Tommy Kahnle hails from the Troy New York area and was drafted by the Yankees in the 5th round out of Lynn University (FL) in the 2010 draft. The division II school won the 2009 championship with Kahnle as their closer and he was awarded MVP honors for the series. He popped up on radars that summer in the Cape Cod league where his plus fastball turned a lot of heads. In 2010, Lynn tried him out as a starting pitcher with slightly worse results. Projected as one of the top division II pitching prospects, the Yankees signed him for 150,000 dollars in July.
Khanle made a brief appearance in Staten Island this summer, pitching in 16 innings for the Yankees. Those 16 innings were impressive though as he dominated the younger competition. He struck out 25 batters while only walking 5 and posting an ERA of 0.56 with a 1.58 FIP.
Khanle’s best pitch is his plus fastball. As a starter at Lynn, he sat 93-95 but this summer pushed that up to 94-98. He’s a very solid 6’0” 225 lbs pitcher with a three quarters arm slot that can occasionally affect his command. His secondary offerings are less refined. He has a slider that flashes plus and a changeup that Keith Law actually graded as better than his breaking ball. ESPN’s Kahnle scout profile has him with a curveball while Baseball America says he has a slider which the Yankees will let him keep. He doesn’t have the greatest command but is able to throw strikes with his aggressive approach. Either way, Kahnle is doing just fine with his plus fastball right now which is fairly evident if you look at those 16 innings in Staten Island.
I would guess that Kahnle opens 2011 in Tampa as he could be a reliever that’s relatively fast tracked. Working on his secondary pitches should be Kahnle’s goal in 2011 as he moves up the system. Right now I think he projects as a late inning reliever and could be pretty special if he can develop his slider.
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