The Times-Tribune’s annual countdown of the top 10 Yankees prospects is back. Here’s what happens: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders beat writer Conor Foley ranks 15 prospects, Donnie Collins ranks 15 prospects, and then they’re averaged together. The list takes into account ETA for the big leagues. You’re going to find some guys who might not have ceilings as high as others, but who instead could be in a position to help the Yankees sooner.
The scouting report on Luis Medina has been pretty clear for a while: He has some of the best pure stuff in baseball, but he has to show he can command it. Medina appeared in two spring training games with the Yankees this year and he walked five in 1.2 innings. He’s on the 40-man roster now, so the clock is ticking, but a strong finish to his 2019 season, and an impressive winter ball stint in 2020 showed the potential is still very much there.
Age: 21 (22 on May 3)
Acquired: Signed with the Yankees on July 8, 2015 as a non-drafted free agent out of Dominican Republic.
SWB ETA: 2022
What about last year?
Medina got plenty of hands-on guidance at the Yankees’ alternate site at PNC Field, then headed off to the Puerto Rican Winter League. With the Indios de Mayaguez, he had a 0.54 ERA over four starts. In 16.2 innings, he allowed seven hits, walked six and struck out a whopping 32 to take home the league’s pitcher of the year honors. Medina was building off a strong finish to his 2019 season. Over his last eight starts that year (six at Low-A Charleston, then the last two at High-A Tampa), he had a 1.77 ERA, held opponents to a .178 average, struck out 63 and walked 15 over 45.2 innings.
Tell me something
Here are parts of some scouting reports from national outlets:
- MLB Pipeline: “…. With little effort and electric arm speed, Medina generates stuff that sounds almost too good to be true, beginning with a heater that parks at 96-99 mph and reaches 102 with natural cut. His low-80s curveball can be a plus-plus hammer and more unhittable than his fastball when it’s on. His changeup is also a well above-average pitch at its best, sitting around 90 mph with devastating splitter action. … “
- Fangraphs: “… He loses mechanical consistency late in outings, but remember that Medina is still just 21, he’s super loose and athletic, and held premium stuff throughout a huge inning increase in 2019. There’s enough relief risk here that I’d go so far as to say the bullpen is the likely outcome, but Medina is going to have three impact pitches, so his outcome there might be elite. …”
Photo: New York Yankees
Conor Foley goes beyond the box score with in-depth coverage of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. He has worked at The Times-Tribune since graduating from University of Scranton in 2011, and he has covered the RailRiders since 2017. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9125; or @railridersTT