Prospect Profile: Shutdown reliever Jack Neely
Right-handed relief pitcher
Draft: 11th round of the 2021 draft out of Ohio State University
In 2021, the Yankees drafted several big pitchers later in the draft. In doing so, they infused the lower minors with some high ceiling talent. One of these players was Jack Neely. In 2021, Neely was coming off a bad year for Ohio State. He had a 6.1 ERA and struggled with walks (5.2 BB/9) and homeruns (2.0/9). Despite that, the Yankees saw something in him. They drafted him in the 11th round.
2022 was a different year for Neely. He was a dominant reliever in Low-A and briefly in High-A. The walks improved, he developed a slider and improved his strikeout rate. He finished with a 3.58 ERA and 87 K : 26 BB in 50.1 innings.
Neely is equipped with a fastball that averages 97 mph and hits 98-99 regularly. If that wasn’t enough, the fastball also features a high spin rate. He added a slider in 2022 that catapulted him to bigger success. Neely still struggles with control though it greatly improved in 2022.
In 2023 Neely has a 1.17 ERA in 15.1 innings so far. He has 21 K and 9 BB in the early going. Opponents are hitting .182 against him. The control is still lacking, but his stuff seems to have improved.
Neely has the ceiling of a shutdown, late inning reliever. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him pitching in Double-A before the end of the season. If all goes well, Neely could see time in the majors in 2024 or 2025. He is in good company among high ceiling relievers in the Yankees’ system. As is true for all of these guys, he’ll have his work cut out for him to separate himself from the pack. He has the stuff and potential to do just that.