Name: Cooper Hjerpe
College: Oregon State University
The New York Yankees need to continue to add left-handed pitching depth in their system. Now that Ken Waldichuk is on the doorstep of Yankee Stadium, it’s important to continue to sign young talented arms. Cooper Hjerpe has pitched both out of the pen and as a dominate starter with the Beavers. His delivery and sweeping breaking pitch could be an asset out of the pen soon, if the Yankees need some immediate bullpen depth.
Hjerpe is super competitive and pitched in big spots for the Beavers. He’s the staff ace on the weekend and has served as a stopper out of the pen.
Fastball (91-93 T95)– The delivery and arm slot create deception for Hjerpe’s fastball. The pitch sits comfortably in the low 90’s with late boring sink. Hjerpe is able to bump the velocity when needed and has a quick arm, which could produce added velocity as the funky delivery gets cleaned up once he signs.
Video courtesy of FanGraphs
Slider (77-80)– Hjerpe’s slider is a potential plus pitch. The slot, release point and sweeping action is brutal for left-handed hitters. He’s able to command the pitch and work both sides of the plate.
Changeup (80-82)– The changeup has developed and he feels comfortable using it. The action mimics the fastball and the armspeed is consistent.
Hjerpe will obviously draw comparisons to Chris Sale. He’s left-handed and throws from a similar crossfire, low ¾ arm slot. His delivery creates a lot of deception, especially with left-handed hitters. He shows the ability to repeat his delivery but does have moments where he loses the timing. Just as Chris Sale had to learn, Hjerpe will need to work on repeating his deceptive delivery in professional baseball.
He’s shown the ability to command all three of his pitches and repeat his deceptive delivery. It will be the consistent timing with his delivery that will be the factor in his prolonged success as a professional.
Cooper Hjerpe could be a great option for the Yankees if he’s available at #25. He’s a proven left-hander with deception and the potential to have two plus secondary pitches. He’s also been called on to pitch in pressure situations for the Beavers. If the Yankees are looking for an arm to impact the big club quickly, Cooper Hjerpe could be a nice fit.