The Yankees disappointed at the big-league level with an 82-80 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016. That doesn’t mean it was a tough season for everyone in the organization, though. Pitching prospect Drew Thorpe enjoyed a dominant 2023 campaign, and now he has some hardware to put on his mantle because of it.
Thorpe began his season with High-A Hudson Valley (18 starts) before getting promoted to Double-A Somerset (five starts). He’s ranked by MLB.com as New York’s fifth-best prospect overall (second-best pitcher). The right-hander showed why across 139.1 innings.
Thorpe tossed 109 of those innings with Hudson Valley. It led to him twirling a 10-2 record with a 2.81 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 138 strikeouts. Upon arriving at Somerset, he got even better. Thorpe went 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, and 44 strikeouts.
If we put it all together, Thorpe went 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and an MiLB-leading 182 strikeouts. All that production led to the 23-year-old being named the Minor League Pitching Prospect of the Year:
Think 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA does the trick… 😏
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) October 3, 2023
In case you forgot, this was Thorpe’s first year as a professional baseball player. The Yankees selected him in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft out of Cal Poly SLO. He didn’t appear in any games after tossing 104.2 innings during his final college season, which produced a 10-1 record with a 2.32 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 149 strikeouts.
MLB.com lists Thorpe’s current ETA to the Bronx as 2025. But, hey — who knows what will happen next year? Nobody thought Jasson Dominguez would be sniffing the big leagues after a slow start in Double-A this past year. Then he got hot and made a great impression on the Yankees before hitting the Injured List.
After just five starts in Double-A to finish out 2023, it’s likely that Thorpe will start there in 2024. But if his domination continues, he’ll probably get promoted to Triple-A sooner rather than later. And when you’re on the doorstep of the big leagues, anything can happen.