Sunday, February 1, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Scott Baker

Scott Baker signed a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training with the New York Yankees on Friday and could earn up to $1.5 million if he makes the big league roster. He's more than likely destined to be Triple-A insurance and depth with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders but just in case we will introduce you to the newest member of the Yankees family just in case. Remember where you heard this first!

Timothy Scott Baker was born on September 19, 1981 and will be entering his age 33 season, although he will turn 34 by season's end, after spending his major league career with the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago Cubs, the Seattle Mariners briefly and most recently the Texas Rangers. Baker is a right handed pitcher that used to throw six pitches before injuries affected his repertoire. Baker's velocity has dropped to the high 80's since the 2013 season and has affected, and essentially eliminated, his curveball although Baker still does throw a four seam fastball, two seam fastball, cut fastball, slider and a changeup.

Baker spent his college years at Oklahoma State University which led to the Twins drafting the right hander in the second round of the 2003 amateur draft. By 2005 Baker was in the major leagues and by 2006 he was in the Twins starting rotation out of Spring Training. Baker's Twins career had a few notable moments including narrowly missing a perfect game on August 31, 2007 and starting the AL tiebreaker game against the Detroit Tigers in 2009, a game the Twins won. That victory was the high point of his career as the Yankees took down Minnesota in the playoffs and the injury bug became a common thing in Baker's career and in his life.

In 2010 injuries kept Baker off the Twins postseason roster and things did not get much better in 2011. The 2012 was a complete loss for Baker after undergoing Tommy John surgery which also led him to miss most of the 2013 season. Baker spent the 2014 season splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen in 2014 in Texas posting a 3-4 record with a 5.47 ERA, 55 K's, and 14 walks in 80.2 IP and 25 games, eight of them starts. Now Baker will fight with Chase Whitley and maybe even Bryan Mitchell in the RailRiders rotation in hopes of joining the big league club in the Bronx.

Welcome to the family Scott, we wish you well.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)