Scouting Yankees Prospect #50: Drew Edwards

The New York Yankees selected right-handed pitcher Drew Edwards with the 27th round pick in the 2003 draft out of Florida International University and was signed as a draft-and-follow before making his professional debut in the Yankees system for the Staten Island Yankees this past season.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Drew Edwards
Position: Pitcher
DOB: November 22, 1981
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Place of Residence: Queens, NY
How Acquired: Drafted in the 27th round of the 2003 amateur draft out of Florida International University.

Drew Edwards was born in Brooklyn and raised in Jamaica, Queens. Edwards, who attended Bishop Malloy High School for two years before transferring to Christ the King High School, grew up a Mets fan and idolized former Met and Yankee, Dwight Gooden. "As I kid I dreamed of pitching for the Mets or Yankees and I idolized Doc Gooden", Edwards told "I actually got to meet him (Gooden) this past year in Tampa. It was awesome", Edwards continued.

After graduating high school, Edwards went to college at Florida International University. In his very first start in 2001, Edwards had to leave the game with an injury. The injury turned out to be his elbow and he immediately had Tommy John surgery and missed the remainder of the season. Edwards worked his way back in a hurry, getting back from his injury in time for the 2002 Florida Atlantic season. He went 0-4 with a 4.37 ERA in ten appearances (nine starts) but the overall stats were secondary to the fact that he was able to pitch in just one year after Tommy John surgery, which is not easy to do.

Edwards was drafted in 2003 and then signed in 2004, making his professional debut in his home state of New York with the Staten Island Yankees. What was it like for a kid growing up a Mets fan to be drafted and signed by the cross-town Yankees? "It was awesome. The Yankees have always been one of the most highly touted teams in sports all of my life. They are a great organization and I'm thrilled to be a part of it", said Edwards.

Edwards' debut with Staten Island did not go as well as he had hoped, going 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA in 14 appearances, including seven starts. Used as both a starter and reliever, Edwards' heart is as a starter. "It's in me to be a starter. I'll pitch in any role the Yankees want me in but I'd love to be a starter. I am just real comfortable in that role". Whatever he winds up doing for the Yankees, chances are he'll have more success than he had this past season. His stuff is just too good not too.










Staten Island







*Stats as of 10/1/04

Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball. Edwards throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball that averages between 88-92 MPH, touching 93 MPH at times. He uses his fastball to set up his off speed pitches and tends to work batters on the inner half of the plate with his fastball before taking them outside with his breaking stuff.

Other Pitches. Edwards throws a curveball that averages about 72 MPH. He has a devastating circle changeup that comes in around 78-79 MPH and tails away to lefties and comes in on righties. He used to throw his slider, which ranges between 77-79 MPH, more before his Tommy John surgery but did throw it a few times this past season for Staten Island. He's trying to make his slider a little more tight and is learning to feel more comfortable throwing the pitch.

Pitching. Edwards works hitters from the inner half of the plate out, meaning he starts hitters on the inner half of the plate and then begins working them outside. He uses his fastball to set up his off speed pitches. Against lefties, he's a devastating pitcher. He uses his changeup as his out pitch to lefties. He'll set them up with fastball and then throw the hammer changeup against them, leaving them swinging at a pitch that tails down and outside to them. He certainly has a plan on the mound and has electric stuff.

Projection. Edwards hopes to remain a starter in the Yankees' system but will have to put up numbers in a hurry if he's to remain there. The numbers crunch of quality starting pitching prospects at the lower levels could moved Edwards to the bullpen. The presence of Jason Stephens, Phil Hughes, Christian Garcia, Maximo Nelson, Jesse Hoover, and a host of others may force the Yankees hand and try Edwards as a reliever. Right now, Edwards has the look of a solid setup guy or possible back-end rotation starter down the road. He has the stuff to be effective in either role but will most likely have to make his way up the minor league ladder as a reliever and spot starter.

ETA. N/A. Despite having great stuff, Edwards has a tall hill to climb. A little old for the NY-Penn League, he's going to have to produce solid numbers at the higher levels in a hurry if he is to get his wish to remain in the rotation. If the Yankees move him to reliever, the timetable for his progression gets a whole lot quicker than as a starter. 2005 will be a pivotal year for Edwards and what role he has next season will dictate which role he'll have in the Yankees system from that point forward.

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