Breakout Alert: Zach Messinger prospect profile
Last level: Low-A
Expected level: High-A
Draft: 13th round in the 2021 draft
Similar to his last college season, Messinger split 2022 between relieving and starting. The results were mixed but encouraging. Messinger began the 2022 season as a reliever, likely in an attempt to limit his innings. He finished the season as a starter and logged a total of 83.2 innings. This was a career high by 26.2 innings. He finished with a 4.3 ERA and 112 K : 45 BB.
To put these numbers into better perspective, it is important to realize that he was also learning two new pitches in the changeup and slider all season. Moreover, he was dealing with an increase in his velocity from low-90’s to mid-90’s (93-95 mph, topping out at 97). The stuff and velocity is coming along nicely, and should only improve with more time, innings, time in the gas station, and strength and conditioning. With a batting average against of just .221, there are signs that his numbers could significantly improve proportionately to his command and control. This will likely be the focus going forward.
Messinger started 2023 in High-A. He delivered on the promise to improve his command and has begun the season on fire. So far, he has a 2.08 ERA and 31 K : 9 BB in 26 IP. He has a .183 BAA. Messinger’s stuff is close to the same as last season. Five starts in, it is clear he is breaking out.
The size, tools, and stuff are all there for him. The Yankees are hoping they can turn this 13th rounder into a diamond in the rough. With any luck, Messinger is on tap for around 110 innings this season and could see some time in Double-A during the second half.