Luis Medina was signed by the Yankees out of Nagua, Dominican Republic in July 2015. He has always had upside but still has not put together a season of good numbers due to extreme inconsistency and command issues. So far in 2019, he has thrown 76 innings for Charleston, with a 6.90 ERA with 88 strikeouts and… 60 walks. In this start, he was able to keep runs off the board (1 ER), but that is a bit misleading considering all the issues the right-hander had going on during the outing.
At 6 foot 1 and 175 lbs., Medina has long legs and possibly some room to add a little strength, which is scary considering he could already rear back for 99, and reportedly has hit triple digits in the past.
Fastball– Medina sat 95-97 in the first inning hitting one or two 99’s on the radar gun. However, this didn’t last long. By the 3rd inning came along the heater was down a couple of ticks to around the 93-95 range which is what he carried the remainder of the night. This pitch didn’t generate too many swings and misses and most of the time did not have much movement. Though he did flash some solid run on it early in the start.
Slider– Right out of the gate I could tell Medina’s slider was off. It had some bite to it but he was just missing by way too much to the point where it did not matter. Somehow right around the time, the fastball started to slow down a bit, he found a consistent feel for the slider, which he turned into his most effective pitch for the rest of the start. The slider which is clearly his second pitch came in at 82-85 mph and has a nasty bite when it is at it’s best. If he can mix it in in the right times and throw it to the right spot, it can be almost unhittable.
Changeup– Medina through a couple 87-89 mph changeups to Lakewood hitters but right now it’s not much of a factor.
Curveball– I’m including the curve in this report despite the fact that I don’t believe he even threw one in the game. During his warmup tosses prior to the bottom of the 5th inning, he decided to test it out and throw a few hooks. It could be a good idea for him to develop enough feel for that pitch and add it into his repertoire, especially if the change isn’t going to work for him. It was a bit loopy in my look which isn’t always ideal but it could be a good change of pace from the hard, tumbling slider that Medina features.
It was a rough one for Medina. At times he just couldn’t find the strike zone. He had issues finding his release point and often pulled it too hard and his pitches would end up going too far glove-side. This was mostly an issue with the breaking ball early and the fastball from the third inning on.
Medina has a live arm and generates good momentum in his delivery but unfortunately, that momentum is taking him the wrong way. He falls off toward first base on every pitch. This is going to hold him back from becoming a guy that you can rely on to get you strikes when you need them. He releases from a high 3/4 to over-the-top arm angle.
At this point, it’s hard for me to project that Luis Medina will end up being a big-league starter. He’s very raw and he’s very much in need of ironing out his mechanics. Even after he does that, there’s still only two useful pitches at the moment. I will put a future 70 on the fastball and a 60 on the slider.
Fastball – 65/70
Slider – 50/60
Changeup – 40/45
Command – 30/40