Jefry Yan, Left-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'3
WT : 170
DOB : August 17, 1996 (19), San Rafael del Yuma, Dominican Republic
Throws : Left
Bats : Left
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed by Domingo Garcia/Roman Ocumarez as International Free Agent on April 27, 2013
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
Having a teenage southpaw who throws in the high 80's is never a bad thing. Jefry Yan provides the Los Angeles Angels depth in left-handed relievers, but there's quite a bit more to desire from this 19-year-old international talent.
In the case of Jefry Yan, he's young with a projectable body, which can't be coached. His frame is a nice device and weapon to his advantage and disadvantage, standing tall at six-foot-three. He has some weight but little size at 170. He's very lanky, but uses his long limbs to create deception by both hiding the ball well and using arm angles to create velocity deception.
Yan has a pair of fastballs that he tries to use for over powering batters. It didn't work at a younger age, but seemed to work well in the Dominican this past season, as well as instructs. Both fastballs sit around the high 80's, and should reach the low-to-mid 90's as he fills out and his body matures. However, he'll need to add on leg and upper body strength for the velocity to pick up. There is good arm-side run on his four-seam fastball, and his two-seam has some sinking qualities to it.
Yan comes equipped with a curveball, that is still relatively raw, but he has found ways to use finesse with it. Biggest problem with his curve is he changes his delivery and tips batters, allowing them to know and see the curve coming. His curve has some late drop to it, and is better commanded than his fastball.
Yan has some tricky mechanics, throwing from different arm angles and finishing differently from pitch-to-pitch. For his fastball, he gets a little violent in his finish from anywhere from 3/4 release to over the head release, showing power in an upright position, almost using his back and shoulders to full leverage. On his curve, he throws from a 3/4 angle, finishing down with much more control of his limbs. He'll need to harness these mechanics to compete against higher level professionals.
Scouting Report from Jerry Espinoza - Contributor/Photographer for Scout.com
Yan's first taste of professional baseball was a big bite to take. Yan finished 2014 with a 7.92 ERA and 1.880 WHIP. This is somewhat expected from a teenager thrower who has yet to see professional players or organized baseball at this level, but he was getting hit and hit hard, allowing opposing hitters to slash .306/.398/.459 off him. Yan allowed an extra-base hit to every 11.6 batters he faced.
Last season, Yan had a epiphany as a pitcher, as the southpaw posted a 1.56 ERA with a 1.240 WHIP. Yan allowed runs in only eight of his 24 appearances, which included an 11 game-stretch (13.1 IP) to start the season where no one came across home plate at Yan's hands. Yan dropped his hit rate drastically, having batters hit just .200 against him, which helped his six hits per-nine.
There's a big step for pitchers, going from a "thrower" to a "pitcher." Yan is still throwing, and needs to learn to pitch, which could keep him at the Dominican affiliate next summer. However, it's more likely he'll learn from one of the best in Jonathan Van Eaton in Tempe next season, with the AZL affiliate.
It's been said in this countdown already that international players are usually hard to project, but Yan has the advantage of a set list of skills. He's young, he's left-handed, and he throws hard. Those are all tools for a lefty specialist out of the bullpen. There's no ETA to the Majors, but Yan may have a better chance of reaching the Majors as a lefty specialist than any other prospect in the Dominican this past summer.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.