Enns' Transition To Starter Going Well

Enns had five no-hit innings in his last game

TAMPA, FL - If you're looking for a strikeout, Tampa Yankees pitcher Dietrich Enns is your guy. The hard-throwing lefty prospect has set down an absurd 90 batters on strikes in 62 innings of work between Charleston and Tampa in 2013, and now he's transitioning to the starting role.

"I've felt great out there [on the mound]," Enns said of his season thus far. "I've just got to keep building on the success I've been able to have so far."

Success is an understatement.

The Yankees' 19th round selection of the 2012 draft made a name for himself earlier this year in Low-A Charleston. Enns, working out of the bullpen, posted an unbelievable 0.61 ERA in 44.1 innings for the club, and opponents managed a measly .151 batting average against the 6-foot-1, 190 pound left-hander.

"Getting ahead of guys and working quick is my game plan," Enns said. "It's something I've been able to stick to. If you get ahead of guys the way I've been able to, they will chase off-speed pitches."

Enns' success at Charleston made him an easy choice for a promotion. Tampa Yankees pitching coach Jeff Ware was more than happy to have him.

"He's made an impact right away," Ware said. "He's shown he's capable of being a strike thrower and getting guys out."

Enns' pure stuff has caught Ware's attention. His low-90's fastball has a little more life than most.

"There is some serious deception on his fastball, a sneakiness to it," Ware said.

Enns changeup is also considered a plus pitch.

"The change-up is tremendous," Ware said. "He gets countless swings and misses with it."

Although Enns spent the beginning of his season at Charleston in the bullpen, he's made a smooth transition to the starting rotation for the Tampa Yankees, a move that was predetermined by the Yankees organization.

"They built me up [in Charleston]," Enns said. "The plan was to get my pitch count up and prepare me for that starter's role."

Enns has embraced his role in the starting rotation so far during his time at Tampa. In three starts, the 22-year-old has held opponents to a .185 batting average and has 21 strikeouts in 17.1 innings of work.

"I like starting better," Enns said. "It's easier to get into a routine."

Enns has prominently featured his fastball and changeup so far during his time in Tampa, but the pitch that he used to put hitters away in Charleston, his slider, is going to need more work as he works his way through the Yankees organization.

"We're working on tightening it right now," Enns said. "I'm trying to throw it a little harder and make it a better out-pitch."

Coach Ware is doing everything he can to make sure Enns develops his slider fully.

"It's a little inconsistent and tends to get big [as opposed to tight and late]," Ware said. "We're trying to make it a true slider."

Enns was able to get that late, tight break on his slider in his last start against Dunedin and put together a gem of an outing. He twirled five no-hit innings, walking one and fanning seven hitters.

"I was mixing speeds well and getting ahead of guys," Enns said of his most recent outing. "I just try not to give those guys too much credit and attack them."

Enns has been attacking hitters all season. Heck, his downright onslaught of minor leaguer hitters so far in 2013 has pushed him toward elite-prospect status in the Yankees organization. But for all his talent, Enns and Coach Ware both know that his escalation through the system comes down to the development of his slider.

"The slider is the key," Ware said. "That's really going to help him jump through the system."

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