Yankees prospects: Austin Wells shows off his wheels

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Pinstripe Alley 18 July, 2021 - 07:00am 7 views

Why is Red Sox Yankees game postponed?

A COVID-19 outbreak within the Yankees' player group has prompted the postponement of Thursday's game between the Yankees and Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, allowing Major League Baseball to conduct continued testing and contact tracing. The league will continue to provide scheduling updates as available. MLB.comRed Sox-Yankees Thursday game postponed

Game will be completed today as a full nine-inning game with a seven-inning doubleheader after.

Double-A Somerset Patriots: L, 3-7 (6) at Richmond Flying Squirrels

Kick save and a from @HWEZ02 pic.twitter.com/hD4glYoL4j

Game was called in the top of the sixth due to rain.

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades: W, 6-5 at Wilmington Blue Rocks

Low-A Tampa Tarpons: L, 3-10 vs. Lakeland Flying Tigers

Austin Wells won’t stop hitting… here’s his fourth triple on the season, coming with two outs in the third inning. pic.twitter.com/9K7PQEW2O4

Florida Complex League Yankees: W, 11-0 (7) vs. FCL Phillies

Dominican Summer League Yankees 1: L, 9-10 vs. DSL Yankees 2

Dominican Summer League Yankees 2: W, 10-9 at DSL Yankees 1

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‘This is a guy teams will ask for’: Meet one of Yankees’ hottest prospects you probably haven’t heard about

NJ.com 18 July, 2021 - 06:00am

If general manager Brian Cashman believes the Yankees still have a shot at the postseason and wants to snag a left-handed bat at the July 30 trade deadline, deal-makers with other teams likely will demand left-hander Ken Waldichuk, one of the hottest prospects in baseball.

Despite being an under-the-radar name to start the season, Waldichuk, the Yankees’ No. 27 prospect, has embarrassed minor-league hitters. The Yankees might want to sell now, while his stock is high.

“He’s all right. I like him,” one MLB scout told NJ Advance Media. “Waldichuk was 91-95 (mph) and sitting 92-94 when I saw him. He has a good curveball, a real good changeup and a solid slider. I give him a ceiling as a No. 3 starter.

“This is a guy teams will ask for as a trade piece.”

The stats explain why. Waldichuk started with the High-A Hudson Valley Renegades, where didn’t give up an earned run while striking out 55 in 30.2 innings. With Double A Somerset Patriots, he has a 1.42 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and 42 strikeouts over five starts and 57 innings. He was named one of Baseball America’s hottest pitching prospects earlier this season. Waldichuk has the trade spotlight on him, but he chooses not to think about it.

“I try to stay in the moment and compete every outing rather than get caught up in everything,” Waldichuk said.

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Waldichuk’s mindset stems from his humble beginnings. He’s the typical underdog story: Even though he’s 6-foot-4, he was smaller than other kids growing up and played recreational sports for fun. He didn’t start playing competitive baseball until he was in high school and was halfway through a JV game when he thought maybe he had a future.

“I had one outing where I went five no-hit innings on JV and 10 strikeouts,” Waldichuk said. “At that point, I had 20 scoreless innings on the year. That’s when I said, ‘I might have a career here.’”

Still, Waldichuk’s hometown, San Diego, is a hotbed of young baseball talent. He was the 318th best player from California in 2016, according to Perfect Game, and ended up as a non-scholarship player for St. Mary’s. Former St. Mary’s coach Eric Valenzuela, who currently coaches at Long Beach State, said they didn’t trust Waldichuk at first, but in one clutch game, Waldichuk changed everyone’s mind.

“Early on, we never put him in during high-leverage situations,” Valenzuela told NJ Advance Media. “We got in one situation, though, where it was Game 3 of a series and our starter couldn’t get out of the first or second inning. So we went to Ken early and he totally dominated, completing the game with seven scoreless innings.

“I’ll never forget that. That was the day that created Ken Waldichuk.”

Waldichuk would become one of the team’s most dominant pitchers. He earned a spot on the All-West Coast Conference First Team for his 2.08 ERA in 2018 and finished college with a 2.58 ERA. This was good enough to be drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round in 2019. If you ask him though, he should have been picked earlier.

“I feel like I had more talent to be drafted higher,” Waldichuk said. “I knew when I was drafted, I was a sleeper pick… Once I was selected I was ready to get to work.”

Whatever his future is –– being shipped in a blockbuster trade or staying put for a potential call-up –– Waldichuk seems ready to deliver. With the Yankees floundering in fourth place, nine games behind the first-place Red Sox, a few of the organization’s top prospects could get looks as the Yankees try to find out what they have on the farm and possibly showcase that talent.

“I’ve been working on developing and making sure that when and if I get up there, that I’m ready to contribute,” he said. “I’d try my best. I probably could get some outs.”

A promotion this big would call for an equally big adjustment. Waldichuk has adapted fairly well, but had a rough beginning to his last call-up. During his Somerset debut last month, Waldichuk, who didn’t give up a single run in High-A ball, gave up three earned runs and nearly blew the Patriots’ 4-1 lead. His season ERA soared from 0.00 to 5.79. As a perfectionist, he hated this. According to his manager though, this was an important lesson.

“I don’t expect to see that all the time from (Ken),” manager Julio Mosquera said. “He’s got tremendous stuff. It’s almost good for that to sometimes happen to them, so they can figure it out.”

Since that game, Waldichuk has a 3.58 ERA, 35 strikeouts and a 3-0 record in 21.2 innings pitched.

“I plan for each start as its own individual thing,” Waldichuk said.

Learning to adjust this year has been one of Waldichuk’s favorite things. He’s in a new league and part of the country, but he loves it. He only has one grip with his dream season –– food on the East Coast.

“I definitely miss California burritos. It’s like a carne asada burrito, but with french fries in it,” Waldichuk said. “I do like In-N-Out a lot. I argue with the Texas guys on the team about what’s better: In-N-Out or Whataburger.”

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