Hayden Wesneski, RHP, NYY

Another “who?” entry in my pitching pantheon, but Wesneski won’t be unknown for very long. I expect him with the Yankees in late 2022. Who, indeed!

  • Born: December 5, 1997
  • B/T: Right/Right
  • 6’3″, 210-lbs
  • Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft from Sam Houston State University

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

The Triple-A stats are for a single start, so throw out that line as being too small a sample to do much with. We can just note he went 6 innings, faced 25 batters, struck out about a third of them (nice), while walking a little more than 10% of them (not great, but again, one start can skew stats).

Otherwise this is a remarkable chart. In his draft year, 2019, he pitched credibly. Then in 2021 he jumped forward in his new High-A level where he crushed the batters. Solid green line there.

So off he goes to Double-A, and whaddya know, he does great there. A few more Ks would be nice, but he shows good control, and got great results. He even got a fill-in start at Triple-A late in the year. When a Yankees arm reaches Triple-A, you know he will be in the mix the following season. A late 2022 call to the pen as lots more injuries occur to the team (hey, it’s the Yankees — no, scratch that, it’s baseball).

Three levels are shown, so let’s focus on Double-A and see if anyone caught up to Wesneski:

RHB got a 1.24 WHIP against him, with 6 HRs among the 172 batters faced.

LHB got a 1.12 WHIP against him, with 5 HRs among the 172 batters faced.

Yeah, it’s clear they let him face everyone because his righty/lefty split was about even, but he got more Ks against the lefties.

The Scouts

Warnings

The scouts are just about to catch on to Wesneski, but going into the season he wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

It’s the Yankees, so any starter prospect is way down the depth charts, and it could be years before he gets a regular chance in the rotation (other than injury-fill-in spot starts).

Conclusion

He has a consistent 3/4 arm slot across his pitches, and he has a four-pitch repertoire, so he is not at risk of being shunted permanently to the bullpen. He has a two-seams, low-90s FB, and a 4-seamer that sits in the mid-90s. Add in a low-80s slider and a decent changeup.

He will be 24 years old next spring when he presumably starts the year at Triple-A. Assuming he does as well there as he began this year, and he will be on the list of callups later than summer. Or maybe he’ll get traded to a team starved for pitching and he’ll be in a rotation sooner than most people will have heard of him.

The PARS list gives him a score of 64.8, which means a back-end starter, but towards the top of that list. I agree, and think he could become a #5 SP in short order, and eventually a reliable #4 SP. That may not excite fantasy players, but it makes dynasty players jump, and major league teams exceedingly happy.

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