Player: Jonathan Loaisiga
DOB: November 2, 1994
Height: 5’ 11”
Affiliate: Tampa Tarpons (High-A)
Role: #3 Starting Pitcher
Risk Factor: Low
MLB ETA: 2020
Jonathan Loaisiga is a Nicaraguan-native out of Managua. He signed with the New York Yankees on February 9, 2016, and underwent Tommy John surgery months after signing. The surgery held hindered his movement through the system a bit, but now he is back to complete form.
Fastball – Throws a lively fastball that will sit at 95-97 mph and can top at 98 mph periodically with excellent, late-tailing movement.
Change-Up – His Change is a work in progress, but it has gotten much better. It will sit 86-88, and with the success of his Fastball and Curveball, he can sneak it in there when he is behind in counts.
Curveball – His Curveball is one of the best in the Yankees’ farm system, and Loaisiga will use it at any point in the count. It sits in the 81-83 mph range, and he will use it heavily on lefties.
Loaisiga throws from a ¾ release point and repeats his delivery exceptionally well. He has a quick release with little extra movement and tends to be light on his feet as he releases the ball. He keeps a consistent pace with the bases empty but tends to lose that with men on to a point where he noticeably is losing his flow. Loaisiga’s easy delivery helps him pitch in easily repeatable form and keeps the batter on his schedule, and will also hold men on first and second base.
Loaisiga is one of the most aggressive pitchers you will see, and his fastball and curveball make it easy for him to pitch that way. What is even better than his pitches is his control, however. With the tailing movement he has on his fastball and downhill movement on the curveball, it is vital for him to place it correctly. His Change has gotten much better in the last year, but he needs to start using it more than when he gets into trouble. He can work righties inside consistently and even when there is contact it will be hard to get much more than a bloop-single.
The most noticeable thing he needs to work on is his approach vs. lefties. When his control is on, he can throw that fastball and curveball to the back door with ease, but he tends to get stuck in that mindset, and the batters can start reading it. When his control is off, he will have the same approach as well, and that is when he starts missing inside or up, which is where he could use his change-up a bit better. If he uses the change a bit earlier in counts on lefties, it will help him use his best two pitches a bit more differently against lefties.
Overall, there is not much to dislike about Loaisiga, and he will be a serious factor in the next two seasons for the New York Yankees. His injury history will now be something to have in the back of mind, but nothing that will change his risk factor moving forward. He should end the season in Double-A Trenton and from there be a contender for any position come late 2019.