Yankees No. 5 prospect Drew Thorpe makes clean Double-A debut

drew-thorpe-yankees
MiLB
Michael Bennington
Saturday August 12, 2023

Table of Contents

Yankees’ prospect Drew Thorpe had an impressive Double-A debut on Friday, securing the victory after pitching 8 innings with a clean sheet—no runs allowed, only 2 hits given up, striking out 9 without issuing any walks.

Although he conceded a leadoff hit in the 1st inning, it was only the second hit of the game. Drew Thorpe proceeded to retire 20 consecutive Rumble Ponies batters, including 9 strikeouts. This Friday’s performance marked his third instance this season of going beyond 8 innings without conceding any runs, a distinction that sets him apart as the sole Minor League Baseball (MiLB) pitcher to achieve this feat. Drew Thorpe, who is ranked as the fifth-best prospect for the Yankees, concluded the game with a total of 147 strikeouts this season, surpassing all other MiLB pitchers in this category.

For the second consecutive day, Patriots’ pitchers achieved a striking 10+ strikeouts, while Somerset’s batters managed to secure an impressive 10+ hits. On Thursday, Somerset achieved their 11th shutout of the season, making it the second one in a row. Notably, four out of these 11 shutouts have occurred within the Patriots’ last seven games.

In the recent 15 innings that Somerset’s batters have been at the plate, they’ve racked up a total of 23 runs. Remarkably, the Patriots’ pitching staff has successfully prevented any runs from being scored over this same period.

In the 3rd inning, C Ben Rice went 2-for-4, hitting a home run and driving in 4 runs. This marked his 11th home run in a total of 43 games played across Low-A, High-A, and Double-A this season. In the realm of Double-A, where he participated in 18 games during this season, Rice’s impressive performance has yielded a slash line of .329/.402/.699, including 7 home runs and 25 RBIs. Notably, Rice has managed multiple hits in four out of his last five games, showcasing his consistent form, with a total of eight multi-hit games out of the 18 games he has played with Somerset. His ongoing standout performance in the six-game series against Binghamton has seen Rice go 9-for-17, delivering 2 home runs, 9 RBIs, and crossing the plate 7 times.

Who is Drew Thorpe

Twitter
Age22 (born Oct. 1, 2000)
TeamSomerset (Eastern League)
PositionRHP
PitchesL/R
Height/weight6-4 /190
Acquired2022 Amateur draft, Round 2, 61st pick

On August 8, the New York Yankees revealed the advancements of three promising individuals in their system. RHP Drew Thorpe, who holds the No. 5 prospect position, along with C Agustin Ramirez and RHP Jack Neely, have all been promoted to the Double-A Somerset Patriots.

Being the premier pitching prospect for the team, Drew Thorpe has secured his position as the leader among all Yankees’ minor league players in key statistics like ERA (2.81), wins (10), strikeouts (138), and WHIP (1.07) before his recent promotion. Selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Drew Thorpe made his professional debut in the year 2023. Notably, his impressive tally of 138 strikeouts achieved over 108 innings pitched with High-A Hudson Valley ranks as the second-highest in Minor League Baseball.

Background

Hailing from Utah, Drew Thorpe pursued his education at Cal Poly University during the years 2020 to 2022, showcasing his pitching prowess with a commendable 3.03 ERA across 223 innings. Specifically in 2022, Drew Thorpe excelled with a notable 2.32 ERA and an impressive 0.86 WHIP, stifling opposing hitters to a mere .175 batting average over 104 2/3 innings. A highlight of that season was his record-breaking achievement of 149 strikeouts, a feat that established a new benchmark for the school and positioned him as the second-highest strikeout earner among all NCAA Division I pitchers. Following his remarkable college journey, Drew Thorpe caught the attention of the Yankees, who selected him that summer and finalized the deal with a contract worth $1.18 million.

Drew Thorpe flourishes in 2023

In April, Drew Thorpe marked his entry into the professional leagues with High-A Hudson Valley. He showcased an impressive performance, achieving a 10-2 record accompanied by a 2.81 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and an impressive count of 138 strikeouts across 18 starts, covering 109 innings. His remarkable achievements didn’t go unnoticed, as he was bestowed with the title of the South Atlantic League’s Pitcher of the Month for June. Additionally, Drew Thorpe earned the distinguished Player of the Week accolades for the periods of May 29 to June 4 and July 17 to 23.

A defining moment occurred on July 22 when Drew Thorpe faced Brooklyn, clinching a franchise record with a staggering 13 strikeouts. Beyond this remarkable feat, he shattered the franchise’s existing single-season records for both strikeouts and wins. This trailblazing journey reached another milestone as he was promoted to Double-A Somerset on the subsequent Tuesday.

Drew Thorpe mentioned that things were progressing favorably for him. He had managed to establish a rhythm and was consistently leveraging each start to make progress. He expressed that he had been relying on his own abilities and had developed a sense of confidence in his skills, believing that his pitches were superior to those of the opposing batters. Drew Thorpe’s strategy involved adhering to his strengths, honing his skills week by week, and extracting valuable insights from each performance. He emphasized that incorporating these insights into subsequent outings had played a pivotal role in his success.

Yankees pitching prospect Drew Thorpe

Drew Thorpe’s scouting brief

Drew Thorpe possesses a fastball typically cruising in the low-90s but capable of surging to 95 mph. Complementing this is his mid-80s slider. Notably, his standout pitch is his beguiling 81-84 mph changeup, distinguished by its impressive fade and its effective synergy with his fastball. Exhibiting exceptional control over all three pitches, Drew Thorpe adeptly employs each of them to secure outs against batters. His delivery is characterized by its ease of replication, featuring a concise arm motion reminiscent of Shane Bieber from the Guardians.

Drew Thorpe’s mechanics

Drew Thorpe, due to not having high velocity while growing up, needed to focus on mastering command and pitching techniques to effectively handle batters. He revealed that he had always leaned toward being a command-oriented player since his younger days and believed that this aspect of his game significantly contributed to successfully navigating his outings.

During his high school years, Drew Thorpe primarily played as a position player and only began exploring pitching in his junior year. Drawing from his experience as a position player, characterized by a short-arm throwing motion, he seamlessly transitioned this technique to the pitching mound, a move that, according to him, has proven to be effective.

During this season, Drew Thorpe has earned the title of the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week on two occasions. The most recent recognition was bestowed upon him for the week spanning from July 17 to 23. In an extraordinary display, the 22-year-old right-handed starter achieved a groundbreaking feat on July 22 against Brooklyn. Over the course of eight scoreless innings, Drew Thorpe amassed an impressive 13 strikeouts, establishing a fresh record for the Hudson Valley franchise. Notably, he limited the opposition to just two hits. Additionally, this remarkable performance enabled Thorpe to surpass the Renegades’ single-season strikeout record, which previously stood at 119.

Furthermore, Drew Thorpe received the accolade of being designated as the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Month for June. Throughout the course of that month, he maintained an impressive record of 3 wins and 0 losses, coupled with a remarkable 0.31 ERA across four starts. A standout achievement within this timeframe was his remarkable streak of 25 consecutive innings without allowing any runs. This remarkable feat saw Drew Thorpe surrendering only a single earned run over 28 2/3 innings pitched, in the face of 12 hits.

What do you think about Drew Thorpe? Leave your comment below.

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