The New York Yankees agreed to a contract with 15th round pick Andrew Chin this week, hours before the scheduled deadline for Major League Baseball parent clubs passed to sign players selected last month. The left-handed starting pitcher will forfeit two years remaining on his eligibility with Boston College.
Chin is expected to report to one of the Yankee minor league affiliates after finalizing the contract. He will be assigned to either one of the two Gulf Coast Yankee programs playing out of Tampa, Florida or play with Short-Season A Staten Island to start his career.
After missing his freshman season while recovering from Tommy John Surgery, Chin posted a one-win first campaign with BC last season. He was mauled by hitters on Cape Cod while playing with Chatham across the summer of 2013, then returned to The Heights and won a staff-best five games. The only starting pitcher with a record over .500, he went 5-2 with a 3.10 ERA. Opposing hitters batted just .214 against him, spinning a two-hit shutout over Clemson in the first complete game by a starting pitcher under Mike Gambino to end his season. He leaves with opposing hitters having hit only .235 against him in a BC uniform.
Due to MLB Draft rules, teams have until essentially the All Star Break to sign draft picks. That meant Chin's season down the Cape this summer became an audition for the Yankees, while the Anglers, who brought him back for a second go-around, needed to get as much work out of him as possible. He started six games this summer, pitching just under 30 innings. In his final start, he went five innings and picked up the win in a 5-1 victory over Hyannis. He allowed just one run and three hits while striking out three. Hitters batted .260 against him down the Cape this summer.
Chin's contract assigns him to the minor league system, where salaries are not on par with the MLB parent club. Players make just over $1,100 per month in their first season in the minors for Rookie or Short Season-A ball, a number that doesn't jump to over $2,000 until they reach the AAA level. He likely received a signing bonus in the ballpark of $75,000 by agreeing with the Bronx Bombers.
The question now becomes how Chin will fit into the Yankees' future plans. Although there are many variables, Andrew Chin is a left-handed pitcher with pinpoint control, something that can make him ultra dangerous with a long, viable career. Although he's a starter by trade, the Yankees have only one pitcher on their current major league staff locked up past 2017 (Masahiro Tanaka). Projecting Chin's development, if he's MLB-ready within four years, he could find a role on the team's staff in some capacity. He doesn't necessarily project to a #1 or #2 type starter for New York given the Yankee propensity for buying the best available free agent, but he could be in their rotation or out of their bullpen within five years.
New York loaded up on arms in the draft this year, using their first five picks on pitchers between rounds two through six (they forfeited their first round pick by signing Jacoby Ellsbury). Of the seven pitchers taken before Chin, only two were lefties. The Bombers took 24 pitchers in this year's draft; six were southpaws.
Chin's ability to become MLB-ready will depend on several factors. Barring any injuries, collegiate baseball players have shorter spans of development. Current Yankee closer David Robertson was drafted in 2006 by the club in the 17th round in the 2006 draft. After playing out his summer down the Cape, he made the majors in 2008 and became a stalwart on their 2009 World Series roster. With the Yankees sorely lacking any minor league depth on the hill (especially left-handed arms or specialist type pitchers), Chin stands a good chance to make the pros as long as he can continue developing at a normal pace.
Despite only spending two seasons pitching for BC, we thank Andrew Chin for all he gave us at The Heights, congratulate him on his contract, and wish him well as he starts his minor league career!