Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
While the Kansas City Royals would appear to be set at closer for the present and near future, Wade Davis and Greg Holland may one day leave for other destinations. If that happens, the Royals may well find themselves looking internally for their next closer. Well, the only pitcher with more than two saves in the system as of right now might be a place to look.
In seven games, covering 9.1 innings of work, the 24 year old Robinson Yambati has been solid for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, posting a 3.86 ERA and a 1.179 WHiP. Yambiti has displayed excellent control thus far, striking out nine while walking only two batters. Perhaps most impressively, in his seven appearances, Yambati has converted five saves, showing that he is quite capable of handling the ninth inning.
That success may well prove to be sustainable. Yambati is an interesting pitcher in terms of ratios, as he has a slightly above average 46.7% ground ball rate, but the opposition does not hit him well, as he has allowed a line drive rate of 11.5%. While he has been generating ground balls, Yambati has also gotten an infield popup on 15.4% of balls in play, perhaps speaking volumes to his ability to sink a baseball.
While Robinson Yambati may be a bit old for the Carolina League, he is certainly proving to be effective. If this success continues, he may be able to make that leap to Northwest Arkansas.
Next: The strikeout machine