BBB 2017 Top Prospect Countdown #20: Drew Finley
Drew Finley was drafted by the Yankees in the third round of the 2015 draft out of baseball powerhouse Rancho Bernando High School in Sand Diego after posting a 0.81 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 86 innings his senior year. The Yankees signed him relatively quickly for a $950,000 bonus that was well above the $626,000 slot recommendation. Keith Law and Baseball America ranked Finley as the 26th and 60th best prospect in the 2015 draft class, respectively, but his stock has fallen since then.
Photo Credit: Griffin Stanley
Standing at 6’3” and 200 pounds, the right handed pitcher is very advanced for his age and his fastball regularly sits in the 88-92 mph range and he spots it to both sides of the plate. His velocity is expected to increase as matures and gets more reps throwing in pro throwing programs. Finley also has a nasty sharp 12-to-6 curveball he can throw for either a strike or bury in the dirt for swings and misses.
Finley made twelve starts at rookie level Pulaski as an eighteen year old, although he was limited to three innings per start because of a heavy workload in high school. in his twelve brief starts, Finley posted a 3.94 ERA and was 0-1 with 41 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched. Although it was a small sample size, his H/9, HR/9, BB/9 and K/9 rates were high in his first taste of professional baseball.
Finley made only six starts in 2016 while in Staten Island due to tiredness in his elbow sidelining him for the rest of the season. In his six starts, Finley was 0-3 with a 4.28 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 27.1 innings pitched. In two years since being drafted, Finley has only made 18 starts and has yet to pick up a win in the process.
Finley has lost a lot of time of development this past season with the injury, but he is still very young as he will only turn 21 in July. I fully expect Finley to start the 2017 season back in Staten Island and with good outings he may be able to get a promotion or two in the process. Finley’s big fastball, good curveball and young age should play into his favor.
Projections are pointing to Finley being a future middle of the rotation starting pitcher, which is still pretty good if it is to happen, but I’m sure the Yankees would love for Finley to blossom into more than that. The Yankees farm system is a strength at the moment and the Yankees are starting to develop many good pitching prospects and I fully expect Finley to be one of those pitchers. Drew Finley was ranked 18th by MLB.com on the Yankees top 30 prospects in 2016, even with the injury-riddled year and expect him to move up the rankings in the future.
Article By: Julian BussellsFollow @JuneYank6