In this edition of ESNY’s New York Yankees Prospect Profile, we take a look at left-handed pitcher Daniel Camarena.
Camarena was originally committed to attending the University of San Diego, but once his favorite childhood team had drafted him he had to change his mind.
In high school, Camarena was a pitcher as well as playing the outfield, but the Yankees made him dedicate all of his training towards his pitching duties. In his senior year, the left-hander struck out 76 batters in 49 innings pitched, making him a Rawlings First Team All-American.
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He stands exactly at six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds, a decent frame for a pitcher. The 24-year old has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s as well as a nice curveball that gets many swings and misses, however, his best attribute is his control.
Camarena’s command is that of a veteran major league pitcher who is confident in their pitches. The left-hander currently only throws a fastball, change-up, and curveball, but locates them very well.
His first full season within the organization came in 2013 with the Yankees Single-A affiliate Charleston River Dogs. In 21 starts with Charleston, Camarena went 4-6 with a 4.42 ERA. These aren’t numbers that blow scouts away, but they were good enough for him to receive a promotion the following season.
Camarena began 2014 with the Tampa Yankees where he dominated. In 16 starts with Tampa, the left-hander struck out 69 batters and sported an era of 2.35. This dazzling performance earned him a mid-season promotion to the Trenton Thunder.
Following a breakout campaign, Camarena encountered the worst thing possible, an injury. He was forced to sit out for the entire 2015 season after having bone spurs removed from his elbow.
It was unsure what to expect once he returned from a serious setback, but he proved all of his doubters wrong in 2016 with a great comeback season.
Split between three levels in 2016, Camarena went 10-7 with 114 strikeouts and sported a 3.68 ERA. This great comeback helped the left-hander make a name for himself within the Yankees system which is filled with an unbelievable amount of talent.
It was announced a few weeks ago that Camarena would be included on the list of non-roster invites to the Yankees 2017 spring training camp. This will be his first big league camp and will certainly be looking to earn himself a roster spot.
With the Yankees currently lacking in left-handed depth in their big league pen, do not be surprised to see Camarena on the big league roster for 2017 if he does well enough in his spring training appearances.