Name: Kyle Haynes
DOB: February 11, 1991
Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. While Haynes won't hit the high-90s like some elite arms he is still very much a power pitcher, able to sit comfortably in the 95 mph range not only throughout his starts and deep into games, but deep into seasons too. In fact, it's his unbelievable strength and endurance that is arguably his best tool; his last five pitches often times are just as hard [if not harder] than his first five pitches several innings into his starts. The command of his fastball is adequate, not great, but just like his velocity his command doesn't really waver the deeper he goes into games either.
Other Pitches. Haynes' best secondary offering is an above average big league slider, sitting mostly in the 85-87 mph range, and it serves as his main strikeout pitch. Like his fastball the command of his slider is big league average at best. He also throws a rapidly developing changeup since moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation and it's oh-so-close to being a big league average pitch. He shows adeqate fade with his changeup and he can throw it for strikes, and he does throw it with conviction too. He rounds out his repertoire with a potentially plus curveball, one that he just started iincorporating into his arsenal recently but showing the kind of bite and power that could make it a big-time strikeout weapon down the road. He doesn't yet have the necessary in-the-zone command of his curveball and that will remain a developmental focus for the time being.
Pitching: Haynes has had a tendency to walk perhaps a few too many batters thus far in his minor league career, especially as a starting pitcher, but it has little to do with mechanical or delivery issues. His biggest issue is the former reliever is working hard to expand his repertoire of pitches and improve his overall pitch-ability. Once a grip it and rip it type power reliever, he's been working hard on developing both his changeup and curveball by throwing them more in games and it has taken some time to improve his command as a result. That trial-and-error philosophy has led to a few too many walks. He actually has a bulldog mentality and approach but has had some issues trusting his stuff more inside the strike zone. He's at his best when he remains confident and throws a bunch of first-pitch strikes because he has knockout stuff when he gets ahead in counts. The stats say he's built more as a contact-out pitcher when in actuality he's more of a burgeoning strikeout pitcher.
Projection. With a power fastball, above average slider, and a potentially plus power curveball Haynes has the kind of stuff to slide in nicely into the back-end of a big league bullpen someday, perhaps even in a setup type role. A former reliever, it's a role he's totally comfortable in and it is his big league floor projection-wise. However, he's worked so hard on developing his changeup into quite a reliable offering lately and combining that with his unique strength and stamina his ceiling could be so much more. He has real ability to be an innings-eater all things considered and now has the kind of deep arsenal to get through a lineup multiple times. However, while his ceiling is that of a big league middle of the rotation starting pitcher, one who could pitch higher than that on any given day given his stuff, further improving the command of all of his pitches will be a necessary component as will refining both his changeup and curveball. He offers some real versatility role-wise and the ceiling is significant even as a soon to be 25-year old but his work is far from done too; he needs to trust his stuff more and throw more strikes, especially earlier in counts.
ETA. 2016. Haynes got exposed to the Triple-A level last season and he held his own, especially after struggling initially in his first two starts there. He's a lock to return back to the Scranton rotation in 2016 and from there will be on the short list of potential starting pitchers for the Yankees should a need arise at the big league level.