I'm starting a new series tonight titled In Appreciation Of: (Insert minor-leaguer) in which we highlight a minor-leaguer who is unheralded and straight killing it. Tonight it's Keegan Yuhl.
Keegan Yuhl is 24 years old and won't be 25 until next January. He went to Concordia University in Irvine, California. As a senior for Concordia in 2014 he threw 104.2IP, 87H/30ER, 100K:14BB - a 2.58 ERA/0.96 WHIP and a 7.14 K:BB ratio. He threw the first perfect game in Concordia's history on January 31, 2014. Still, he lasted in the 2014 draft until the 35th Round, when the Astros nabbed him.
In 2014 Yuhl threw 36IP between Greeneville and Quad Cities, allowing 31H/7ER, 33K:8BB - a 2.00 ERA/1.08 WHIP. He was old for Greeneville so whatever and right on with Quad Cities so cool, right?
In 2015, Yuhl transitioned from bullpen to the tandem rotation, throwing 98.1IP - 19.1IP in Quad Cities and 79.0IP for hitter-haven Lancaster. What he did last year was simply stupid: 98.1IP, 87H/19ER, 87K:25BB - a 1.74 ERA/1.14 WHIP. Isolating just his Lancaster stats - a team that allowed 5.20 runs per game - Yuhl allowed 77H/17ER, 68K:17BB and just five home runs allowed, again in 79IP, for a 1.94 ERA/1.20 WHIP.
The Crawfish Boxes did some heavy lifting here and found that the last Lancaster pitcher to post a sub-2.00 ERA with a minimum of 50IP, prior to Yuhl, was Sean Spencer...in 1997...and Spencer was the JetHawks' reliever.
Yuhl threw 8IP for the Astros' Arizona Fall League affiliate and it didn't go so well (9H/7ER, 3K:4BB), but whatever. Tired and whatnot.
Yuhl has spent 2016 in Corpus, and has been nothing short of fantastic. In 68.2IP - and this includes tonight's win for Corpus - he has allowed 56H/16ER, 54K:14BB. That's a 2.10 ERA/1.02 WHIP. On May 1, 2016 Yuhl allowed 3ER in 5.1IP at Frisco, since then he's thrown 46IP, 36H/6ER, 30K:7BB - a 1.17 ERA/0.93 WHIP.
So it's a captip to Yuhl. Good on you, mate.