When it comes to the Yankee farm system, we’ve heard much about the Killer Bs, the abundance of Catchers, and some of the high upside position players in the lower levels such as Gumbs, Williams and Heathcott. But nobody in the system has pitched any better than Adam Warren has for the past month. He’s allowed just 2 ER over his last 29 IP, but that doesn’t do justice to just how dominating he’s been. Before last night’s shutout (6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) he was coming off a near no-hitter, which was broken up in the 7th inning. Two starts prior to that gem, he threw a rare minor league complete game where he walked just 1 and struck out 7.
His hot pitching of late hasn’t gone unnoticed, he made an appearance on BAs latest Prospect Hot Sheet where they said had this to say about the young Yankee hurler:
Team: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (International)
Why He’s Here: 1-0, 0.00, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 8 SO, 2 BB, 7/2 G/F
The Scoop: Warren pitched a complete-game six-hitter, allowing only one run, in a June 9 start at home against Charlotte. He held Norfolk hitless for 6 2/3 innings on Monday, finishing the day with two hits allowed over seven shutout innings. It’s safe to say that few International League hurlers have pitched more efficiently than Warren has in June. The 2009 fourth-rounder ranks sixth in ERA (1.55) and fifth in WHIP (0.93) among IL pitchers this month.
Following his most recent gem, Warren summed up his strike-throwing approach to the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times Leader: “If you get ahead of guys you can really play around with them, but if you’re behind you have to throw the pitch they’re looking for, a fastball.”
How’s he been doing it? Command has been key, plus a willingness to throw breaking balls to get ahead in counts, particularly his slider. He sits in the low 90′s with his fastball, and doesn’t have a knockout secondary offering. So he’s doubtful to be called up to help the depleted Yankee bullpen. He’s sort of a tweener in that he’s a pitchability guy with an above average fastball. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just limits his ceiling at the big league level to that of a mid-rotation starter. Which is why many of us always viewed him as the type of pitcher the Yanks typically trade. But if the Yankees should need a starter in the big league rotation for any reason, you’d have to think he’ll be at the top of the call up list.
Warren has been consistently underrated since being drafted, yet all he’s done is post solid to outstanding results every step of the way. He dominated the Penn League after being drafted, posted a solid 2010 across high-A and AA, and the Yanks thought he did enough in just 54.1 IP in the Eastern League to warrant starting the 2011 season in AAA. There’s loads of info out there on him, and if you want a good prospect profile head over to (friend of TYA) Jason Rosenberg’s IATMS for a recent breakdown of him as a pitcher.
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