A Minor Yankees Prospect Might Make a Major Impact
Estevan Florial. Albert Abreu. Two players that have major potential, and are knocking on the door of Yankee Stadium as we speak. With all the hype surrounding them, however, another name has flown under the radar, yet might be worth watching as the season moves along.
The name? Brian Keller. The birthplace? Germantown, Wisconsin. The draft round?
He may be considered a journeyman by typical prospect standards, but this journey may end up paying dividends for both he and the Bronx Bombers.
So far this season, Keller has started six games for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders, and has thrown in 21 total innings. Despite not recording a decision, he has an ERA of 2.57, allowing six runs on just TWELVE hits. Now, the walk number does raise eyebrows, but he's been masterful at limiting damage once free passes are awarded.
Keller was 3-1 in 2019 in Double A Trenton, with an ERA of 2.32, following up his strong 2018 campaign, winning 10 games with an ERA of 3.74. He'd been a reliable pitcher at every level for the Yankees, never having an ERA higher than a three-point-something until he began his Triple A career with a less-than-stellar statline.
Now, hear me out. I'm not saying this kid is an every-fifth-day starter, or a late-innings, heat-seeking missile throwing reliever. What I am saying, is that the Yankees have been patient with Keller, and allowed him to progress at a slow but steady pace, and may have a future middle reliever in their midst. With Major League Baseball teams nationwide struggling to field healthy teams on a day-in and day-out basis, having depth in your farm system is paramount.
Depth, meet Brian Keller. Brian, meet depth.