- Full name Jeffrey Wayne Karstens
- Born 09/24/1982 in San Diego, CA
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 185 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Texas Tech
- Debut 08/22/2006
- Drafted in the 19th round (574th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2003.
Organization Prospect Rankings
International League hitters had their way with Karstens in his first Triple-A stint, and he went 0-5, 7.01 in seven starts. Sent down to Double-A, Karstens turned his year around with the help of Trenton pitching coach Dave Eiland. He pitched aggressively and won all six of his decisions, earning a trip back to Triple-A, and the ride didn't stop until Karstens arrived in New York and nearly exhausted his rookie eligibility. He earned his first major league victory in his second start, pitched with moxie and earned the respect of manager Joe Torre. Karstens' stuff is fringe-average, particularly his fastball, which sat at 87 mph in the majors. However, he throws both a slider and curveball for strikes, and he can use his above-average changeup in any count. With Andy Pettitte and Kei Igawa added to the fold, Karstens will return to Triple-A to start the year and be near the front of the line for a promotion.
Karstens spent two years at Grossmont Junior College and was an all-conference selection in one of California's most competitive community college conferences. He moved on to Texas Tech for a year as a reliever, but New York thinks he can be a back-of-the-rotation starter. A pitchability righthander, Karstens resembles 2005 Yankees savior Aaron Small in some ways, with a tall frame (though less solid than Small's) and the ability to throw all his pitches for strikes. Karstens has an 88-91 mph fastball that he spots to all four quadrants of the strike zone, and he also uses a changeup, curveball and slider. His changeup is his second- best pitch, and he used it to hold lefthanders to a .257 average. Righthanders handled him at a .307 clip. Karstens needs to pitch inside more and keep his modest stuff down in the zone, as he was too hittable last year. But he has shown enough of a knack for pitching to keep the Yankees interested. He'll move up to Triple-A for the first time in 2006.