Prospect Profile: Frank German
The Yankees have quite a few right-handed pitchers on their top 30 prospect list these days, and Frank German looks like one who could steadily rise through the ranks. The young hurler’s professional career is quite young, but he has shown the type of improvements that give the Yankees something to look forward to.
Name: Frank German Birthdate: September 22, 1997 Position: Pitcher Bats/Throws: R/R Height: 6’2 Weight: 195
Born in Queens, German grew up right outside Tampa, Florida. He didn’t manage to get much notice during his high school career and went on to the University of North Florida. During his first season of collegiate baseball, German worked both out of the bullpen and rotation. He had a 4.91 ERA over 33 innings and went on to play summer ball for the Madison Mallards in the Northwoods League.
During his sophomore year, German switched to the rotation full-time and immediately made an impact. He had a 2.43 ERA over 81 innings with a 2.92 K/BB ratio. German was First Team All-Conference and started to get some notice. A solid performance in the Cape Cod League had him primed for a strong junior year, where German took off. He threw 91.1 innings and had a 1.58 ERA and averaged almost eight Ks for each walk he allowed. In addition to First Team All-Conference honors again, German was a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award.
The Yankees drafted German with their fourth pick in the 2018 draft. He signed for $347,500, which was below-slot for the 127th pick. He was the highest-drafted pitcher out of UNF and the third highest-drafted overall. German’s steady baseball schedule during college may have the young pitcher prepared for full-season baseball, however, the Yankees didn’t rush him into professional play. He made one appearance in the Gulf Coast League before heading up to Staten Island. He made four starts in ten appearances in the NYPL, putting together a 2.22 ERA, striking out 38 and walking just six in 28.1 innings.
While German’s fastball sat at 90-95 in college, he quickly turned it up in the pros. He threw 94-98 in his debut. German got to spend most of 2019 not far from home, as he made 15 starts and 16 appearances for the Tampa Tarpons. He also made three starts in the Gulf Coast League. His 3.79 ERA and 82 Ks gave him a strong showing. He walked just 35 batters and held opposing batters to a .248 average.
German’s fastball is impressive and his control on both sides of the plate makes it extremely effective. His secondary pitches are average, though his mid-80s slider has a good break to it and he has shown a decent feel for his changeup. German has a great delivery that is consistent and his build helps him project as a starter if he can get his secondary pitches to be more reliable. The way German steadily improves keeps pushing the pitcher’s ceiling up. This should be a key season for him.