By: Jeffery Romeu
The Hawaiian born Jordan Yamamoto is ranked as the 17th best prospect for the Miami Marlins and was acquired in the trade that sent Christian Yelich to the Brewers this past off-season. He is a strong pitcher with a diverse selection of pitches which is refreshing for an organization desperate for quality starter pitching after the tragic death of former Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The Marlins have had various pitching busts before even reaching the majors such as former 2nd overall pick Tyler Kolek, but Yamamoto’s dominance in the minors may bring a new era for the Marlins on the mound.
Selected in the 12th round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, Yamamoto began his career in the Class-A Midwest League and was soon called up to Advance A due to his strong performance which included a 2.51 ERA in over 100 innings pitched. After being traded to the Marlins, Yamamoto posted ridiculously impressive numbers for the Jupiter Hammerheads in the Advance-A Florida State League which included a streak of over 40 innings without allowing a run. He was called up to Double A to play for the Jacksonville Suns after posting a 1.55 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 40 innings. He is currently on the DL but has started to begin throwing again in hopes of returning to the pitching rotation soon.
Yamamoto is listed as a possible future reliever due to his lack of plus pitch power and undersized statue, but I disagree. I believe that if Yamamoto continues to develop his three pitches (Fastball, Curveball, Changeup) and possibly add another, he will be a middle of the rotation pitcher. With all his pitches being slightly above average and overall strong swing and miss fastball, he will be a great asset to the Marlins in a few years. However, this isn’t the first time he’s been on the DL, so precautions may be needed in the future.
I personally have a lot of faith in Yamamoto and believe he will continue to thrive in the minors and one day the majors.