Name: Dietrich Enns
DOB: May 16, 1991
Repertoire. Fastball, Changeup, Slider, Curveball.
Fastball. Enns' numbers to date [a career 1.86 ERA] would suggest some high-end fastball velocity when it's really not the case at all. In fact, while there are times he'll average 91-94 mph on the radar gun, and it's certainly his sitting range when he pitches in shorter one or two inning relief stints, for the most part he averages 90-92 mph as a starting pitcher. There is some deception to his fastball, however, and some late-life explosion as it crosses the plate so it does appear it is coming in quicker on batters than it really is. So while the velocity may suggest it's merely a tick above average on the radar gun it absolutely plays to a full-fledged above average level, especially given his ability to consistently command it in all four quadrants of the strike zone.
Other Pitches. What makes Enns so effective is the possession of three average or better big league secondary pitches, highlighted by an above average slider. It really has progressed over the years. Once a loopier mid-to-high-70s sweeper, it's not a power slider in the 80-84 mph range that shows consistent break and command. It serves as his main strikeout pitch and he can throw it for strikes at will. What is up for debate is which of the two remaining secondary pitches are better, the changeup or the curveball? Two or three years ago the question itself would have been laughable given that the curveball was pretty non-existent but over the past year or so it's become a very, very reliable pitch for him both as an early-count strike pitch and a strikeout offering. However, just by going on the percentage of pitches thrown his changeup is most likely his third best pitch. It's a solid average to above average big league pitch that serves as his main contact out-pitch and a reason why he is able to generate a good number of ground balls. It's not the swing-and-miss pitch of some elite left-handers but it is extremely reliable as a setup pitch.
Pitching: Enns isn't identified as a power pitcher, a strikeout pitcher, or really even a command pitcher and yet he does possess all three qualities pretty consistently too. More of an aggressive early count strike-thrower, his main objective on the mound is to get batters out as early as possible in counts by inducing weak contact and getting his defensive team off of the field and back into the dugout just as quickly as he can. However, striking out better than a batter per inning pitched in his career too, he has the kind of stuff to get batters swing and missing once he does get ahead in counts. It's that consistent bulldog mentality he has game in and game out that opponents tend to underestimate, and the same can be said of his ability to consistently pitch to both sides of the plate. He knows how to mix up locations better than most and it's a big reason for his success. Very athletic as well, he has one of the more repeatable deliveries in the farm system and he fields his position quite well.
Projection. On paper there really isn't any one aspect of Enns' game that stands out. None of the pitches grade out as plus [although the slider is oh-so close], the command is more on the average side than anything, and physically [standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 201 pounds] he isn't exactly an imposing figure either. However, while there isn't anything that jumps out as a big-time aspect in his game he also has virtually no weaknesses either so the sum of his game is greater than the individual pieces. It's true that the slider-fastball combination in particular, especially in shorter stints, are special enough against left-handed batters [lefties hit just .115 against him in Triple-A] that it's easy to project him as a potential left-handed specialist should a bullpen need arise in that capacity. However, given his ability to pitch deep, efficiently, and effectively into games, and given the reliability of his changeup against right-handed batters too, pigeon-holing Enns into a short reliever role might be wasting some tangible starting potential as a middle to [most likely] back-end big league starting pitcher, especially one who can be amazingly consistent. He gives the Yankees a ton of role flexibility both short-term and long-term, anywhere from a LOOGY [left-handed one out guy], a Justin Wilson-like left-handed setup man, or a Jonathan Niese-like back-end starting pitcher. That kind of role versatility alone is priceless to a manager.
ETA. 2017. Because of his swiss army knife-like capabilities role-wise into a pitching staff Enns could help out the big league team not only in a number of ways but at any time too. He has little to prove or work on at Triple-A at this point so even if he doesn't break Spring Training camp with the big league club this year he'll still most likely see some big league action later in the year shuffling back and forth between Scranton and the Bronx.