The Miami Marlins current number 17 ranked prospect, Jordan Yamamoto, is celebrating his 23rd birthday.
During the 2017-18 offseason, the Miami Marlins received Jordan Yamamoto as part of the package of players from the Milwaukee Brewers for now-reigning National League Most Valuable Player Christian Yelich.
Of course, Yelich is following up his MVP campaign with another season that could end up looking even better. Meanwhile, deal centerpiece Lewis Brinson (then a top 100 MLB prospect) hasn’t been reciprocating with anything resembling a major league level of talent. Monte Harrison and Isan Diaz are still learning how to strike out less at the triple-A level (now with Brinson with the New Orleans Baby Cakes).
Yamamoto could end up being the surprise steal of the deal. Between the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads, the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and a short rehab stint with the rookie-level GCL Marlins in 2018, Yamamoto was 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA over 13 starts. He struck out 85 while walking only 14 over 68 2/3 innings, posting a 0.830 WHIP and an all-star level 6.07 K/BB rate. Opponents touched Yamamoto for a .178/.234/.251 slash line.
Yamamoto followed up that strong showing with an equally impressive fall league.
A native of Pearl City, Hawaii, Yamamoto was a 12th round pick of Milwaukee back in 2014. He has yet to replicate the same success level for the Jumbo Shrimp in his second look at the double-A level. He’s still pretty good at limiting hits, with a .206 opposing batting average, but has also walked 18 in just 37 innings. He’s got 35 K’s and holds a 1.216 WHIP after seven starts.
Yamamoto earned a win yesterday in the second half of a double header versus the Mobile BayBears, with his second consecutive Quality Start. He allowed five hits and a pair of walks for four runs (three earned) in six innings. Yamamoto struck out four in the contest for his second win of the season.
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Looking forward, Yamamoto’s next probable start is likely the Shrimp series finale in their five-game set against the Biloxi Shuckers on Wednesday. For those of you who can’t make it, Yamamoto’s repertoire includes a slower-than-average fastball that succeeds due to a high-spin rate, a plus curveball, and a nice change-of-pace breaking ball to keep hitters off balance. The ceiling for Yamamoto is somewhere around a number four MLB starter.
Yamamoto is currently stuck in logjam behind the promising stable of starters in Miami and New Orleans. With a little patience, we can likely expect to see him with the Marlins sometime around late-2020.
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