Loose and lean, the Yankees signed the 6-foot-1 righty out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 for $280K. His electric arm speed is 80-grade, touching 100 mph as a starter. Unfortunately, that velocity yields 20-grade command and control, including an unsightly 11.5 walks/nine. I saw Medina pitch August 22 and 27, 2018 in his return year to the Appalachian League.
Medina’s fastball sat in the high-90s with average riding life, making it an above-average pitch despite the limited location. He isn’t tall and his fastball lacks plane, meaning its hit hard when he misses across the middle-third of the strike zone. His curveball flashes plus, with hard 11-5 break to the bottom of the zone or for chases. It’s an inconsistent pitch that backs up on him often, though one that has the ingredients to be an above-average future offering. He throws a crude changeup in the 90-to-91 mph range that acts more like a two-seamer. In the increasingly likely scenario where he’s ultimately a ‘pen arm, he won’t rely on a third pitch as much.
It would take an extreme optimist to project Medina the rotation given how far away his control and pitchability are. No one can question the raw stuff, which projects well in the late innings out of the bullpen. A triple-digits fastball and swing-and-miss breaker sound like hallmarks of a future closer, but Medina’s wildness might make it hard to trust him with the 9th inning. Unless he really turns a corner in the location and consistency departments, a realistic ceiling is an 8th inning setup man in the big leagues.