As an organization, the New York Yankees pride themselves in finding and developing good pitchers.
Led by Director of Pitching Sam Briend, and with the help of pitching coach Matt Blake and his team, the Bombers’ organizational strength is now pitching, and it has been that way for a while.
They have a particularly keen interest in sliders and try to preach their use throughout the system.
But this pitch by right-handed pitching prospect Wellington Diaz is something else:
— Alden González (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 20, 2022
Typically, you will see right-handed pitchers throwing sliders at right-handed hitters and changeups to left-handed hitters: the ball gets further from the hitter that way, making it more difficult to hit.
In this case, however, Diaz’s slider is so good that he throws it with confidence against both righties and lefties, like it happened in the video.
Walks Are Preventing Him From Improving And Advancing
The problem with Diaz, however, has been control: walks are stopping his evolution so far.
He is almost 25, and he is pitching in High-A, where is well-above the level’s average age.
He has pitched four innings this season so far, with two walks and a 6.75 ERA.
Last year, for example, he walked 27 innings in 38.1 innings in Class-A.
He didn’t pitch professionally in 2020 because of the pandemic, but in 2019, he spent some time in all A levels (low, high, and short-season) and his BB/9 (walks per nine innings) was always above 5.00.
Obviously, he has a big arm and a huge slider, but he needs to keep the walks in check if he wants a shot at being a major leaguer eventually.