Last weekend the inevitable happened when the Pittsburgh Pirates traded starting pitcher Jameson Taillon to the New York Yankees. In return, the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired four players from the New York Yankees. One of the players involved in the trade was 22-year-old Venezuelan pitcher Miguel Yajure.
Yajure initially signed with the New York Yankees in 2015 as an international free agent for $30,000. Later that season the 17-year-old would make his debut in the Dominican Summer League with the Yankees. He appeared in 14 games with an ERA of 1.42 across 57.0 innings pitched. In 2016 he pitchedd for the Gulf Coast League Yankees, pitching 31.0 innings with an ERA of 2.87. The right-hander was showing tremendous promise until Tommy John surgery derailed the rest of his 2016 season, and kept him out of baseball in 2017.
At age 20, Yajure would make his return to baseball in 2018 and he would pitch for the Low-A South Atlantic League Charleston River Dogs. Yajure would appear in 14 games pitching 64.2 innings with an ERA of 3.90 and a 1.22 WHIP. Scouts took note after that season that he showed signs of control and knowing how to command the zone.
In 2019 the Yankees promoted him to the High-A Tampa Tarpons. That season Yajure would see his most work since becoming a professional pitching 127.2 innings and tallying a 2.26 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP. In his time with Tampa his K/BB ratio was a strong 122/28, proving that his command was only improving. In August of that season, he would be promoted to the Double-A Trenton Thunder where he would pitch 11 innings recording an ERA of 0.82 and 1.00 WHIP.
Yajure made his MLB debut on August 31, 202, pitching 3.0 shutout innings in relief against the Tampa Bay Rays. He would record two strikeouts and three walks in his debut. He would go on to pitch in just two more games that season finishing his brief MLB stint with an ERA of 1.29 in 7.0 innings pitched.
There is no denying that Yajure has proven himself at every level he has pitched at. It also appears that there doesn’t seem to be any lingering effects of his 2016 Tommy John surgery. His command is his strong suit and will help his fastball which isn’t anything impressive with an average velocity between 92-95 MPH. His best pitch is his change up which he added in 2019.
Yajure also throws a cutter and an average curveball with a good spin rate. There’s a good chance he will compete for a spot on the Big League club straight out of spring training, especially with there currently being a ton of questions around the starting rotation and bullpen for the Pittsburgh Pirates.