2018 Pinstripe Preview: Jonathan Loaisiga
Probably the least household name amongst Yankees fans on the 40-man roster, Loaisiga is a 23-year-old right handed pitcher from Nicaragua. The Giants originally signed him when he was only 17, but injuries resulted in his eventual release. He pitched in the Yankees’ system in 2016, but saw his season end due to Tommy John Surgery. Now healthy, the Yankees decided to protect him from the Rule-5 Draft due to his high upside and solid performances in a small sample size.
Loaisiga pitched in one game for Charleston in 2016 before falling victim to Tommy John. His comeback performance in 2017 was quite impressive. In 11 starts between rookie ball and Low-A ball, he posted a 1.93 ERA with an 11 K:BB, .612 WHIP, and surrendered only one home run. Despite the small sample size, the Yankees were impressed and opted to award him a spot on the 40-man roster for the 2018 season.
Loaisiga is still working his endurance back up from TJ, so odds are he will start this season in either Low-A or High-A, pitching out of the respective team’s starting rotation. Do not be shocked, however, if he rockets through the system. He features a plus fastball with a sharp curve and above average change up. With such an advanced arsenal at a low level, all Loaisiga has to do is continue to prove he can throw strikes and that he is one hundred percent healthy.
It is unlikely he sees action in the majors in 2018 given how little minor league experience he has, however, the Yankees traded away a plethora of starting pitching depth over the past few months in Bryan Mitchell, Caleb Smith, and Ronald Herrera. This could mean Loaisiga gets a shot in the rotation given a ton of injuries over other young pitchers like Justus Sheffield or Chance Adams who are not on the 40-man roster yet.
He is an electric young pitcher who is relatively unknown, but do not be surprised to see him in pinstripes in the near future as a solid contributor.
Article by: Ryan Thoms