D-backs' Yu-Min Lin Dominates Young Hitters With Wide Repertoire
Most amateur pitchers with deep repertoires are met with a harsh reality upon reaching pro ball: They soon find out their secondary pitches aren’t as good as they think they are.
Then there is 19-year-old Taiwanese lefthander Yu-Min Lin.
He has a fastball, changeup, slider, cutter, curveball and sinker—not to mention a variation of his changeup that club officials say can behave like a screwball. Lin deployed them to devastating effect last year, logging a 2.72 ERA in 14 starts while racking up 91 strikeouts in 56.1 innings split between the Arizona Complex League and Low-A Visalia.
“They all have separation off each other,” said Gabriel Hernandez, the Visalia pitching coach last year. “That’s the good part about it. Some guys might have a slider and a curveball, but they look the same or they barely separate. The only ones for him that didn’t separate were the sinker and the changeup. All those other pitches did. That’s what makes him even more special.”
Lin has quickly made good on the D-backs' $525,000 investment. After following him for more than three years, Arizona signed him in December 2021 after seeing him throw well in an international tournament against a Venezuelan lineup filled with players several years older.
Lin demonstrates impressive pitching acumen while seemingly bringing a creative, free-wheeling approach to the mound.
The biggest reason evaluators are hesitant to get too aggressive with projecting him is his velocity. His fastball sits 89-90 mph and tops out around 92-93. Team officials are hopeful he can add to his skinny 5-foot-11 frame as he matures and add a few ticks to his fastball.
“He’s got some good traits,” a scout with a National League club said. “I saw five pitches. The ball does a lot of good things. It sinks, it cuts. He’s got a slider, changeup, curveball. They’re all not bad; they could all be average pitches. Thing is . . . he's not going to be real physical, so the question is how much better can he get?”