The New York Yankees added potential Bronx pitching-staff depth by inking two undrafted free agent pitchers from the college ranks.
MLB teams began signing undrafted free agents on Sunday, and the New York Yankees have already grabbed a couple of collegiate arms. One is a starter, the other a reliever, and both are right-handers.
The starter is Brigham Young University senior Jarod Lessar. He pitched 65 innings in his BYU career, striking out 59 batters and going 3-2 with a 4.43 ERA.
Per Deseret News reporter Jay Drew, Lessar grew up a Bombers fan, and his favorite player was Alex Rodriguez. However, his profile at Utah Eastern University—the junior college he played at before transferring to BYU—lists his favorite team as the Boston Red Sox.
Yankees fans can read into that whatever they like.
The Yankees also snagged reliever Carson Coleman, according to the New York Post‘s Dan Martin. The righty hurler was a redshirt freshman at the University of Kentucky before going pro.
Coleman tossed 53.2 innings for the Wildcats, posting a 4.19 ERA and collecting five saves, all in 2019. What stands out about the righty reliever is his 81 strikeouts, good for a 13.58 SO/9 rate.
The Kentucky native nearly played for one of the Yankees’ American League Eastern Division rivals. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 33rd round of the 2019 MLB draft but chose to return to UK.
According to a tweet by official Kentucky Baseball Twitter account, Coleman has a low-90s fastball that he can spot on the corners.
The tweet also pointed out that lefty batters only hit .172 against him. If he can continue that trend, he could have a big impact in Yankee Stadium, home of the short porch in right field.
✔️ 92-94 on the corners
✔️ highest career K/9 inning rate for UK player since 1979 (13.58)
✔️ Struck out 20.65 batters/9 innings this season
✔️ Lefties hit just .172 against him#WeAreUK | #CatsinthePros pic.twitter.com/mp2NTFgkaY
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) June 14, 2020
With the 2020 minor-league season in serious doubt, it’s unclear when Lessar and Coleman can start earning their way to the Bronx.