To continue our series looking at future diamond stars out of the Commonwealth, let us now head to the big city, New York.
In 2014, while all of the focus was on the final season for star shortstop Derek Jeter, it overlooked the fact that the Yankees missed the playoffs for the second straight year, the first time in over 20 years they had missed consecutive postseasons. The Yankees were the dynasty of baseball in the late 90s and early 2000s; since 1996, they have won 7 American League Pennants and 5 World Series titles, largely based on a combination of free agent signings and a farm system that produced key components like Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, etc.
But with the retirement of Jeter, the Yankees are clearly in a rebuilding mode now, and one of the components that will need to be tweaked is the bullpen. Fortunately, the Yankees have a possible answer in-house, LHP Tyler Webb.
Webb, who was born and raised in he tiny town of Nassawadox, a coastal community on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, was drafted by the Yankees in the 2013 draft, after a college career in which he won 2 College World Series titles with the USC Game Cocks, won numerous college awards, and in his senior season notched 17 saves as the Gamecocks closer.
After being drafted by the Yankees, he started out at Short-Season Staten Island, but after just 2 weeks, he was promoted to Charleston, where he posted a 3.86 ERA and 40 SO in 30 1/3 innings, walking only 6. In 2014, he started one level up, at High-A Tampa. With Tampa he pitched in 8 games, posting a 2.77 ERA, and struck out 17 in 13 innings, walking only 1. He was then moved up to Double-A, where he did struggle to a 4+ ERA, but struck out 51 in 35 innings, with 14 walks. He also posted 7 saves. He was promoted to Triple-A Scranton, which is just 2 hours from Yankee Stadium. At AAA, he posted a 2-0 record and notched 26 Strikeouts in 20 innings, walking only 7. This is where he finished the 2014 season.
For his minor league career, he is 6-7 with a 3.63 ERA and 15 saves. In 104 innings pitched, he has 142 strikeouts and only 30 walks.
By Opening Day 2015, Tyler Webb will be only 24 years old. He is likely to be given a chance to earn a spot in the Yankees bullpen as the Yankees try to ensure there is no 3rd consecutive season of sitting at home in October.