Who is Randy Vasquez, the Yankees’ next-gen rotation leader?

Yankees prospect pitcher Randy Vásquez

Table of Contents

The Yankees introduced their upcoming group of pitching prospects, including Randy Vasquez, to the team in 2023. Manager Aaron Boone has announced that the 24-year-old will make his major league debut on May 26 against the Padres at Yankee Stadium. He will either start the game or enter as a relief pitcher after an opener.

Randy Vasquez, who was ranked as the Yankees’ ninth prospect and the third-ranked pitching prospect by Baseball America, was the logical choice for a spot start. This decision was primarily due to him already being on the 40-man roster. Additionally, he had displayed improvement in his then-recent performances after a challenging start to the season during his initial experience in Triple-A.

Due to the absence of Domingo German, who was serving a 10-game suspension, the Yankees needed a spot starter. To fill this role, they decided to call upon right-hander Randy Vasquez.

“Very surprised,” Randy Vasquez said. “You’re always waiting for that call. It’s a call [I’ve] been waiting [my] whole life for. … Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to pitch in the big leagues. So, very exciting that it’s going to be.”

Who is Randy Vasquez?

A native of Navarette, Dominican Republic, Randy Vasquez became a Yankees player on May 21, 2018, after signing a $10,000 contract. Since then, he has developed into one of the team’s top pitching prospects for the franchise.

Yankees prospect pitcher Randy Vásquez
Robert M. Pimpsner

After his inaugural season with the Yankees affiliates in the Dominican Republic, he moved to play with the Golf Coast Yankees in Florida. In 2019, Randy Vasquez moved up to the rookie-level Pulaski Yankees, where he made 11 starts and achieved a 3.29 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched.

During the 2021 season, Randy Vasquez showcased his skills across different levels of the minor leagues. He started with the Single-A Tampa Tarpons and then moved up to the High-A Hudson Valley Renegades and Double-A Somerset Patriots. In a total of 23 appearances, with 21 starts, across these three teams, Randy Vasquez achieved an impressive 8-4 record and a 2.52 ERA. He recorded 130 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched.

For the 2022 season, Randy Vasquez began with the Somerset Patriots in the Eastern League. In a remarkable performance during the league championship game, he contributed eight innings to a combined no-hitter. Throughout his 25 starts for Somerset, Randy Vasquez attained a 2-7 record and a 3.90 ERA, with 120 strikeouts in 115.1 innings pitched. Recognizing his potential and to safeguard him from the Rule 5 draft, the New York Yankees added Randy Vasquez to their 40-man roster on November 15, 2022.

Randy Vasquez was sent to the Triple-A RailRiders to begin the 2023 season. He made 9 starts for the squad and finished with a 1-5 record and a 4.85 ERA. Despite this, in 42.2 innings of work, he struck out 50 batters.  Exciting news came on May 25, 2023, when the New York Yankees announced Randy Vasquez’s promotion to the major leagues. The next day, he was scheduled to make his Major League Baseball debut against the San Diego Padres.

What is Randy Vasquez’s forte?

According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, Randy Randy Vasquez possesses a strong arm and impressive pitching abilities. Boone acknowledged that the pitcher has been performing well overall, although he has had a few games with higher walk counts. However, Boone also noted that Randy Vasquez has been able to generate swing-and-miss moments. As a result, he has been identified as the next pitcher in line for an opportunity with the team.

In his most recent five starts with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team, Randy Vasquez maintained an ERA of 2.67. During this period, he accumulated 28 strikeouts and issued 12 walks over a span of 27 innings. In comparison to his initial four starts, he showed improvement in his performance. During those games, he had an ERA of 8.62, with 22 strikeouts and 11 walks across 15 ²/₃ innings.

Randy Vasquez explained that the change in his performance was due to his focus on improving his “mental strength” and developing strategies to effectively approach and challenge experienced major league hitters.

The pitcher shared his overall positive assessment of the season, noting that his experience in Triple-A has been particularly valuable. Randy Vasquez acknowledged the opportunity to go up against seasoned hitters with extensive major league experience, emphasizing the importance of these encounters in his development as a pitcher.

Randy Vasquez possesses the most impressive curveball in the organization, showcasing a combination of power in the low-80s range, along with both vertical and horizontal movement. These exceptional qualities are achieved through spin rates exceeding 3,100 rpm.

MLB Debut with Yankees: 2023

Randy Vásquez’s 2023 season with the New York Yankees highlighted a meteoric rise and a significant impact amidst the team’s pitching challenges. Originally signed as an international free agent in 2018, Vásquez’s journey through the minor leagues showcased his potential, culminating in a noteworthy major league debut in 2023.

In the 2023 MLB season, Vásquez appeared in 11 games for the Yankees, making 5 starts. He pitched 37.2 innings, posting an impressive 2.87 ERA, with an ERA+ of 152, indicating his performance was 52% better than the league average. Despite a higher Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 4.98 and an expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) of 5.27, which suggest his ERA may have been somewhat fortunate, his strikeout rate of 7.9 K/9 and walk rate of 4.3 BB/9 demonstrated his ability to manage big league hitters effectively. His overall contribution resulted in a 0.1 fWAR, reflecting his value to the team in limited innings.

Vásquez’s pitching arsenal was particularly notable for its effectiveness and movement. His changeup and curveball were standout pitches, with his changeup showing the fifth-most horizontal movement and his curveball the sixth-most, relative to MLB averages. This elite movement contributed to Vásquez placing in the 87th percentile for average exit velocity and the 74th percentile for barrel rate among pitchers, emphasizing his skill in inducing soft contact.

Despite his success, there was debate regarding Vásquez’s best role on the team. His performance metrics varied between starting and relieving, with better ERA and wOBA as a starter, but improved strikeout and walk rates as a reliever. This split performance led to discussions about whether he could be more valuable in the rotation or in a multi-inning relief role, similar to considerations for filling the void left by Michael King.

Vásquez’s season was part of a tumultuous year for the Yankees’ rotation, with injuries and underperformances forcing the team to adjust their pitching staff extensively. Amidst this, Vásquez’s emergence was a bright spot, providing effective innings in various roles and showcasing his potential as a valuable pitcher for the team.

His journey from an international signee to a major league contributor encapsulates a rapid development within the Yankees’ organization. Before his MLB debut, Vásquez had demonstrated potential across multiple minor league levels, including a notable performance in the Eastern League championship game with a combined no-hitter.

However, Vásquez’s tenure with the Yankees came to an end on December 6, 2023, when he was traded to the San Diego Padres in a blockbuster deal for Juan Soto and Trent Grisham. This trade underscored Vásquez’s value and potential as a key piece in a major transaction, marking a new chapter in his career while reflecting on his impactful, albeit brief, stint with the Yankees.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Standard Pitching

1 Yr220.52.87115100037.23012125180334031661524.981.2747.
162 Game Avg.880.52.8747214000160128515121760140170137061524.981.2747.
Baseball Reference

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Pinstripes Nation!

Your Daily Dose of Yankees Magic Delivered to Your Inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Don't Miss Any of the Latest Yankees News, Rumors, and Exclusive Offers!