Bleich Looking to Build On '09 Struggles

Jeremy Bleich experienced a trying 2009 season, splitting time between Tampa and Trenton. As the offseason begins, Bleich will need to work through the winter and spring in order to move his name up the Yankees top prospects list.

Jeremy Bleich's Yankee career began as a 2008 supplemental first round pick, 44th overall. The spotlight was unexpectedly put on him after the Yankees' first round draft pick, Gerrit Cole, chose to pursue a college career instead of one with the Yankees.

Bleich's minor league numbers now stand at 9 wins, 10 losses, a 4.89 ERA, and 165 hits over 147 1/3 innings. Bleich enjoyed the most success with Tampa during the first half of 2009, going 6-4 with a 3.40 ERA, but still giving up more than a hit per inning.

As he was started to settle in at Tampa, the need for a starting pitching arose at Trenton, and the call came for the 6-foot-2, 22-year old southpaw who pitched for three years for Stanford in the highly competitive Pac-10 Conference. During the second half of the season in the Eastern League, he posted a 3-6 record with a 6.65 ERA, and giving up 84 hits over 65 innings.

"I wouldn't call it a terrible year," Bleich said. "I feel I've made a lot of progress in certain areas, and I feel I'm really close to getting over a hump."

Even though Bleich struggled at times on the mound for Trenton, he did show a lot of promise. Thunder Pitching Coach Tommy Phelps feels optimistic about Bleich, and thinks the struggles are good for him.

"He's dealt with a little adversity since he's been here, he's had to battle and grind," Phelps said. "But, I think it's good for him. He's working hard to get these guys out, and eventually he'll fall into a groove."

One thing Bleich doesn't need to work on, is adding to his repertoire. He is still throwing his fastball at 89-92, and has mixed in a good changeup and a superb curveball.

"My stuff has been really good, better than it was at the beginning of the year," Bleich said. "At this point it's just a matter of tailoring it just right so I can hit my spots, so I don't get hurt anymore."

Although Bleich's performance could be categorized as a mixed bag, he has passed other highly touted prospects like Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman by moving up to Double-A and getting a half season experience at that level.

Bleich has no specific plans for the offseason, but that doesn't mean he won't work.

"They haven't told me anything yet, it's just a matter of winding down from this season, and working to get ready for Spring Training."

With the Hawaiian Winter League not being played in 2009, many players like Bleich, who were not selected for the Arizona Fall League, are left without a place to showcase their skills during the "off season".

With no word on an extended Arizona League, Bleich may have to work more intensely on his own so that he can be in top shape for Spring Training. He will need a good year in 2010 so he can move forward, and keep the Bronx in sight.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nJeremy Bleich's Yankee career began as a 2008 supplemental first round pick, 44th overall. The spotlight was unexpectedly put on him after the Yankees' first round draft pick, Gerrit Cole, chose to pursue a college career instead of one with the Yankees.
\r\n
\r\nBleich's minor league numbers now stand at 9 wins, 10 losses, a 4.89 ERA, and 165 hits over 147 1/3 innings. Bleich enjoyed the most success with Tampa during the first half of 2009, going 6-4 with a 3.40 ERA, but still giving up more than a hit per inning.
\r\n
\r\nAs he was started to settle in at Tampa, the need for a starting pitching arose at Trenton, and the call came for the 6-foot-2, 22-year old southpaw who pitched for three years for Stanford in the highly competitive Pac-10 Conference. During the second half of the season in the Eastern League, he posted a 3-6 record with a 6.65 ERA, and giving up 84 hits over 65 innings.
\r\n
\r\n\"I wouldn't call it a terrible year,\" Bleich said. \"I feel I've made a lot of progress in certain areas, and I feel I'm really close to getting over a hump.\"
\r\n
\r\nEven though Bleich struggled at times on the mound for Trenton, he did show a lot of promise. Thunder Pitching Coach Tommy Phelps feels optimistic about Bleich, and thinks the struggles are good for him.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's dealt with a little adversity since he's been here, he's had to battle and grind,\" Phelps said. \"But, I think it's good for him. He's working hard to get these guys out, and eventually he'll fall into a groove.\"
\r\n
\r\nOne thing Bleich doesn't need to work on, is adding to his repertoire. He is still throwing his fastball at 89-92, and has mixed in a good changeup and a superb curveball.
\r\n
\r\n\"My stuff has been really good, better than it was at the beginning of the year,\" Bleich said. \"At this point it's just a matter of tailoring it just right so I can hit my spots, so I don't get hurt anymore.\"
\r\n
\r\nAlthough Bleich's performance could be categorized as a mixed bag, he has passed other highly touted prospects like Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman by moving up to Double-A and getting a half season experience at that level.
\r\n
\r\nBleich has no specific plans for the offseason, but that doesn't mean he won't work.
\r\n
\r\n\"They haven't told me anything yet, it's just a matter of winding down from this season, and working to get ready for Spring Training.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith the Hawaiian Winter League not being played in 2009, many players like Bleich, who were not selected for the Arizona Fall League, are left without a place to showcase their skills during the \"off season\".
\r\n
\r\nWith no word on an extended Arizona League, Bleich may have to work more intensely on his own so that he can be in top shape for Spring Training. He will need a good year in 2010 so he can move forward, and keep the Bronx in sight.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

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