Name: Jeff Degano
DOB: October 30, 1992
Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup.
Fastball. Degano isn't a true power pitcher necessarily but he has the chance to become a modest one from the left side in due time. Sitting mostly 90-93 mph in his last year of college and in his debut season with the Yankees, it was his first year back from Tommy John surgery [he had it the year prior]. Considering he had topped out at 95 mph routinely prior to his surgery and he has size [6-foot-4, 215 pounds] many scouts believe he will add a couple of ticks to his fastball the further he gets way from his surgery and the more professional coaching he receives. He displayed solid average big league fastball command in college and it's yet another aspect of pitching that should improve the further he gets away from his Tommy John surgery.
Other Pitches. Secondary stuff-wise Degano is more about the sum of his parts that the individual pieces right now, meaning none of his pitches currently grade out as anything more than big league average but all three [slider, curveball, and changeup] show above average or better long-term potential. His best secondary offering right now is his slider. It's a solid low-to-mid-80s offering with decent break and he can command it pretty well too. It could use a little bit more power and the advanced spin he shows with it currently suggests it could develop into a really good pitch the more he works on it. The same can be said of his current curveball. The spin is there and the control is okay too but a bit more power could help take it to the next level. The pitch that he's been working on the most since his arrival to the Yankees is his changeup. It shows the rudimentary desired fade and depth for it to become a quality big league offering but it's also a pitch he didn't throw much in college. His fourth pitch entering the system, Degano's changeup has the chance to become his best secondary pitch the more he throws it. It is a feel pitch so it may take a little bit of time.
Pitching. 'Moxie' is the best term to describe Degano right now. He has it in spades despite his stuff still somewhat in its collective infancy stage right now [not all that rare for a first-year pitcher]. Having missed as much time as he did in college with his Tommy John surgery has both positives and negatives; neither the stuff nor the command are where they should be age-wise but he is also a bit of a blank canvas with the raw ability to be molded by his coaching staff too. Still working on each of his individual pitches, he hasn't really displayed a certain style on the mound yet either. However, what is quite certain is that he is extremely athletic [a precursor to better mechanics, a repeatable delivery, and solid command], a tireless worker, and receives coaching very well. That top-shelf agility and athleticism should lend itself to holding runners and fielding his position well once he learns the nuances of that aspect of pitching. Big, strong, and a solid strike-thrower, physically he has the foundation in place to be an innings eater. While the raw ability and tools are very much present, what is lacking right now is experience.
Projection. In a lot of ways Degano is a pitching neophyte but one who shows the advanced pitch-ability to not be as raw as he should be. The power is already average and ticking above average, and the secondary stuff, while still relatively new, flashes enough now potential that, combined with his size, collectively it already gives Degano a considerable projection as a potential big league middle of the rotation starting pitcher someday, especially given his natural feel for pitching and ability to throw strikes. However, after that is the unknown; how much power will he be able to add the further he gets away from his surgery? Which of the secondary pitches will develop into plus offerings? How much more confidence will an already confident pitcher get the more he improves? He has a sizeable floor already with the potential for the ceiling to be significantly larger when it's all said and done. His is a developmental tale that is just beginning and the ceiling could very much change as a result in the coming years.
ETA. 2019. Ironically, as raw as the stuff is right now Degano's advanced feel for pitching could allow him to be a relatively quick mover through the farm system, especially if/when once one of the secondary pitches begin to tick to a plus level. His lack of mound experience the past two years has him most likely ticketed to begin the 2016 campaign in low-A Charleston but ample time in the second-half of the year in the Florida State League isn't out of the question. A Jordan Montgomery-like path in his first full season seems very likely.