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'Electric’ Beck Way Poised To Step Forward For Yankees

Sam Briend paused for a moment. The Yankees’ director of pitching just had to make something clear.

“He’s just one of those arms, right?” Briend said.

The question was rhetorical. Yes, righthander Beck Way is just one of those arms, if you’re talking about the type who makes coaches dream and keeps hitters up at night.

“Up to 101 (mph) last year or whatever it was,” Briend continued. “The kid is absolutely electric.”

The Yankees hope Way can take the next step in 2022.

Way was drafted in the fourth round out of Northwest Florida State JC in 2020 and signed for $600,000.

Way was dominant at times last season, striking out 54 batters with a 2.87 ERA in 47 innings in 15 games (14 starts) at Low-A Tampa. He ran up a 7.71 ERA in four starts after a promotion to High-A Hudson Valley and overall walked 5.4 batters per nine innings.

But the 22-year-old has made tremendous strides in a short period on the mound. In fact, he didn’t start pitching full time until he was at Division II Belmont Abbey (N.C.). Way said that his grandfather implored him to remain at shortstop in high school—save for a few innings here and there—to preserve his strong arm.

It worked. Now, for Way it’s all about learning the nuances of the craft, including staying focused from pitch to pitch.

“There are always those things,” Briend said. “People talk about it all the time, whether the game speeds up or does (something unexpected). It's establishing a routine between pitches, whether that's through breathing or other things that can get things under control."

Way said that nerves may have been a big factor in his high walk rate. He thinks he's on track to getting them under control.

"Instead of thinking, 'I hope I can do this,' " Way said, "Now this year, I know I can do it."

Jackson Chourio (Photo Courtesy Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)

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