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Even Hardcore Yankee Fans Don’t Know This Prospect!

Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:33
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Photo: Times Leader

Do you know who this is? It’s OK if you don’t. A lot of Yankee fans don’t….but after this story you won’t be able to say that anymore.

It’s an exciting time to be a Yankee fan! We have a lot of promising young kids that could potentially form the NEW Core 4 and that makes it hard to keep up to date on all of these guys. Not everyone has fiery hair and a matching personality like Clint Frazier. Some guys lay low for awhile and then suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere!

Photo: / Wotherspoon, left- Joe Harvey, right

There are some guys that just naturally make their way in the spotlight. They have the skills and the personality, like Frazier. On Tuesday, Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield showed why they are two of the best pitching prospects in the system. You know their names but then there are other guys that also pitched that day like Matt Wotherspoon…..wait WHO?! Yeah, maybe you are asking that same question. No, we didn’t just make up a random name. Matt Wotherspoon is a legit pitching prospect who has been flying under the radar until now.

Photo: Augusta Chronicle

Wotherspoon was just a kid who pitched between Adams and Sheffield at Tuesday’s split squad game against the Red Sox that walked lead off hitter Brock Holt. That would be his only blip because after that he retired the rest of the order. Baseball’s number one prospect Andrew Benintendi lined out to left, Holt was caught stealing on his way to second and Hanley Ramirez flied out to center to end the inning.

One inning is all it took to get everyone asking….who is this kid?! The Yankees have an exciting pitching prospect with a successful track record but they almost didn’t get him. Back in 2013, the Detroit Tigers drafted him in the 20th round during his junior year at the University of Pittsburgh. He was 9-3 with a 3.70 ERA at the time but elected to return to university to finish his senior year of college. His last year his record slipped to 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA when the Yankees drafted him in the 34th round of the 2014 draft. His last year of college had some growing pains, but now he is pitching at Spring Training. That counts as a win in my book!

(Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports)

Last year we were not talking about Wotherspoon, but he had good numbers. At Double-A he was   4-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 26 games. Two of those games he started. He was eventually promoted to Triple-A and went 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 games, and one of those he was the starter. The numbers at Triple-A may be a small sample but if he continues to pitch this successfully he may look back at the end of his season and be able to say he started the spring in big league camp and was eventually called up to the Bronx.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding Wotherspoon right now. As the Yankees continue to think about their options to add more depth to their pitching the fans have another pitcher to watch closely. Even the biggest farm fanatics out there may have overlooked this kid….but after Tuesday’s game I really don’t think people will ask “WHO?!” when they hear his name.

The future just keeps getting brighter. We have another pitcher to watch closely down in Triple-A and I bet there will be many more stories to come on this kid, especially on Bleeding Yankee Blue. Next stop, Yankee stadium?

Stay tuned!


–Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

American Eagle


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