Yankees pitching prospect Miguel Yajure is quickly gaining attention within the organization. His 97-mph fastball is making him hard to ignore.
“And the best pitcher in the organization right now might be Miguel Yajure in Tampa,” a high-ranking Yankees scout told NJ.com.
As the 21-year-old standout on the Yankees’ High-A team in Tampa becomes Rule 5 Draft eligible this upcoming offseason, the front office is faced with the decision of whether to add the right-hander to the 40-man roster or risk another team swooping in and taking him for themselves.
Tampa manager Aaron Holbert said that Yajure, who holds a 2.15 ERA and an 8-6 record over 21 appearances (17 starts), has been impressive this season after he “showed some flashes of brilliance” in spring training.
“He gets out there and commands the strike zone and is unafraid to pitch to either side of the plate,” Holbert told NJ.com. “A huge plus is that his velo has spiked up. He touched 97 his last time out. And he’s able to mix in a plus curve, a plus changeup as well as a nice little cutter to keep guys from leaning out over the plate.”
Yajure’s ERA is the second-lowest in the Florida State League, behind Rays prospect Tommy Romero (1.99). His 1.08 WHIP is also the second-lowest in the league while his 119 strikeouts is just three shy of the league lead.
The Yankees signed the Venezuela native in March 2015, but his development was put on hold for all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery. But Yajure has managed to capture the organization’s attention as fellow organizational pitcher Deivi Garcia has upped his stock.
“I know we’re talking about how this is A-ball,” Holbert said. “But this is solid competition down here. And [Yajure is] still young for his [league]. Normally you always assume, sky’s the limit and he’s going to keep developing and keep working toward his future success. This guy is going to continue to take off and be a solid contributor for the New York Yankees in the near future.”