The Miami Marlins have yet another minor league arm to consider for its future as Jordan Yamamoto continues to shine in the Arizona Fall League.
The Marlins will certainly be watching how Jordan Yamamoto develops this offseason. The 22-year old right-hander is making a name for himself in the Arizona Fall League and should take another step toward the Major Leagues in 2019.
Yamamoto was part of the deal with Isan Díaz, Lewis Brinson, and Monte Harrison that sent Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers. While Yelich has been tearing up the National League and should be the MVP, Miami did well in this deal in finding four players who could all be part of the Major League roster in 2020.
Yamamoto will have the toughest road to the bigs as he is competing with many other arms to fill a rotation that will be both young and inexperienced.
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Per MLB.com, Yamamoto tossed three innings against the Mesa Solar Sox on Wednesday night in his second AFL start, allowing one run on two hits and one walk while striking out six. He has given up five hits in six innings so far in the Fall League, allowing only one run and striking out 11.
Those kinds of numbers reflect his growth this season, having played with Jupiter at Class-A and then Jacksonville at the Double-A level.
He could start the season in Jacksonville once again with the Jumbo Shrimp but is more than likely headed to New Orleans, the Marlins Triple-A affiliate.
The only thing that could hold Yamamoto back in his development is depth. Nick Neidert spent all of 2018 in Jacksonville and was the workhorse of the staff. Pablo Lopez was dominant early in the year and won a ticket to both New Orleans and then the parent club.
There are many arms manager Don Mattingly and his staff (once it is filled) will assess in Spring Training.
I believe the youngster is still a year or two away from the show.
Right now, Yamamoto is listed as the Marlins No. 16 prospect by MLB Pipeline. He is a player the team should consider for the rotation in the future as he continues to improve his command of pitches, as his scouting report states.
"“Yamamoto has seen his stuff and overall pitchability improve in each of his four seasons. He compensates for being undersized with a high-spin-rate fastball that sits 89-93 mph and induces whiffs in and above the zone,” MLB Pipeline assesses. “Yamamoto’s breaking ball is his best secondary pitch, flashing plus at times with late downer action, and he exhibits feel for a promising changeup. His entire arsenal plays up because he’s a good strike-thrower, though he’s likely to be challenged in that regarded against upper-level hitters.”"
After his showing on Wednesday, Yamamoto met with the media and stressed he is going to continue to do the same things that he worked on last season and has done since getting to Arizona.
"“Just learning to pitch, just learning who I am and what I can do and using that to my advantage,” Yamamoto said. “Throwing the ball in the zone, getting hitters out, trusting my defense and let the bats do their work.”"