With Yankees pitching prospect Will Warren struggling in his first five starts at Triple-A, many have started to look to the Hudson Valley, where Chase Hampton is emerging as perhaps the top pitching prospect in the Yankees’ organization.
Selected in the 6th round of the 2022 draft and signed for $497,500, Hampton has been dynamic in his first 47 professional innings.
The former two-year player at Texas Tech split his time as a starter and a reliever in college, but he has started all nine of the games he’s pitched since joining the Yankees organization. In those nine starts, all at High-A, he’s posted a 2.68 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and an absurd 77 strikeouts to just 16 walks in 47 innings.
Among pitchers with 40 innings pitched in 2023, Hampton is second in all of the minor leagues with a 32.1% K-BB%. He trails only Andrew Abbott, who was recently promoted by the Reds, and is ahead of stud Dodgers prospect Emmet Sheehan.
Hampton features a fastball at sits 94-95 mph but has excellent ride and life in the zone. As prospect writer Chris Clegg pointed out, Hampton’s fastball has 19 inches of Induced Vertical Break, which is insanely high.
Hampton also throws a plus slider to both lefties and righties. The pitch usually sits around 86-87 mph and is his main swing-and-miss pitch. He rounds out his arsenal with a true 12-6 curveball that sits around 80 mph and a changeup that he rarely uses.
Has Hampton has gotten more comfortable in professional baseball, the Yankees have also allowed him to pitch deeper into games. In his first three starts, they pulled him before he completed five innings. In his next four starts, he went almost five innings exactly, and then on June 3rd, the Yankees allowed him to throw seven innings, where he allowed just three hits and struck out ten batters.
Since he’s only 21 years old and in his first taste of pro ball, the Yankees are not likely to be overly aggressive with Hampton this year, but he did just receive a call-up to Double-A Somerset on Thursday.
The @Yankees have announced the following transactions:
🔹Chase Hampton – Transferred Hudson Valley to Somerset
🔹Gray Fenter – Placed on Somerset 7-Day Injured List (6/14)
Hampton will make his Double-A debut starting for the Patriots on Sunday vs. Altoona. pic.twitter.com/eCmXLLzz87
— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 15, 2023
That should put him in line for a possible MLB debut with the Yankees in 2024 if he continues to produce the way he has so far in 2023.
No matter which way you look at it, Chase Hampton looks like one of the best value picks in the 2022 MLB Draft so far.