Name: Jordan Foley
DOB: July 12, 1993
Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Split-Changeup.
Fastball. Foley has a sneaky-quick borderline plus fastball package. He'll range anywhere from 90-96 mph between his sinking two-seamer and his power four-seamer, the latter of which will sit mostly 92-95 mph and top out around 97 mph coming out of the bullpen. That was his normal velocity starting games too so unlike most pitchers he hasn't seen a big velocity spike pitching in shorter stints just yet but it still remains possible the more comfortable he gets in his new role. While the radar gun doesn't show high-90s, however, he does have some late-life explosion and deception to his fastball so he can generate a lot of swing and misses like his fastball is coming in harder.
Other Pitches. Foley has spent the better part of his first couple of professional seasons fine-tuning his now borderline plus slider. It had shown above average or better potential even in his draft season but it had never really been a consistent weapon for him until this past season, showing more cutter-ish movement than a true slider. That changed in 2016, however, as the slider, now sitting a robust 86-89 mph, showed not only great late lateral movement but even some up and down break as well. Because of that it became a good option against left-handed batters as well since he could now back-foot them if need be. He rounds out his repertoire with a plus splitter that actually evaded him for the better part of the 2016 season after moving to the bullpen. It used to bottom out with the best of them but it took a back seat to the development of his slider. He has it in his back pocket to break out again though.
Pitching. Foley has changed pretty radically pitch-wise since his draft selection in 2014, going from a killer splitter to a now killer slider as his main strikeout weapon of choice. Still, at his core, while the secondary pitch selection may have changed, his game is still very much predicated on power and movement. Combining that with his real go-after-them approach and quick tempo on the mound he doesn't let opposing batters get too comfortable. Nearly three years into his development, however, he can be a little too spotty throwing strikes and falling behind in counts, but the goods news is when he misses he's not missing by much so vast improvement is not needed. He has had some ceiling to his game despite being a college pitcher and that still rings true today.
Projection. We mentioned a year ago that Foley had a lot of long-term role flexibility, showing the stamina and deep repertoire of a potential big league starting pitcher and the power of a quality short-inning reliever too, and he's proven his worth in both roles over the past two seasons. We compared him to former Yankee pitching prospects Alan Horne and Adam Warren as a result, two pitchers who had tangible starting potential but could also fit in well coming out of the bullpen. Going forward the Yankees could still use him in either role, it could just depend on their needs at the time. He still needs to fine-tune his command better in either role and rediscovering his one-time plus splitter would make him even more effective, especially as a late-inning reliever where he might just be a tick better served for the long haul.
ETA. 2018. We mentioned last year that Foley could really move quickly if and when the Yankees ever decided to move him into the bullpen full-time. While we didn't expect that transition to happen quite so soon, barring a return to a starting role in camp next season, Foley could move pretty quickly in 2017 now that he's armed with the requisite slider-fastball combo. That ascension could be quickened should the splitter come back in a big way too.