The Yankees’ desire to control payroll in 2021 is going to push several prospects into Major League duty. Keep a close eye on these 3 unheralded prospects.
2021 is going to be a unique season for the Yankees. The team’s loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic has Brian Cashman under immense pressure to forge a World Series contender on a budget. The organization’s lack of spending power in free agency is going to give a handful of young players a real opportunity to impact the big league roster.
It’s obvious that high-profile prospects such as Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt will have a large role to play. The more interesting question is whether or not any lower-level prospects can force their way into Aaron Boone’s thinking. The following three young players have a chance to go from under-the-radar prospects to important Major League players during the 2021 campaign.
3. Luis Medina
Medina comes into the season as the Yankees’ No. 11 prospect, but his stellar performance during Winter Ball in the Dominican has his stock with the team on the rise. Expecting a pitcher who’s never pitched above high-A to make it all the way to the majors might be ambitious, but Medina has the talent to make it happen.
The 21-year-old fanned 32 batters in just 16.2 innings pitched during his play in Winter Ball. He comfortably throws his fastball in the mid-90s and flashes a curveball that’s capable of getting quality hitters out at the big-league level.
The challenge for Medina is proving that he can throw strikes on a consistent basis. His control has been excellent this Winter and Yankees’ officials hope that he can translate that to success in the United States next season.
Medina’s high-end stuff is already good to make an impact with the Yankees. If he can find a secondary pitch or two that he can command at an above-average level then he has a chance to rocket up the system. The odds are against him getting all the way to the Bronx in 2021, but he has the physical tools to make a meteoric rise to the big leagues.