The Yankees’ fifth-rounder last year of out Rice University, Otto worked mostly as a reliever in college. Built with a workhorse 6’5” and 240-pound frame, he’s ticketed for Class A Charleston and expected to work in the rotation to begin his first full professional season. He repeats his delivery and a quick, loose high three-quarters slot well. In short stints, his fastball sat 93-to-94 mph and touched 97, though I saw him working in the 90-to-92 mph range working as a starter. It was an early-March look, so there definitely could be a few ticks more on the fastball by the time the weather warms up. His curveball is a calling card, a 78-to-80 spike grip that shows plus 12-to-6 tilt and sharp action. He has confidence in the pitch, showing it in any count to both righties and lefties. A two-pitch guy in college, he’s learning a changeup at 85-to-86 mph, though the ones I saw him throw lacked conviction and feel.
Yankees prospect watchers should give Otto some time to adjust to pitching longer outings, as the organization has had success transitioning relievers to starting roles in the past. Otto could be the next in line, and how he adapts to his new role will be an intriguing prospect story line to follow early in the South Atlantic League season.