From BA’s Prospect Blog:
â€œHe was drifting through the balance point of his delivery a little bit, and it wasnâ€™t allowing him to be as sharp,â€ Eiland said. â€œThe command and life on his fastball were still OK, but it wasnâ€™t Phil Hughes-like. He worked on that between starts.â€
Thatâ€™s not to say Hughes is not a self-aware pitcher. Eiland credits the 20-year-old with having high pitching aptitude and a sound delivery. â€œYouâ€™ve got to tell him just one small thing and heâ€™s back where he needs to be. Every now and then your delivery is going to be a bit off. He corrects himself,â€ the pitching coach said.
â€œOur goal is to just keep him going, to help him develop his changeup. He just needs experience and innings. Heâ€™s just 20-year-old, and I think a lot of times we forget that. He needs to pitch in big situationsâ€“men on second and third with one outâ€“to see how he responds.â€
Though Hughes came out of high school with an advanced slider, the Yankees have helped him develop a curveball, a pitch that generates more swings and misses and reduces arm strain.
â€œHe still throws the slider two, three, four times a game, if at all. He still throws it on side days,â€ Eiland said. â€œThat sliderâ€™s still there.â€
I’m glad to hear he’s still got the slider, but I’m sorry, the kid is as ML ready as you can possibly want a prospect to be. He won’t face many of those “big situations” in the minors, he’s just too good.
I know I sound like a broken record, but he should be in the bigs right now. No doubt about it.