Saturday, September 3, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Juan DePaula & Jio Orozco


New York Yankees have a lot of hard decisions ahead of them and truth be told they are decisions they have to make because they have good problems to have. New York’s farm system is one of the best farm systems in all of Major League Baseball right now and the team is absolutely overflowing with talent at certain positions, outfield and middle infield especially. While New York is probably still a couple years away from having to make the tough decisions regarding all their middle infield prospects the time has come to start clearing the logjam in the outfield and that began with the trade of Ben Gamel to the Seattle Mariners on August 31st. The trade brought back a pair of teenage pitching arms with a ton of upside for the Yankees to develop so let’s meet them both this morning, This is Meet a Prospect: The Juan DePaula and Jio Orozco Editions.

Jio Orozco is 19-years old and is probably considered to be the “better” of the two prospects in the deal. Orozco was originally drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Draft but was bought by Seattle and was last ranked as the team’s 19th best prospect in their system. At the time of the trade Orozco had posted a 4.07 ERA and 3.51 FIP with an astonishing 29.3 strikeout rate in Rookie ball. Yes I know it’s rookie ball but striking out three batters for every ten you face is impressive no matter where you go. Orozco has a 91-94 MPH fastball with a clean and fluid delivery that should lead to durability as he grows into his body and frame. Orozco’s arm angle allows for some sink to his fastball and his command allows him to work both sides of the plate effectively. Orozco also commands a 12-to-6 type curve ball with a developing changeup. Orozco is advanced for 19-years old but one must remember that he’s still 19. He has a long way to go.

DePaula has even longer to go at just 18-years old after spending the bulk of the 2016 season at the Dominican Summer League with Seattle. DePaula was not ranked in the Mariners Top 30 prospects list according to MLB.com although baseball America did rank him 29th in their preseason handbook. At the time of the trade DePaula was posting a 3.07 ERA and 2.98 FIP with a staggering 30.6 strikeout percentage in 41 innings pitched. DePaula absolutely pounds the strike zone with his 93 MPH fastball and occasionally mixes in a curveball and a changeup as well. DePaula is still growing into his frame and has added velocity this season after throwing around 85 MPH when originally signed by Seattle.


We won’t likely hear either name being talked about much for a few years but both have the potential to be solid pitchers if they keep developing like they have thus far. The sky is the limit and that’s a good feeling to have. Welcome to the organization guys and welcome to the family as well. 

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