Prospect Profile: Hector Noesi

Pedro Feliciano, relief workhorse
Joel Piniero would fit nicely at Yankee Stadium
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Hector Noesi | RHP

The Yankees signed Noesi out of his hometown of Esperanza in the Dominican Republic when he was a 17-year-old way back in 2004. He was signed by then scout and the team’s current supervisor of Dominican scouting Victor Mata, who has also signed players like Gary Sanchez, Ivan Nova, Jose Ramirez, Eduardo Nunez, and the Melkys (Cabrera and Mesa) through the years. I can’t find any info on Noesi’s signing bonus, so we’re out of luck there.

Pro Career
Noesi didn’t start his professional career in the United States until the 2006 season, when he threw just seven impressive innings (11 K, 1 BB, 0.49 FIP) with the team’s rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate. A 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program delayed the start of his 2007, but once he served his time he was assigned to Low-A Charleston. Noesi made five starts with the River Dogs (20 IP, 4.60 FIP) before going down with an elbow injury. He had Tommy John surgery soon thereafter, which kept him out until the second half of the 2008 season. Noesi threw 48.2 (essentially rehab) innings with the GCL team and the short season Staten Island Yankees after coming back from surgery, posting a 3.55 FIP.

Four full years after originally signing, Noesi was finally healthy and able to begin his career in earnest in 2009. The Yankees sent him back to Charleston to start the year, where he made eleven starts and seven relief appearances (75.2 IP, 2.09 FIP) before earning a midseason promotion to High-A Tampa. Noesi made nine starts in Tampa to close out the season, pitching to a 2.57 FIP in 41.1 IP. He had effectively pitched himself back onto the prospect map after the long injury layoff, and was rewarded with a 40-man roster spot after the season to avoid exposure to the Rule 5 Draft.

Noesi opened the 2010 season back with Tampa, but he wasn’t there long. He made just eight starts (43 IP, 2.20 FIP) before getting bumped up to Double-A Trenton, where he made 16 starts and one relief appearance (98.2 IP, 2.99 FIP). Noesi pitched so well that he earned a spot in the Futures Game, where he allowed a single to current big leaguer Logan Morrison in his scoreless inning of work. Another promotion came his way in August, and he finished off his season by making three starts with Triple-A Scranton (18.2 IP, 3.20 FIP). Overall, Noesi’s 2010 campaign featured a 2.80 FIP in 160.1 IP. Over the last two years, he’s pitched to a 2.57 FIP.

Scouting Report
Long and lanky at 6-foot-2 and 175 lbs., Noesi stands out for his command and a delivery that is both simple and fluid, two things that are not mutual exclusive. Although control is typically the last thing to come back following elbow surgery, Noesi has unintentionally walked just 51 batters in 326 innings since returning from TJ (1.41 uIBB/9), a testament to how well he can command the baseball. He has also been perfectly healthy since the elbow surgery, leading the farm system in innings pitched in 2010 and holding his velocity deep into games.

Noesi’s best pitch is lively fastball with a little boring action in on righties, routinely sitting at 90-93 mph and touching as high as 96 the last few years. He backs that up with quality changeup, his second best offering, and he also throws both a slider and a curveball. Neither of the two breaking balls is even an average big league pitch right now, and Noesi doesn’t command any of his offspeed pitches as well as he does his fastball. He helps himself by fielding his position and holding runners well.

Here’s some video of Noesi from this past June, and there’s plenty more on Mike Ashmore’s YouTube channel.

2011 Outlook
The Yankees do have some questions at the back of their big league rotation, so Noesi will be part of a group of upper level arms that will get a very long look in Spring Training. More than likely he’ll be assigned to Triple-A Scranton to start the season with a callup possible at pretty much any time. He’s almost guaranteed to make his major league debut at some point during the 2011 season, and it could come as either a starter or reliever.

