and command. Overall, Carter is essentially a two-pitch hurler who pitches to a lot of contact but generates a high percentage of ground balls which allows him to often times escapes trouble. While he has good raw stuff, it plays down because of his inability to command it. He is best suited in the bullpen and that will likely be his role moving forward.
I would expect Carter to begin the season in Trenton as a middle reliever and possibly as a long guy or spot starter. He has a chance to get to Triple-A in 2018 if he can display improved command.
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