Name: Dietrich Enns
Draft: 2012, 19th round out of Central Michigan University
Size: 6-foot-1, 195-pounds
Best Tool: Sinker
BBDP Rank: unranked
If I told you the Yankees had a left handed pitcher in their system who just this year struck out 112 batters in 82.2 innings, and had a 2.94 ERA, would you believe me? If I took at a step further and told you this player wasn’t even in Bronx Baseball Daily’s end of the season top 50 prospects, would that shock you even more? In truth the man does exist, and his name is Dietrich Enns.
Enns has been a reliever since he started college, and continued to fill that role when he started out at Staten Island. He didn’t get a ton of attention but posted solid numbers there. Enns had 42.2 IP, 33 K, 15 BB and a 2.11 ERA in his first professional season. The following year he was held back in extended Spring Training to wait for a spot in Charleston. Eventually a spot did open up for him. Few could predict what happened next.
Apparently Enns had an uptick in stuff at some point during the off-season or in extended. When he arrived at Charleston he pitched like he had been shot out of a cannon. He threw 44.1 IP and struck out 69 batters, while walking just 14, could for a 14.0 K.9. During that time he had a 0.61 ERA.
At that point the Yankees did something peculiar with him. They promoted him to High-A Tampa while also switching his role completely from relief pitcher to starting pitcher. Doing either of those things alone to a pitcher is an adjustment. As one could imagine he struggled quite a bit when having to make both adjustments at once.
While he struggled with an ERA of 5.63 in High-A Tampa, he also showed some positives. First of all he still struck out 10.1 per nine innings. Secondly, he had an uncharacteristically high walk rate which could have been the result of fatigue, or adjusting to life as a starting pitcher.
Overall he ended up throwing 82.2 innings this year and struck out 112 batters. He had a 2.94 ERA on the season and will look to build upon all of that in 2014. He should be able to throw somewhere between 110-120 innings.
Enns currently has a three pitch mix that he uses to go after batters. He has a four-seam fastball, a changeup, and a slider. The fastball sits anywhere from 90-93 MPH as a starter and a tick or two more as a reliever.
He also has a changeup which he uses to induce soft contact. He has good control of it and it keeps batters off balance.
His third pitch is a slider which is his main strikeout pitch. It has turned into a plus pitch which can really keep lefties at bay.
Going forward, Enns has some areas of his game he can work on. He suffered from decreased control when he moved up to Tampa. The first step is to improve that control. He also would benefit from either adding a fourth pitch, or getting more out of his changeup. If he’s able to accomplish some of these goals he could keep himself in the conversation for starting pitcher long term. Even if he was able to add a 2-seam fastball to the mix, that would most likely help his stock immensely.
Enns’ stock is on the rise and his ceiling rose from middle reliever to back end starter in one year. If he can continue to improve or has an uptick in stuff his ceiling could go even higher.
His floor at this point is a LOOGY. It can never hurt to have another lefty specialist in your bullpen. He also has the ability to go multiple innings so he could also be a middle reliever.
Enns has about an average likelihood of hitting his ceiling. He does have a high floor though, and this is why a guy like him is a valuable asset to have in the system.
Dietrich will start 2014 with High-A Tampa. He will likely be a starter and if all goes well he should be in Double-A before the end of the season. From there it’s anyone’s guess whether he ends up making noise as a possible starter or gets sent back to the bullpen. 2016 will be the year he should arrive in the majors. He will be 24 years old at that point, which is not too old for a major league debut.
Hopefully he will continue to grow and improve as a player. If so you’re going to be hearing a lot more about this kid going forward.