The Yankees selected right-hander Cale Coshow in the 13th round of the 2013 draft out of Oklahoma Christian University after he spent his freshman campaign a the University of Oklahoma. The imposing hurler agreed to sign and inked a deal that included a $100,000 signing bonus.
In his first taste of pro-ball, the 6’5″, 270-pound Coshow went 0-2 with a 3.76 ERA in 15 games for Staten Island in the New York Penn League. In 40 innings of work spanning 15 games, Coshow fanned 36 but showed command issues by walking 22.
Coshow again opened the 2014 campaign with Staten Island . He tossed three shutout innings in his only appearance there before receiving a promotion to Low-A Charleston. In six appearances for the RiverDogs, Coshow went 1-1 with a 5.19 ERA with 13 strikeouts and just one walk in 8 2/3 innings before suffering a shoulder injury. After coming back from the shoulder injury, the righty closed out the season Gulf Coast League by starting three games for the Yankees Gulf Coast League team; he went 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings.
The 2015 season proved to be a breakout year in the system for Coshow. He earned a promotion to High-A Tampa for the first time in May after going seven-for-seven in save opportunities and holding opponents to a .179 batting average as the closer for Charleston. Once he arrived to the T-Yanks, the organization granted Coshow the opportunity to work as a starter as the development of his slider came along. He made nine starts for Tampa, putting together a 7-2, 2.24 mark in 16 appearances with a strikeout-walk ratio of 56-11. That earned him a shot at Double-A Trenton, where he compiled a 2-3, 3,51 effort in six starts to close out the season.
Coshow began the 2016 season in the Trenton rotation less than one year after beginning the transition from closer to starter. Despite posting a solid 3.49 ERA in nine starts for the Thunder, the Yankees organization opted to move Coshow back into the bullpen, where they believe he was best suited moving forward. The reliever spent the entire season in Trenton, going 3-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 36 games. Despite allowing 84 hits and issuing 50 walks in 89 1/3 innings, the Yankees liked how his stuff played out of the bullpen and believed that he could succeed in a back end role.
Thunder Manager Bobby Mitchell named Coshow the teams closer when the 2017 season began and despite blowing two of his first six save opportunities in April, he converted 15 of 19 save opportunities overall over the course of the season. Cale reached Triple-A for the first time in mid-august and went back up to SWB to end the season. In four games for the RailRiders, Coshow pitched to a 3.18 ERA in 5 2/3 innings. The Yankees opted to leave Coshow exposed to the Rule 5 draft early last month, but he was not selected despite reported interest from multiple clubs. Pinstriped Prospects asked Mitchell about Coshow’s 2017 campaign last month and he had the following to say: “I think that Cale turned the corner with us this year, maturity-wise. I think that he was his own worst enemy and you could see it sometimes on the mound. He would get riled and mad at himself and he didn’t have a short memory, which you need to have in a closers role day-to-day. I think that as the season went along, he matured and was able to control his emotions more during the game. I thought that he got one hundred percent better with his confidence. He got a lot better knowing that he wasn’t going to be perfect every time out there and I think he became a better teammate and I think the other players saw that. I was really happy to see him go up to the next level to see how he would handle it up there and he needed to be pushed a little bit to see if he could handle another level. He has certainly got the stuff; his stuff got so much better, his slider was much more effective and it was nearer to the zone and he started to get a lot of swings on that pitch.”
Coshow has an electric fastball that has been clocked in the upper 90’s and generally sits 93-96 MPH. He has a large broad frame and is extremely athletic for his size. Coshow saw the development of his slider come a long way in 2017 and will need his command to do the same if he wishes to become a viable big league option.
This is what our good friends at 2080 Baseball had to say about Coshow:
“Coshow remains an enigma after being converted to a full-time reliever in May of 2016 – at times flashing shut-down dominance when he’s commanding his fastball/slider combo, and at other times missing his spots and generating a lot of traffic on the bases via hard contact and walks.
Coshow has a massive, Texas-strong build (Oklahoma, actually), with a huge lower half, broad shoulders and barrel chest. He added 10 pounds to his listed weight this year to 270 pounds, so maintaining the body is a must from here. The arm action is long in the back and fluid, and the delivery is energetic and up-tempo. He drives hard off the rubber with a big fall-off to the first-base side, and repeating his release point through his 3/4’s slot with the large moving parts can cause the command and control to come and go. His plus to double-plus fastball was sitting comfortably at 93-to-96 mph (T97) and it’s a real weapon that he uses aggressively, but his command of the offering is below average. He could work it with heavy action with some movement to the glove side in the lower velo range, and it showed run and boring action with late life at the upper range. When he can spot it, he can dominate hitters in short stints with strikeouts (11.6 SO/9) and ground ball outs, but he’ll reach back for extra velo and overthrow it, causing costly misses arm side and into the fat part of the zone. His slider is average, but inconsistent. He gets on the side of it at times, giving it limited depth, though it does have some tilt at the high end of the 85-to-88 mph range, and it can be an effective swing-and-miss secondary when he’s able to get ahead in the count and use it for chase.”
The 25-year old Coshow figures to open the 2018 season in the bullpen for Triple-A Scranton and could become a candidate as a big league option if he can iron out his command issues.