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Yankees Promote Top Pitching Prospect to Triple-A

Left-hander Ken Waldichuk was transferred from Double-A to Triple-A on Tuesday, set to suit up for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for the first time.

Ken Waldichuk is now one step away from making it to the big leagues.

The Yankees' top pitching prospect—and No. 6 prospect in the organization, per MLB.com—was promoted from Double-A Somerset to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday.

Waldichuk, 24, was on a roll to start this season, pitching for the Patriots. Over six starts in Double-A, the left-hander had posted a stellar 1.26 ERA, striking out 46 batters over 28.2 innings pitched. He had a perfect 4-0 record, holding opponents to a .158 batting average in that span.

The southpaw was a fifth-round pick by the Yankees back in 2019. Waldichuk played college ball at Saint Mary's in California. 

Back in 2021, Waldichuk started the year with High-A, dominating in a Hudson Valley Renegades uniform. The left-hander didn't allow a single run over seven starts (30.2 frames), earning a promotion to Double-A. He finished the year with Somerset, posting a 4.20 ERA over his next 79.1 innings of work.

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Here's a snippet of the lefty's scouting report, from MLB.com:

Waldichuk has scrapped the 89-92 mph two-seam fastball he had in college in favor of a four-seamer that sits at 92-95. His heater's shape and carry up in the strike zone are even more impressive than its velocity, and hitters repeatedly swing under it. He also has made progress with his slider, adding sweep to it since signing, as well as his fading changeup, and both low-80s offerings grade as plus at their best. 

Waldichuk also employs an upper-70s curveball to give him a pitch with more depth, though it gets slurvy and blends with his slider. He does a nice job of using his 6-foot-4 frame and low three-quarters arm slot to enhance his deception, and his angle and extension are especially tough on left-handers. He throws a reasonable number of strikes but is still learning how to command his improved stuff, which could make him a No. 3 starter. 

After Waldichuk, there are five right-handers in the Yankees' system ranked in the organization's top-12 prospects by MLB Pipeline. In order, that group includes Clarke Schmidt, Hayden Wesneski, Yoendrys Gómez, Luis Gil and Luis Medina. 

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