Shawn Semple's best game in the Yankees system couldn't have come at a better time."It's the best I've ever felt," the 22-year-old said last week after his debut with Charleston. "To feel like I could throw any pitch in any count, that was the best feeling all season."
Shawn Semple's best game in the Yankees system couldn't have come at a better time.
"It's the best I've ever felt," the 22-year-old said last week after his debut with Charleston. "To feel like I could throw any pitch in any count, that was the best feeling all season."
Semple's comfort translated into results: The 2017 11th-round Draft pick struck out a career-best 10 and held Columbia to a pair of hits over six innings to win his first South Atlantic League appearance on Aug. 27. On Tuesday, the Class A circuit announced Semple as its latest Pitcher of the Week.
Semple, who moved up from Class A Short Season Staten Island, padded his stats on Sept. 2 with another solid six-inning effort as he struck out seven in a win against West Virginia. He's racked up 21 strikeouts in his last three starts, each of which went for six frames.
It's been an eventful 12 months for the New Jersey native. New York selected him last summer out of the University of New Orleans, where he struck out 109 in 93 2/3 innings. He joined the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees and was on the mound to record the final out of their league championship last year before earning a spot start this spring with Class A Advanced Tampa on May 31. The Bombers sent him back to Staten Island, and he went 3-4 with a 3.00 ERA in 10 outings before getting word he'd be promoted to the RiverDogs.
"He told me I'd done a great job with them and deserved to be up [in Charleston]," Semple said of his conversation with Staten Island manager Lino Diaz. "It's always a good feeling when you have them mentioning your name with who needs to go up."
• View the Offensive Players of the Week winners »
Semple credited his results with Charleston to his ability to throw all three of his pitches for strikes.
"I was drafted in part because of my fastball and how it has a ride to it, but I haven't had much of that this year," he said. "I don't know what it was about today, whether I had more in my legs with adrenaline, but I felt like I needed to prove I still had that life in it. I threw it consistently inside and had guys chasing it outside.
"I felt like I could locate everything and compete with all my pitches, and that gave me a big confidence boost when I needed it," he added.
Below is the complete list of Minor League Pitchers of the Week for Aug. 27-Sept. 3: