The Yankees drafted RHP Franklin German during the fourth round with the 127th pick in 2018 out of North Florida. Originally German wasn’t thought of as a prospect that had the potential to get drafted this high, but after posting an ERA of 1.58 over 91 innings he showed the doubters that he definitely had the talent to succeed on the next level.
The 22-year-old Queens native has been working his way through the ranks and finds himself on the Tarpons roster for a second year this upcoming season. After spending some time with both the Gulf Coast and Staten Island affiliates German will look for the chance to improve his game as well as bouncing back from an injury that forced him to miss some time last year. This interview is an example of the type of content that Pinstriped Prospects Dugout Members receive. Dugout Members get complete access to scouting reports, interviews and more all with limited advertisements on the website. Click here to sign up!
Pinstriped Prospects: To begin your career the Yankees took it easy on you since you had a big college workload and pitched both spring and summer. What did you learn during this time?
Frank German: “I learned that instead of pitching once every week you have to be prepared to throw two times a week at least in pro ball and just learning the importance of how to get into a routine is what I learned my first year in Staten [Island[. When you’re playing the game things might go too fast. It’s good to get in the habit of watching game films and Major League play.”
PP: Does not being ranked in the top 500 out of high school still drive you?
FG: “Definitely when you’re kind of looked over you carry a chip on your shoulder and you make it a point to prove to everyone that you’re better than what they think you are, so that’s why I still carry that chip with me.”
PP: What have you been working on the most in this offseason? How are you feeling going into the 2020 season?
FG: “I’ve been working on staying healthy, and just focusing on staying healthy for a whole minor league season and hopefully a major league one down the road. Just playing baseball for five to six months on end can get pretty taxing so just trying to get stronger overall for that.”
PP: Speaking on staying healthy last season you spent some time on the injury list. What was the injury and how did you think it impacted your season?
FG: The injury was a rotator cuff tendinitis it was a little bit of mild inflammation. It kind of messed me up because it was smack in the middle of the season, and I also had a small one in spring training but I feel like it got me in the middle of a good groove and when I came back there was only a little bit of the season left so it definitely affected it for sure.”
PP: How would you say you have grown as a pitcher since joining the Yankees organization?
FG: “Oh yea definitely the fastball has taken a tick above what it was in college, but I think the emphasis on mixing in more of my off-speed so then you can use the fastball more effectively is something that I’ve learned during this past year.”
PP: You’ve had to work your way up through the ranks in the last couple of years playing for the Gulf Coast and Staten Island Yankees. What have you learned throughout this process?
FG: “I learned that the talent level continues to go higher in each league both in your team and the people that you’re playing against, so you really have to stay ahead of the curve and do your research and try to come in with a point of attack instead of just using raw talent.” This interview is an example of the type of content that Pinstriped Prospects Dugout Members receive. Dugout Members get complete access to scouting reports, interviews and more all with limited advertisements on the website. Click here to sign up!
PP: When you start, are there any pre-game rituals or superstitions that you perform before a game and why?
FG: “I try to make sure to eat at least three hours before the game because I don’t want to be too hungry or too full. I also study the lineup and the film that each affiliate gives you about the other guy to see how to attack them, so I can try to go through their lineup once, twice, or maybe three times.”
PP: What teammates have stood out to you during the 2019 season that fans might not have heard as much about?
FG: “I think that some people who stuck out to me are first baseman Dermis Garcia on the Tarpons. He has a lot of good power me and when he stiffens the ball it goes a long way. Another one would be the second baseman Oswaldo Cabrera, he’s a special talent and swings a good bat.”
PP: To expand on that is there anyone on the team that has mentored you and shown you the way along your journey?
FG: “I think the pitching coaches in both Staten Island and Tampa have really helped my game, and also some of the new guys like Miguel Yajure and Gio Gonzalez just to see how they mix their off-speed pitches with their cutters has really helped me.”
PP: When/if the season does finally get going what are some of the personal, goes that you have set for yourself?
FG: “I just want to progress in the system and just get better as a pitcher overall, and hopefully I can rise up as quickly as I can. I just want to establish more off-speed so I can have the ability to create a plan and be able to go through a lineup more than just once or twice.”
PP: You had a K/9 of 9.71 last year, what do you feel lead to your effectiveness last year in strikeouts?
FG: “I just feel like trying to miss as many bats as a can as well as my sequencing which has got better since college. I think this has all helped me be more efficient at racking up some strikeouts.”
PP: I know your fastball and changeup have been especially deadly in the past. How is your slider coming along?
FG: “ I’m still working on having consistent shape and spin as well as movement so it could become a very reliable third pitch. I think that working on that every day in the bullpen it’s only going to get better.”
PP: What are some of your favorite hobbies to do off the field in your free time?
FG: “I enjoy video games and working out. I also like basketball and being just outdoors, in general, my favorite basketball player at the moment is Kawhi Leonard. I like how he’s pretty quiet, but still seems like a funny guy even when he decides to talk.”