There was a little bit of news today from Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. Eddy reported that the New York Yankees had re-signed left-handed pitcher Chaz Hebert to a minor league contract. His Uniform Player Contract (UPC) had expired after the World Series ended and he was set to become a free agent.
Hebert, 25, has been with the Yankees since he was drafted in the 27th round of the 2011 Draft. The lefty was ranked as high as the 45th best prospect in the organization by Pinstriped Prospects in 2016.
Chaz did not pitch in 2011. Instead, he waited to make his professional debut until 2012. He threw just 25 innings in 2012 for the Gulf Coast Yankees and earned a 2-1 record with a 2.52 ERA over 11 games, 2 starts. He returned to the Rookie-level GCL in 2013 and pitched to a 4.50 ERA in 45 innings over 13 games, eight starts before he earned a 1-game promotion to the Staten Island Yankees. In his lone game in the NY-Penn League, he allowed two runs over six innings.
In 2014 he started the season with the Tampa Yankees and allowed six earned runs in 13 1/3 innings over three starts for the Yankees Florida State League Affiliate. The young lefty was then sent down to the Charleston RiverDogs wherein 15 games, eight starts, he struck out 57 batters over 65 innings and earned a 2.49 ERA.
In 2015 he got some experience in Triple-A where was 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 3 games, one complete game, for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The young lefty struck out 12 batters in his 17 innings in Triple-A while allowing just two runs on 17 hits and two walks. But most of his 2015 season appearances came with the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League where he was 7-6 with an ERA of 2.95 in 21 games, 15 starts, including two complete games. He allowed 35 earned runs over 106 2/3 innings, striking out 82 and walking 26. He had two games in the South Atlantic League with the Charleston RiverDogs where he allowed one earned run over 10 1/3 innings. Overall, he pitched to a 10-7 with a 2.55 ERA over 26 games and 134 innings.
Heber missed all of the 2016 seasons after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. He made his return to the mound in the second half of the 2017 season and was 3-1 with a 4.53 ERA in 14 games, seven starts. He struck out 41 batters in 43 2/3 innings pitched.
A four-pitch pitcher, Chaz get most of his outs using a plus changeup to complement his low-90s miles per hour fastball as well as a slider that is a solid above average pitch. He added a cutter to his arsenal in 2014 and was focusing on developing that throughout this season. He uses his cutter and slider to keep batters off balance, changing his approach depending on the game and the batter he faces.
He does not blow away hitters with his fastball. Instead, he relies on his command and control to set up his breaking pitches. He pitches to contact to try to limit his pitches thrown and go deeper into games which he has done several times this past season.