Prospect Profile: Yorlin Calderon
Right-handed relief pitcher
Signed: August 16th, 2018 out of the Dominican Republic
What’s the best way to start your season as a pitcher? Outside of a perfect game, most pitchers would say a no hitter. Yorlin Calderon did just that in 2022, with a seven-inning no-no for Tampa in his first appearance. He went on to have his best season as a professional, with 75 K : 16 BB in 58 innings pitched. Finishing with a 3.88 ERA, he was then sent to the Arizona Fall League where he threw 12.2 ineffective innings.
The results matter not; the important part is that Calderon threw a career high 70.2 innings, which is 40 more than his previous high. This will allow him to throw at least 100 this season if he earns it and stays healthy.
Calderon has a fastball that sits 90-93 mph with big spin and a nasty changeup. He already has two good pitches to work with. He also throws a slider which varies pitch to pitch in it’s effectiveness, break, and control. With more work, it could be another above average pitch for him.
One of the things I love about Calderon is that he alters his delivery in both the windup and the stretch. He will sometimes hesitate while his knee is in the air, much like Nestor Cortes. This tells me that he has good balance and is athletic. It is also effective at messing with the hitters’ timing.
The Yankees started Calderon off in 2023 as a reliever. So far, he has 3.2 innings with 7 K : 1 BB and a 2.45 ERA. The velocity has not increased just yet, but the movement on his sinker and changeup has been plus. It wouldn’t surprise me if he is converted back to a starter at some point during the season.
Calderon, still just 155-pounds at 6-foot-3, has plenty of room to fill out. Another 20-30 pounds of muscle should allow him to add a few ticks on the velocity. He’s yet another starting pitcher with upside in the lower minors for the Yankees. There’s about 15 of these types of guys in the low minors, and it feels like 3-4 of them pop every year. 2023 will be no different. The only question is who. Calderon has as good of a chance as any of them to be that guy.