Leonardo Pestana

Position: RHSP
Level: Extended Spring Training
Affiliate: XST Yankees
League: Extended Spring Training
Born: 07/30/1998 (Age: 21)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 198
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: Signed as an IFA 2/25/18 (NYY)

Prospect Spotlight

Pestana signed older than most international players, agreeing to terms with the Yankees in February of 2018. He split last summer between the DSL and GCL, hit hard upon coming stateside but showing the ability to miss bats.

A durable 6-foot-4, Pestana’s frame is more strong than it is athletic. He’s able to repeat a semi-windup fairly well, though the overall operation is a bit clunky and he struggles to field the position. His fastball has added velocity since signing, now working in the 90-to-94 mph range with inconsistent movement and command. It gets flat over the middle-third, with occasional late burst when elevated or slight one-plane tail. Pestana has added power to his breaking ball since our first live looks at him, moving from a true curve to a hybrid low-80s slurve with occasional depth that allows some projection to the pitch. He has started working on a changeup at 84-to-86 mph that’s still fairly crude, often lacking movement and speeding up bats.

It would be easier to definitively predict gains for Pestana if he were younger. The righty will turn 21 this July, and though he likely reports to a short-season affiliate higher than the complex, he’ll still be as old as most college draftees next year without having reached A-Ball. Signing late plays a role in this too, and a positive is the degree his stuff has taken a step up across the board. Pestana isn’t a sure enough bet to be a prospect to fit as a FV 40 or higher right now, but his size and flashes of two pitches are enough for a follow grade. If his frame tightens up and doesn’t go the other way, he could work with a mid-90s heater at maturity.