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Luis Medina Finally Finds His Release Point



When the Yankees left the Winter Meetings in 2017 they did so with several teams interested in a trio of their young righthanders that consisted of Jorge Guzman, Albert Abreu and Luis Medina.

The Yankees included Guzman in the 2017 trade with the Marlins that brought Giancarlo Stanton to the Bronx and have held onto Abreu and Medina.

The Yankees think there is more to come from Abreu and Medina.

"Medina was a lot better at the end of August at (low Class A) Charleston,’’ vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring said. "Abreu flashes major league stuff.’’

Their ages—Medina turns 21 in May and Abreu is 24—is one reason why inflated ERAs can be overlooked. Another reason is their exemplary velocity. Medina averages 97 mph and Abreu 96.

The success Medina had in his last two outings for Charleston, when he didn’t allow an earned run, gave up four hits, struck out 17, walked three and held hitters to a .103 average in a dozen innings carried over to high Class A Tampa.

In two Florida State League games, Medina worked 10.2 innings, allowed one earned run, seven hits, struck out 12, walked three and held hitters to a .175 average.

"Early in the year he was very inconsistent, and at the end of the year he found a release point that brought the stuff back,’’ Naehring said of the Dominican Republic product who is 6-foot-1, 175 pounds and signed with the Yankees in 2015.

"The fastball, breaking ball and changeup—he was throwing strikes with (them) and being consistent.’’

The final four starts were a long way from Medina’s first 18 starts for Charleston, when he went 1-8, 6.89 and issued 64 walks to 98 strikeouts in 81 innings.

Abreu, who came to the Yankees with Guzman in the 2016 deal that sent catcher Brian McCann to the Astros, spent 2019 at Double-A Trenton.

"I like him. I don’t know what he is going to be (starter or reliever). The stuff is good, the command and control is an issue,’’ said a talent evaluator from another team.

YANKEE DOODLES

— In order to make 40-man roster space for Gerrit Cole, the Yankees designated righthander Chance Adams for assignment and subsequently traded him to the Royals for 21-year-old shortstop Cristian Perez, who spent last season at high Class A.

Adams was a 2015 fifth-round pick out of Dallas Baptist and pitched his way into the organization's Top 10 Prospects ranking heading into 2017 and 2018. However, he declined in 2018 and 2019 at Triple-A and in 16 big league games (one start) went 1-2, 8.18 and gave up 47 hits (10 home runs) and 15 walks in 33 innings.

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