Deivi Garcia has garnered attention from fans and media since the Yankees promoted the right-hander to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, but another arm developing on New York's farm reportedly has folks within the organization buzzing.
From a high-ranking Yankees scout to the franchise's High-A manager, a Wednesday report by Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media details New York's infatuation with RHP Miguel Yajure.
Garcia is nearing a possible promotion to the big leagues, where the Yankees could use him from the bullpen during the team's postseason push from August through October, but Yajure appears to be on his own ascension as he climbs the ladder.
"And the best pitcher in the organization right now might be Miguel Yajure in Tampa," the scout told NJ.com.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has a decision on his hands as he and the front office approach the offseason. Yajure is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft after the 2019 season, which means the 21-year-old either has to be placed on the 40-man roster or take the risk of an opposing team taking the promising righty and adding him to its active roster for 2020.
Yajure is 8-6 with a 2.15 ERA and 119 strikeouts to 27 walks in 121.2 innings. He has the stuff to match his polish, too -- while Yajure's profile on MLB Pipeline says his fastball sits at 92-95 mph, he now hits 97 mph.
Both the ERA and 1.08 WHIP for Yajure, who has appeared in 21 games with 17 starts for the High-A Tampa Tarpons, rank second among pitchers in the Florida State League -- second to only RHP Tommy Romero from the Tampa Bay Rays' High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs. But what makes Yajure stand out above others?
"He gets out there and commands the strike zone and is unafraid to pitch to either side of the plate," Tarpons manager Aaron Holbert told NJ.com. "A huge plus is that his velo has spiked up. He touched 97 his last time out. And he's able to mix in a plus curve, a plus changeup as well as a nice little cutter to keep guys from leaning out over the plate."
Signed in 2015 for $30,000 from Venezuela, Yajure missed the entirety of the 2017 season after he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. According to MLB Pipeline, Yajure's best pitch is a "solid to plus changeup that keeps left-handers honest" while adding a cutter with "similar potential."
MLB Pipeline ranks Yajure as the Yankees' No. 27 overall prospect and 15th-best pitcher. The list is led by Garcia, 20, who became New York's top player in the system Aug. 1.