My Take
Noesi’s grown on me over the last two years, and I’m pretty sure it’s obvious as to why. The performance is outstanding and he’s now knocking on the door of the big leagues, a combination you want to see in a prospect of any caliber. The ability to command a fastball with some giddy-up is far too uncommon, and Noesi has that part of the game down to a science. His ceiling will be limited to a back of the rotation starter until one of his breaking balls steps forward and becomes a go-to pitch, but he still has plenty of time to work on that. If nothing else, Noesi will be serious competition for Nova and Sergio Mitre in Spring Training, and he’ll be one of the first called up whenever an arm is needed in some capacity. On the other hand, he’s a prime piece of trade bait as a cheap, workhorse type starter.

Pedro Feliciano, relief workhorse
Joel Piniero would fit nicely at Yankee Stadium
  • The Three Amigos

    Even if he can’t crack the Yankees rotation, he seems like he would be extremely valuable in the swingman role that Aceves mastered, before his injury issues.

  • Scout

    Excellent review as always, Mike. I woudl like to see the Yankees hold Noesi a bit longer before dealing him (if they need to do so) because a longer AAA track record would enhance his value.

    • whozat

      It’s also possible, though, that neither of his breaking pitches will take a step forward and he’ll get exposed in AAA after more time in the league. Not saying this is necessarily more likely than the alternative, but it’s certainly possible that his peak value is right now (see: ZMac)

      • AndrewYF

        Difference is that ZMac never struck out batters, and had a fringy fastball. Pretty sure Noesi is a better prospect than he ever was.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Physically reminds me of DJ Mitchell (6’2″ 165 lbs) who I saw pitch at Scranton (to Jesus!) in September. How do these 2 compare as prospects to make the varsity Mike?

    • Mike Axisa

      I’m not much of Mitchell fan, he’s kind of a ROOGY. Very hittable, doesn’t miss many bats.

      • theyankeewarrior

        to deh 8th!

      • Klemy

        How is he at grunting and farting?

  • Andy in Sunny daytona

    I still stick by my prediction that he will be the eventual heir to Mariano.

    I think a year at Mo U. and he will learn the cutter. With his command, build and temperment the Yankees will have Mo II-Electric Boogaloo.

    • pete

      great minds

    • vin

      Mike description really sounds like Mo heading into the 1995 season. No pressure there, Hector.

    • tomaconda

      I think Noesi will be 35 when Mo retires!

      • Monteroisdinero

        and Jeter gets 5000 hits!

  • UncleArgyle

    These propect profiles are some good shit. Nice work as always Mike. It will be intresting to see which pitchers from the Yankees stables stick around, and which get traded.

  • tomaconda

    Biggest sleeper in the Yankee system. No way he is 175lbs anymore much closer to 200lbs.

  • NJ Andy

    Could someone explain why everybody thinks he’s just a closer waiting to happen? Is it just because he only really has one pitch and excellent control?

    He’s still young, there’s hope that he can get a second pitch going and function as a serviceable back end starter. Heck, even if he doesn’t–his control seems good enough to last for a few innings by virtue of hitting the corners. Doesn’t this role seem far more valuable to the Yankees going forward? Especially when other (current) options include Sergio Mitre?

    • Andy in Sunny daytona

      I kid when I say that, mostly because he seems to have the same kind of personality as Mariano. He doesn’t seem to get flustered that much.

  • Accent Shallow

    A guy like this sounds like he could have a big future, given his scant MiLB experience.

    Mike, out of him and Nova, who would you rather have a few years down the road?

    • Mike Axisa

      Probably Noesi given the command and track record of actually striking guys out.

  • Zack

    Fangraphs doesn’t have his GB% but I like how he limits the HRs. 26 in 353 IP.

  • dan l

    He looks like a very nice back of the pen arm.

  • Steve H

    How does he fare against LHP?

    • pat

      He hits em pretty well.

      • Steve H

        Damn you!

        How about against LHB then?

        • pat

          Heh, that I don’t know. I’ve been lost since they shut down If his2nd best pitch is a changeup then he has to do pretty well against them though.

          • Steve H

            Yeah, that’s what I was guessing/hoping. One concern is the tailing FB but if he can command it well enough to keep it on left handed batters’ hands I’m sure he’s fine.

