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Dietrich Enns continues to work on his breaking pitches but he's executing his others while he does.

TRENTON, N.J. -- Dietrich Enns is just one of several fresh new faces walking inside of Arm & Hammer Park in a Trenton Thunder uniform but he is doing everything to earn the respect of his peers. He's following up his 0.61 ERA return from Tommy John surgery last year with another sizzling start in Double-A so far this season.

He earned his place in the Thunder rotation after a career start on April 22 against Akron. Enns struck out a career-high 11 batters in six scoreless innings while allowing just one hit, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Previously, his career-high was eight strikeouts in a start last August with the high-A Tampa Yankees.
   
Thunder Pitching Coach Jose Rosado said that Enns is one of the guys in the clubhouse that loves trying to improve on every aspect of his pitching.

“Enns has been throwing the ball well,” Rosado said. “He’s been working in every aspect of his game. He loves to listen. He’s a great learner, so I expect him to compete and continue to do well and keep improving.”
   
In his first three starts, he’s pitched 16.2 innings and has allowed just seven hits and no earned runs. While his fastball may not be anything to be impressed with velocity-wise, his ability to force hitters to ground out more than compensates any need for an overpowering fastball.
   
When pitching, the 24-year-old keeps his pitches low throughout the entire game too. At times, he may try to force his pitches to be low, which is a reason why he sometimes falls behind in the count during at-bats, but he does not let the pressure settle in and he finds a way to quickly bounce back to jam batters into grounding out.
   
Enns did admit that it becomes a tougher task trying to pitch into the exact location in the strike zone that he wants late in games. While keeping pitches low is the ideal situation, for Enns it is more trying to put the ball in a place where the defense can make the out.

“Your body starts to tell you that you’re tired,” Enns said. “You become more focused on trying to execute pitches and keeping the ball low. Whatever you’re throwing, it doesn’t always have to be down. Sometimes you want to throw a pitch a little more elevated, depending on the situation, but for the most part, you’re not going to get hurt staying down in the zone.”
   
Enns understood that is key for a starting pitcher and that him not being viewed as a strikeout pitcher is not really a concern with him.

“As a starting pitcher, you’re not really going for strikeouts necessarily,” Enns said. “You’re just try to work quickly, get ahead in the count and put yourself in a position to get the batters out.”
   
Enns is not known to be a strikeout pitcher, but he has spent the bulk of his career being a great contact pitcher that does not make too many mistakes. Battling injuries early on, including Tommy John Surgery in 2014, Enns has been impressive throughout his minor league career, aside from a rather unimpressive 2013 season in Tampa where he went 0-5 and had a 5.63 ERA,

He has been impressive in every level in the Yankees farm system as both a reliever and a starter too. Having held opposing teams to a batting average of just .186, a career WHIP of 1.06 and a career ERA of 1.79, Enns is looked as one of the key cogs to what manager Bobby Mitchell calls “a great pitching staff.”
   
“He’s another guy on this team that has a lot of great command on all of his pitches,” Mitchell said. “He is very good at keeping his pitches down. He’s a guy that can go farther into his starts because I don’t think he’s a strikeout pitcher, but sometimes, that works for a pitcher.”
   
His pitching arsenal consists of a fastball, a changeup, a still-developing curveball and a slider. His fastball doesn’t carry as much heat as a lot of other pitchers in the organization, topping at 94 mph, but staying mostly in the 90-91 mph range. His changeup is still his best pitch though, being used a lot when he is ahead in the count. His slider, which can go as high as 85 mph, is also another pitch to look out for when he’s ahead in the count.
   
Overall, some of his pitches are not fully polished yet, but he has been able to use them effectively, which will translate to a better and smoother development.
   
While his changeup is a deadly pitch to finish off batters, Enns admitted that he wants his fastball to develop far enough where he can use it to get batters out.

“I think I need to keep working on my fastball command,” Enns said. “I want to throw fastballs when I’m ahead with two strikes and use that to finish them off, whether that would be jamming them into grounding out or have them swing and miss.”
   
While this is the first time Enns is pitching in Double-A, he is not worried about struggling against the better players. He understands what he needs to do to succeed in Trenton.

“There’s a lot of better hitters here in Double-A,” Enns said. “If you make a mistake over the plate, you’ll give up hits and hard hit balls at that. It’s just a matter of executing pitches and keeping the ball down.”


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