Southpaw Dietrich Enns was utterly impossible to hit a year ago while in Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In 26 games between the two levels (22 starts), Enns posted a 14-4 record with a 1.73 ERA and racked up 124 strikeouts in 135 innings of work.
Last year at approximately this point, the Yankees got blessed that no team took him in last year’s Rule 5 Draft but they won’t get so fortunate this time around. They will have to add Enns to the 40-man roster or else he’ll be mowing ’em down for another organization.
The numbers may speak for itself but control is a notable concern for the 25-year old kid and his stuff is the kind that customarily doesn’t translate to major league success.
His fastball sits at an insignificant 87-92 miles an hour and since his margin for error is so narrow, his career walk rate is 3.6 BB/9 which is a matter of concern moving forward.
Now, 2016 was his first full season back from Tommy John surgery and, as expected, the Yankees are going to keep a close eye on his development throughout his second season removed from operation.
Enns will likely be moved to the 40-man prior to the deadline for the Rule 5 and he could reasonably be in competition for a starting rotation job. Realistically, though, he’ll more than likely not make the team out of Tampa but be used to help the big league club throughout 2017.
As for what to watch, though, take a close look at the improvement of his control. Obviously, his tactics may work in the minor leagues but hitters are mu more ingenious and will lay off until his batting practice fastball finds its way over the plate.
Along with these kids, there are a ton others to have on your radar. Justus Sheffield, Gleyber Torres, Jorge Mateo, Miguel Andujar and more. What separates these prospects from the rest is that they have a terrific chance to bust into the majors or can have a major impact on the big league club this year.
Which prospects are you looking forward to the most? Any under the radar stars that you think should be watched? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.
Christian Kouroupakis covers the New York Yankees and Major League Baseball for ESNY. Interact with him and view his daily work by “liking” his facebook page and follow him on Twitter. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Don’t hesitate to shoot him an email with any questions, criticisms, or concerns.