Randy Vasquez’s Persistence Pushes Him Into Yankees’ Plans

It’s unusual for players who have reached Double-A to ask to join the youngsters in instructional league workouts in the Dominican Republic.

Yankees 24-year-old righthander Randy Vasquez isn’t usual.

“He’s one of those guys who really understands development, really understands the process and how to work and loves the feedback,” Yankees pitching coordinator Sam Briend said.

The hard work paid off in a 40-man roster spot that protected Vasquez from the Rule 5 draft.

Vasquez has put himself in prime position to make an impact in the majors as early as next season. The Yankees signed him out of the Dominican Republic for just $10,000 at age 19 in 2018.

Vasquez, who is expected to begin 2023 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, has added fastball velocity. He has ratcheted up to 98 mph while living consistently in the low-to-mid 90s, and the Yankees believe he could add more.

His curveball has become “an absolute weapon,” Briend said. His changeup has been another positive, and he has worked on a cutter that still needs work but has helped him induce more weak contact from lefthanded hitters.

“That’s upside to be a major league starter,” Briend said.

Vasquez posted solid numbers at Double-A Somerset in 2022. He recorded a 3.90 ERA in 25 starts. He struck out 120, walked 41 and allowed 11 home runs in 115.1 innings.

Briend sees Vasquez only getting better.

“A little bit of everything is still on the table,” the instructor said regarding potential improvements for Vasquez. “Physically, we’re still attacking some things in the weight room. Then it’s getting him to be fully complete with his arsenal.”

Briend also championed Vasquez’s command and his ability to pitch in big spots. One of the biggest was the Eastern League championship series against Erie last September.

Vasquez didn’t allow a hit over eight innings, striking out eight and walking one, as Somerset defeated Erie 15-0 to win the EL title with a combined no-hitter.

“He loves those pressure situations, loves that heavy competition,” Briend said.

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