Josh Breaux Stands Out To Former Pitching Coach
Dave Eiland pitched for a decade in the big leagues and was the pitching coach for the Yankees, Royals and Mets, so he knows what a catcher is supposed to look like.
And what Eiland saw in a very brief look at 22-year-old Josh Breaux in the independent Constellation Energy League led to a positive scouting report. Eiland managed the Eastern Reyes del Tigre, a team for which Breaux played five games.
“He has a big arm and can really throw and can hit the ball as far as anybody,’’ Eiland said of the 2018 second-rounder from McLennan (Texas) JC.
Of course for minor leaguers, development was impacted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic canceling the season.
“After a lot of consideration, Josh decided that it would be best for him and his individual development to focus on some of the drill work that we had previously laid out for him both offensively and defensively at a facility close to his home,’’ Yankees farm director Kevin Reese said of the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Breaux's decision to leave the independent league after five games in which he hit .250 (4-for-16) with a homer and five RBIs.
The Yankees took catchers in the first two rounds of the 2018 draft. Anthony Seigler, a high school catcher from Cartersville (Ga.) High, went in the first round and Breaux in the second.
When minor league camp closed in march, Seigler and Breaux were sent home with a training plan that covered every aspect from nutrition to strength and conditioning and hitting.
“Both Breaux and Seigler have done a nice job diving in to some of the new catching techniques we have adopted through (big league coach) Tanner Swanson and our minor league catching coordinator Aaron Gershenfeld, so we are excited to see the adjustments they have made in person once we are back up and running," Reese said.
— Righthanders Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia receive a lot of attention for being the Yankees' best pitching prospects. However, when James Paxton, Zack Britton and Luis Avilan went on the injured list in late August and with the possibility of multiple doubleheaders looming, it was righthander Miguel Yajure who was called up from the alternate training site in Scranton, Pa. Being on the 40-man roster, which Garcia is and Schmidt is not, helped. In 24 games (20 starts) between high Class A and Double-A last year Yajure went 9-6, 2.14.