Getting to know Yankees' signee Carson Coleman
Updated: Jul 25, 2020
Each summer, Major League Baseball welcomes their next wave of talent with the MLB Draft. The draft typically consists of 40 rounds, however it was shortened to five rounds this season in an effort to save teams money, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By shortening the draft, hundreds of prospects were left undrafted, leaving many talented players to be signed after the draft. The New York Yankees first undrafted signee was right-handed reliever Carson Coleman.
On Sunday June 14, Coleman received a phone call from the Yankees, telling him that his dream of becoming a professional baseball player had come true. Due to the pandemic, the hurler signed his first contract remotely. While this experience was different than Coleman had originally envisioned, the right-hander is looking forward to beginning his career with the 27-time world champions.
“It’s very crazy just to think that I’m a Yankee,” said Coleman. “You always see the Yankees as the best of the best, and the highest standard. It’s even more special to say that you’re signing with the Yankees.”
Coleman’s path to the big leagues differs from many pitchers in the game today, as he didn’t begin pitching until his senior year of high school. He first began to develop his skills on the mound, while attending the University of Kentucky.
Coleman excelled both on the diamond and in the classroom, as he was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in each of his first three years at the school. He believes that his time at the University of Kentucky helped him grow as both a player and as a person.
“[Kentucky] set a good foundation for my baseball career,” said Coleman. “I was able to leave Kentucky as a great baseball player, but an even better person. I didn’t want to just be remembered as the ballplayer I was, but as the person I was too. That meant a lot to me.”
Coleman began to improve as a pitcher in his freshman year of college, as he impressed by recording a 3.15 ERA in 20 appearances with the Wildcats. However, Coleman’s progression on the mound was put on pause when he suffered an injury, due to being struck in the face by a line drive. This caused him to undergo multiple surgeries.
Coleman was ultimately able to bounce back from this difficult experience and continue to improve his game. In the season following the injury, the reliever recorded his single season record for strikeouts by retiring 36 batters. This success prompted Coleman to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2019 MLB Draft. He declined this offer and chose to continue his athletic and academic careers with the Wildcats.
Coleman opted to return to college, to continue developing his style of pitching. The right-hander has a low, three-quarters delivery, in which he uses deception to his advantage. His repertoire consists of a steady diet of fastballs, along with off-speed pitches. The hurler posted a respectable 4.19 ERA and struck out 81 batters in his college career.
He believes that his best pitch is his fastball, which reaches 95 MPH on the radar gun. Coleman relies heavily on his heater, and occasionally mixes in off-speed pitches to keep hitters off-balance. His dominance resulting from a single pitch has earned him comparisons to Mariano Rivera from his teammates.
This success is a product of Coleman’s aggressiveness on the mound. Many describe him as a “bulldog,” as his high velocity dominates the opposition. The hurler describes himself as a very passionate player, as he tries to give his team the best opportunity to win.
“I’m an extreme competitor,” said Coleman. “I feel like once I get on that mound, it’s a whole new me. I’m ready to dominate anyone that’s in the batter’s box.”
Coleman’s desire to win is evident through the competitiveness that he displays while pitching. He tries to model his game after the late Jose Fernandez, as he admired his passion and competitive nature on the mound.
The pitcher looks forward to beginning his professional career, in which he will work to improve his game. Carson Coleman will look to move closer to reaching the major leagues, and to contribute to the winning culture of the New York Yankees.
“My goal is to perform and do my best,” said Coleman. “But, I also want to improve as a pitcher and represent the Yankees well.”