Scouting Jays' Prospect #25: Kyle Yates

The end of the year scouting report on RHP Kyle Yates.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Kyle Yates
Positon: Pitcher
DOB: January 8, 1983
Height: 5'11
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Kyle Yates tried to build on his tremendous 2006 season and Arizona Fall league campaign, but the first month of the season was not kind to him. Yates struggled in April going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three outings. Yates allowed eight runs in thirteen innings, while giving up sixteen hits and seven walks. Opponents batted just .314 off him during the month. The right-hander rebounded slightly in May going 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA, however, he couldn't keep that success until the end of the season.

In total Yates went 9-9 on the season with a 4.53 ERA in twenty-seven starts, with opponents batting .306 off him.

"The more I saw of Kyle the more I thought he was best built for the bullpen," said one scout last week. "I think he can certainly be a solid middle reliever. He has solid pitches in his repertoire, but I don't think he's effective when facing a lineup two and three times in a game."

Repertoire: Fastball, curveball, changeup.

Fastball: Yates has an average major league fastball which he throws in the 88-91 MPH range. The right-handers best pitch is not his fastball, but he knows how to use it in all situations, and locates it extremely well, which makes it a more effective pitch.

Secondary Pitches: Scouts thrive when they are asked about Yates' curveball. They cite it as a pitch which freezes right-handed batters and all scouts believe it's very close to being a major league ready pitch. Yates also throws an above average changeup to round out his repertoire.

Projection: The Blue Jays always viewed Yates as a reliever, but had him as a started so he can develop his repertoire fully. This year could be the year Yates is moved to the bullpen, and for good, although no formal announcement has been made just yet.

2008 Outlook: Yates will likely begin the season in the bullpen with Triple-A Syracuse. The Blue Jays have lots of starting pitching depth and it will make the most sense for Yates to make his move to the pen now.

ETA 2010: Ideally he needs an entire year at Triple-A, but if push comes to shove, expect Yates to get a callup to the big leagues if injuries deplete the bullpen in Toronto and Yates is performing well.

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