When the Yankees added pitcher Hector Noesi to their 40-man roster it surprised quite a few because at 22 people still thought he was quite some time away from major league ready. But it seems that the Yankees liked what they saw from the right hander this season as he split time between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa.
Noesi has largely been ignored by sites and blogs that have ranked Yankees prospects, but that could be because many people don’t know much about him. In 2008 while covering the Staten Island Yankees I got a chance to see Noesi pitch a couple of times and was left with mixed emotions. He had a decent fastball that sat in the low 90’s and I could see that he had decent command, but compared to other pitchers like Jeremy Bleich and David Phelps he didn’t stand out.
Things have changed this season after Noesi threw 117 innings allowing him to develop his secondary pitches more. He has developed his curveball and changeup and improved his control to the point where some people within the Yankees organization are saying that he has major league potential.
Chad Jennings of the Journal News posted a scouting report by professional scout Frankie Piliere on his blog yesterday and it’s definitely worth a read:
Noesi is a very interesting guy, I guess probably the definition of a late bloomer as a prospect. I saw him with SI (Staten Island) in ‘08 and he had the fastball but not much in the way of a secondary pitch. This year when I saw him in Charleston then later on in Tampa he had come a long way. Sits around 91-93, touches 94 and heard reports of 95. But pretty steady around 92-93. Plus command of the fastball, can go east and west very well. The difference now is he’s mixing the curveball with good 12-6 action (72-76 mph). About an average pitch now, flashed plus now and then. Mixes a changeup but saw him make a lot of mistakes on it. 82-86 mph. Really a show pitch right now. If he can get it over enough he’s got a #3 type profile. He was just really surprising this year. Really became a pitcher, throws a lot of quality strikes and the fastball has a lot of life.
I don’t think he’s a guy that converts to the pen either. I saw him go deep into some games, change his patterns and actually even pick up velocity at higher pitch counts. His curveball had a tendency to tighten up later on too. Clean delivery, everything is pretty nice and easy.
I’ve thought he was maybe the most overlooked good prospect in the system by the end of the year. He’s not that far off I don’t think. Pitches and carries himself like an experienced guy.
Interesting stuff. Noesi has potential, but I’m still surprised that the Yankees added him to their 40-man roster because it’s very unlikely that even if he was chosen in the rule 5 draft that he would stick in the big leagues for the entire year, meaning he would come back to the Yankees.
Perhaps the Yankees are preparing to fulfill possible holes in their bullpen and think Noesi is a legit candidate or perhaps they are trying to build him up to increase his value as a trading chip.