Jordan Yamamoto Fantastic Pickup For Mets
For some reason, the Miami Marlins made the decision to designate Jordan Yamamoto for assignment. That created the avenue for a New York Mets team looking to build organizational pitching depth to make a trade to acquire the promising pitcher.
Yamamoto doesn’t throw hard at all, but his topping out in the very low 90s hasn’t stopped him from racking up big strikeout numbers. In his brief MLB career, he has a 9.5 K/9, and in Double-A, he has the same number.
Statcast had Jordan Yamamoto throwing 6 different pitches last year. So that's something. pic.twitter.com/mYnq43KAch
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) February 1, 2021
Yamamoto accomplishes this in a number of ways. First, he uses an array of pitches he mixes up to keep batters off balance. Next, he had good spin on his pitches. Finally, he hides the ball well.
Jordan Yamamoto is still only 24, but is coming off a year where results were bad (18.26 ERA) and velocity was down.
He was much better in 2019 with a 4.23 xERA.
Slider was a good pitch for him in 2019 (.167 SLG), and here's a nasty one with 3036 spin rate. pic.twitter.com/DZ5fblNgAy
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) February 1, 2021
As noted, Yamamoto’s biggest weapon is his slider. The spin is off the charts, and he gets a swing and miss over 25% of the time.
Thats the bright side. The downside is at the Major League level, Yamamoto has had some control issues walking 4.3 per nine. That makes him a project.
Fortunately, he’s still young at 24, and he has an option remaining. That gives him development time.
If he’s ironed out the walks in the offseason, he could compete for a spot in the Opening Day rotation or bullpen. If he doesn’t, he can work down in Syracuse. That leaves him at the ready in case of injury or ineffectiveness.
If Yamamoto doesn’t figure it out, no harm, no foul. If he does, he could be a modern day Rick Reed. He certainly has the array of pitches and deception. The question is whether he can develop the control and moxy Reed had.
Time will tell. Fortunately, the Mets have the time and suddenly the depth to see what Yamamoto can be. In the end, that’s what makes him a great pick up.