SARASOTA, FL - MARCH 07: Pitcher Adam Warren #88 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Ed Smith Stadium on March 7, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Date/Location of Birth: August 25, 1987 in Birmingham, Alabama
Height/Weight: 6'2", 215 lbs.
Position: Starting Pitcher
Adam Warren is a promising young pitcher who hails from the great state of Alabama. He attended the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and was drafted in the 34th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians, but opted to return to UNC for his senior year instead. Probably a choice that paid off. The very next year, he was selected in the fourth round by the New York Yankees. Interestingly enough, he was never even given a chance to start until his junior year, pitching out of the bullpen his freshman and sophomore years.
Adam experienced success in 2009 with Staten Island, starting 12 games and posting a 1.43 ERA and WHIP of 1.04. I would also label his time with Tampa and Trenton in 2010 as very good, starting a combined 25 games and housing an ERA of 2.59. Here are some of the trends in his statistics I've noticed as I peruse through. His strikeout rate steadily rose from 2009 to 2010 (7.9 to 8.4), but so did his walk rate (1.6 to 2.2) and WHIP (1.04 to 1.14). His FIP in 2009 was 2.19 and in 2010 was around 2.65. For complete statistics, follow these links: Fangraphs and Baseball-reference.com
It's a bit too soon to say how he'll fair this season in Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, but so far it's been mediocre. In six starts, his FIP has sky-rocketed to 5.11 and his BB rate has ballooned to 4.5 (SO rate at 5.0). Four homers allowed already matches the total amount of homers he let up all of last season. Not really any positive trends here. However, "small sample size" seems to be the mantra these days and that's all his time in Scranton has been thus far. Hopefully a good turn-around is in order.
Warren's arsenal of pitches is mostly fastball-friendly, sporting a four-seamer, two-seamer, and cutter. Frequently clocked in the 92-94 mph range and has good movement on his fastballs. Warren has even been as high as the 96-97 mph range. He also has a curveball and changeup, but doesn't have strong control to throw them for strikes and they aren't particularly strong pitches. He reported has a fantastic pickoff move and excellent control over his fastballs. However, he'll struggle to make it in the majors if he can't develop his off-speed pitches.
So, when is his ETA? He's not completely out of the question for a late-September call-up, but don't expect to see him don the pinstripes until 2012 at the earliest. I believe he'll end up being trade bait though due to his powerful pitching style. If the Yankees could land a top quality player in a deal where they could package Adam Warren, they'd pull the trigger fairly quickly. Betances, Banuelos, Phelps and Noesi are easily ahead of Warren at this point and it wouldn't kill New York to trade this guy.
Come back on Thursday for Frankie's "Yankees Prospect No. 8" post!
Websites used for information: Fangraphs.com, Baseball-reference.com, Yankeeanalysts.com