One of the more exciting arms in the New York Yankees system is making strides this season and is starting to look like a special prospect.
The New York Yankees acquired Domingo German, who was then the eight-best prospect in the Miami Marlins system, as a throw-in for the deal that sent Martin Prado and David Phelps to Miami for Nathan Eovaldi and Garrett Jones.
Over two years after that deal, it looks like German can make that trade a winning one for general manager Brian Cashman. But it didn’t seem like it at first.
Before his first season as a member of the Yankees organization, German underwent surgery to operate on a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He missed the entire 2015 season, was non-tendered on Dec. 3, 2015, and was signed eight days later to a Minor League contract to avoid losing the righty to the Rule-5 Draft.
In 2016, he returned to action on June 26 with the Single-A Charleston RiverDogs. German would make five starts and didn’t miss a beat as he fanned 18 batters compared to two walks over 26 innings while posting a 3.02 ERA. On July 24, he earned a promotion to High-A Tampa, where he maintained a strikeout rate of 7.6 and surrendered just nine runs over 26 innings (3.12 ERA). He finished the year with a 1.047 WHIP between both levels.
The 24-year-old, who was eligible for minor league free agency, was then added to the 40-man roster on November 4. Now, in his first full season as a member of the Yankees, he’s proving that he could be the steal of that trade with Miami.
German started the year in Double-A Trenton, where he six starts. While he earned the loss in four of them, opponents hit just .248/.312/.403 off of him. He also posted an ERA of 3.00 and struck out 38 batters in 33 innings (10.5 K/9). On May 18, German was called-up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he is already opening some eyes.
In two starts, the native of San Pedro de Macoris (DR) has allowed five runs in 13.2 innings (3.29 ERA) with 16 strikeouts compared to five walks. His second start was more impressive, as he allowed just three hits while fanning 10 to get the win against the Columbus Clippers.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, German has all the tools to become a back-end of the rotation starter in the Majors one day. Many scouts doubted that following Tommy John surgery, but 2016 and 2017 have seen the two best WHIPs of his career — aside from 2013. His fastball still sits in the low-to-mid 90s and has worked on a curveball to compliment his rapidly improving changeup.
Given New York’s tendency to keep the process slow with starters (especially those coming off UCL surgery), he is likely a couple of years of fine-tuning away from having an impact in the Bronx. Nevertheless, his status as a member of the 40-man roster makes it clear that a September call-up is on Domingo German‘s radar for 2017.