Jhony Brito’s Superb Start

Jhony Brito
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

New York Yankees pitcher Jhony Brito‘s superb start has fans wondering if he has a spot in the starting rotation for the rest of this season and beyond. Brito was the first Yankee rookie to record a win in his first two games since 1998. He certainly has taken advantage of his chance in the rotation to begin the year after Luis Severino suffered a back injury.

Not a top Prospect

There is a good chance fans might not know who Brito is. He was not a top prospect, and was only added to the 40-man roster in November, but continued to work his way through the organization to get a chance to pitch for the big-league club.

He struggled with his control in 2016 and 2017 and missed all of 2018 following Tommy John surgery. In 2019, he pitched in Single-A ball, then lost out on the 2020 season due to the pandemic shutdown. The last two seasons he has pitched in Double-A and Triple-A, where he found some success. Last year Brito had an 11–4 record with a 2.96 ERA with 112 2/3 innings pitched in 26 games and recording 91 strikeouts.

Pitch Selection

Jhony Brito’s superb start is due in part to his arsenal of pitches, especially his fastball. Last season, his fastball velocity was up to 94-96 mph, sometimes hitting 98 mph. The right-hander is able to apply his fastball to generate ground-ball outs. His changeup has been called the best in the Yankees organization. An improved slider/cutter, which has worked well against both left- and right-handed hitters, rounds out Jhony Brito’s pitch selection.

It’s Still Early

The Yankees lost three-fifths of their projected rotation. Brito, who didn’t expect to be called up this early, is taking advantage of the opportunity. His work ethic and his continuous improvement certainly has helped him. He is doing a lot of things well right now and is off to a terrific start to his major league career. Of course, it’s still early in the season. It’s just a matter of time before he settles in and is more comfortable on the mound. But, if this early look is an indication of what’s to come, a more comfortable Jhony Brito can only get better.

Growing Pains

Even the best players go through ups and downs in a season. Even after his dominant outings, Jhony Brito will experience growing pains. However, he has demonstrated that he is a talented pitcher. He has made a strong push to remain with the big-league club and if he keeps working with pitching coach Matt Blake—who is an excellent communicator and is largely credited for the Yankees’ excellent pitching performances, Brito’s’ ceiling could be unlimited.

Free Agents

Brito has two excellent starts, and manager Aaron Boone can see him developing into a top starting pitcher for the team. With both Frankie Montas and Severino free agents at the end of the year, it is a welcome scene to have the Yankees develop an in-house starter going forward. Should both of those pitchers leave, Brito could be their future.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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