  • mattdamonwayans

    I always enjoy reading these; keep up the great work Mike.

    It seems like Noesi should be in line to compete with Nova & Mitre for a rotation spot in Spring Training. You really know what you are going to get out of Mitre, less so of Nova, so doesn’t Noesi represent, albeit limited, upside?

  • Andy in Sunny daytona

    Noesi’s best pitch is lively fastball with a little boring action in on righties, routinely sitting at 90-93 mph and touching as high as 96 the last few years. He backs that up with quality changeup, his second best offering, and he also throws both a slider and a curveball. Neither of the two breaking balls is even an average big league pitch right now, and Noesi doesn’t command any of his offspeed pitches as well as he does his fastball. He helps himself by fielding his position and holding runners well.

    Replace Noesi’s with Kelly’s, and you just wrote a scouting report for Casey Kelly.

    • Hughesus Christo

      But Casey Kelly is 12 years old

    • pat

      Heh, and subtract a little from the FB too.

  • Jobu The Voodoo Troll

    I am shocked at the number of people who want him sent to the bullpen. A pitching prospect with a quality fastball and quality changeup who needs to develop a consistent curveball or slider. Combined with his performance to date and the number of innings he has pitched over the past couple of years and bullpen never entered my mind. I am really hoping for back of the rotation starter or better.

    • Klemy

      Sounds like he’s the best of both worlds. He has a ceiling as a starter and failing that he still has a probable career as a reliever, based on a great fastball? Sounds good to me. Obviously the starter spot is better, but it looks like he’ll be a sure piece in the puzzle regardless.

      • Jobu The Voodoo Troll

        Certainly, if he cannot get it together as a starter then put him in the pen. in that sense, a bullpen arm is better than nothing. I am just surprised at how many people are predicting his failure as a starter or just want him in the pen.

  • hector noesi

    thank u guys ..

    • Squishy Jello Person

      Look forward to watching you pitch!

  • David

    I like the improvement. He seems to be a hard worker. I’m betting he makes it.

  • hector noesi

    God first and will work hard to be big league

  • Ross in Jersey

    Hector commenting on his own prospect profile? Take THAT, Nomaas!

    • JGS

      What the fuck is Nomaas?

      • Esteban

        Watch out or you’ll get a commenter on NoMaas mocking you too.

        • I Voted 4 Kodos

          That’s how you know you’ve arrived. It’s the “welcome to the majors” moment of internet commentary.

        • JGS

          Things I care less about than that:


          {list may not be complete, but probably is}

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    if only we had somebody in the system, like a kevin long for young pitchers, that knew how to teach some kind of breaking ball…

    • Accent Shallow

      Nardi Contreras?

      • jt

        yeah he looks like he needs a nardi curveball

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          three weeks at Nardi University and he’ll be our #5 come May…

  • Jimmy McNulty

    How does Noesi compare to Ian Kennedy?

    • Mike Axisa

      IPK’s secondary stuff was a lot better.

      • Garry Kranz


        If Noesi’s second-best pitch is a change-up, improving his breaking stuff should come with a little more time. It’s unusual to find a young hurler that follows a good fastball with a change… so I think Noesi may be ahead of the game a bit there.

    • Chris V.

      I was thinking the same thing he sounds very similar to IPK. Is Noesi’s Change-up average or better Mike?

    • Yardisiak

      Seems his FB has more zip as well(Kennedy has averaged 89.3 for his career). If the scouting report is correct, Hector should have another mph or two on his FB.

      I get the comp though – a control guy who can get k’s and commands the FB. However, kennedy never had the same control as Hector (2/8 bb/9 for Ian vs 1.6 for Noesi). Ian also got a bit more k’s in the minors(9.9 k/9 vs. 8.9 for Noesi)

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    Best case scenario who is a valid current MLB comp?

  • Jim

    No mention of the 50 game PED suspension he had?

  • camilo Gerardo

    I hope someone is better than mitre in ST, besides Nova