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. 

Otto was Rice University’s closer, but the Yankees quickly moved him to the starting rotation. In college, his fastball-curveball combo was his bread and butter, but he’s since added a changeup and a brand-new slider to the repertoire. He didn’t allow a run in three spring training appearances this year and has continued to impress at the alternate site at PNC Field. Even though he hasn’t pitched above High A, starting the season with the RailRiders seems possible.

The basics

Position: Starting pitcher
B/T: R/R
Age: 25
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 240
40-man? No
Acquired: Yankees’ fifth-round draft pick in 2017 out of Rice University.
SWB ETA: 2021

What about last year?

Didn’t get an invite to the Yankees’ alternate site at PNC Field, though he did pitch in one inning in one spring training game, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Ended 2019 on a high note with a stellar showing in the Arizona Fall League. He started six games and had a 1.88 ERA in 24 innings, allowing just 10 hits. He struck out 26, but also walked 13. During the 2019 minor league season, he had a 3.20 ERA at High-A Tampa, striking out 10.9 and walking 5.2 per nine innings.

Tell me something good

Here are parts of some scouting reports from national outlets:

  • “… Otto’s out pitch is a spike curveball that ranges from 78-81 mph and also in effectiveness, as it’s a hammer with true 12-6 break at times and less sharp and hard to control at others.. …”
  • Fangraphs: “… He was up to 98 mph (in 2018) and flashed a 70 curveball in short stints before the injury, then last year was sitting 92-94, albeit with other traits (spin rate and axis) that enabled it to play better than that. …”


Photo: New York Yankees