Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
But the Yanks have a handful of prospects who could potentially make an impact during the 2020 season, including their No. 1 overall prospect.
Deivi Garcia, RHP
The diminutive Garcia (he's just 5'9") took the minors by storm in 2019, striking out 120 batters in just 71.1 innings as he stormed through High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton and his name began to surface in rumors as a potential headline piece for an impact pitcher at the trade deadline.
The Yanks hung onto the 20-year-old, and he hit a serious speed bump after being promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he had a 5.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 40 IP (six starts, five relief appearances).
Garcia will almost certainly begin the 2020 season back in Triple-A, but could be a rotation or bullpen option early on if he conquers the level.
Albert Abreu, RHP
The 24-year-old Abreu had a down season in 2019, with a 4.28 ERA and 1.61 WHIP (walking a shade under 5.0 batters per 9) in 96.2 IP (20 starts, three relief appearances) for Double-A Trenton.
Abreu has shown flashes during his minor league career and put together a strong overall season in 2017. But his last two seasons have been a struggle.
The plus stuff is there, though, and if Abreu can harness it there's a possibility he'll move quickly.
Nick Nelson, RHP
Nelson isn't viewed as one of the Yankees' Top 10 prospects, but the 23-year-old had a strong 2019 season, with a 2.81 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 114 strikeouts in 89.2 IP (17 starts, one relief appearance).
MLB.com's scouting report notes that the Yanks plan to continue allowing him to develop as a starting pitcher, but that he could make an impact sooner as a reliever.
Nelson finished the 2019 season by making four starts for Triple-A, so he's close.
Michael King, RHP
Another starting pitcher, and another right-hander.
King, 24, missed the first half of the 2019 season due to a stress reaction in his elbow. He had a 4.18 ERA and 1.10 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 23.2 IP (three starts, one relief appearance) in Triple-A and was called up to the Yankees in late-September after Domingo German was placed on administrative leave.
Odds are that King will open the 2020 season back in Triple-A -- potentially along with Garcia and Nelson. But since he's already on the 40-man roster, he could be one of the first options the Yanks turn to if they find themselves in need of a starting pitcher in 2020.