Hector Noesi is just 24 years old, but he has experience in the Yankees system. The club signed the big 6’2″ right-hander when he was just 17 years old, out of his hometown Esperanza, Dominican Republic in 2004.

His pro career didn’t officially begin until 2006, when he hurled just seven innings in five games. He put up a very low ERA of 1.29 in those games, while striking out 11.

Noesi’s 2007 didn’t begin until he finished a 50-game suspension for his violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. When he came back, he pitched in the South Atlantic League for the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate in Charleston. He went 1-for-1 in five games, all of which were starts. He had a 4.50 ERA in 20 innings.

His season was cut short, though, due to an elbow injury. He underwent Tommy John Surgery that offseason and returned in time for the second half of the 2008 season.

That season was split between the Gulf Coast Rookie League and the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate in Staten Island. In the GCL, he went 2-for-1 with a 3.65 ERA. He started seven games and appeared in seven more out of the bullpen. Combined, he struck out 24 in 24.2 innings.

In Staten Island, Noesi finished his season strong. He went 1-for-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He started all five games he appeared in, and in 24 innings, he struck out 31.

Noesi began to show improvement in 2009. He split the season between Single-A Charleston and High-A Tampa. In Charleston, he went 3-for-4 with a 2.38 ERA. He struck out 78 in 75.2 innings.

With High-A Tampa, Noesi was 3-0 with a 3.92 ERA. He again displayed a great strikeout per inning ration, as he struck out 40 in 41.1 innings.

Noesi’s unheralded rise through the Yankees’ system began in 2010. He made stops at all three levels of the minors and saw success with all three teams.

He started the season with High-A Tampa and went 5-for-2 with a 2.72 ERA. Next, he spent time with Double-A Trenton. After a 3.10 ERA and an 8-4 record, Noesi was on his way to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He finished his season there, pitching to a 1-1 record with a 4.82 ERA.

Overall in 2010, Noesi threw 160.1 innings, struck out 153 and only walked 28 batters.

What makes Noesi so special is his strong, fluent delivery and his impeccable command. Although command is usually the final thing to return after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Noesi hasn’t showed any sign of having problems. He has walked just 51 in 326 innings since returning.

He has a very lively fastball that can maintain its 90 to 93 mph velocity deep into games. In the past couple of seasons, his fastball has been reported to touch 96 on occasion. He also throws a quality changeup, slider and curveball.

Each of his breaking pitches needs work, which may be the only thing holding him back from cracking the rotation this spring training.

Assuming he gets assigned to Triple-A to start the season, Noesi will likely be the first arm to be called up should the Yankees suffer an injury. He’ll be the center of attention this season in the minors and could be a permanent member of the Yankees pitching staff come 2012.

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