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Brock Selvidge Settling in at Double-A

April 21, 2024

Bridgewater, New Jersey – The Yankees relied heavily on the left arm of legendary hurler Andy Pettitte at the top of their rotation for the entirety of their historic run of four World Series championships in five seasons in the late-90’s. The organization is now hoping that Pettitte’s tutelage can

Bridgewater, New Jersey – The Yankees relied heavily on the left arm of legendary hurler Andy Pettitte at the top of their rotation for the entirety of their historic run of four World Series championships in five seasons in the late-90’s. The organization is now hoping that Pettitte’s tutelage can unlock the enormous upside inside the pitcher that they hope is the next great southpaw in their talented pipeline of young arms, Somerset starter Brock Selvidge.

Selvidge was the Bombers third round draft selection, 92nd overall, in 2021 out of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Arizona. He impressed the franchise with a strong first full-season in 2023 that saw him go 8-5 with a 3.45 ERA and 9.66 K/9 in 24 starts between both A-ball levels as a 20-year-old.

During his time in spring training, the Yankees 10th ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline had the opportunity to interact and discuss the intricacies of pitching with Pettitte, who is now an advisor for his former club.

“I think that’s just a prime example of somebody that has been through it and been that guy in the biggest situations when everything is on the line,” said Selvidge. “Just getting advice from him was game changing – he’s a left-handed pitcher that did great things in the MLB and that’s something that I hope to endure and go through. He not only knows about baseball and knows how it works, but he’s been through it; he’s been through the toughest spots, and he’s had great success with it.”

Selvidge added, “He said just trust your fastball, you’ve got to establish the fastball and everything else is just going to play better than it would be. I said let’s put it in play, so I started throwing the fastball more just to get ahead in the count and get deep into the count in my favor, and it worked. A guy like that isn’t going to steer you wrong.”

The Yankees showcased Selvidge in the inaugural Spring Breakout game and with the spotlight firmly shining on him, the lefty allowed just one hit and fanned eight batters over four scoreless frames. He reached the upper levels of the system for the first time this season with an assignment to Somerset out of camp, and thus far, the early returns have been mixed for the 21-year-old.

Going into his third scheduled start of the season on Sunday afternoon against Hartford, Selvidge has pitched to a 4.00 ERA with 11 strikeouts in nine innings, but his .316 BAA and 1.67 WHIP is something he is looking to improve as he continues to grow at the level.

“I think at the end of the day my goal when I am out there is just to simplify it,” admitted Selvidge. “This is the same game that I have been playing since I was five years old. You’ve still got to get three outs in the inning, still have to get three strikes per hitter, so I think just keeping it simple and not changing anything dramatically – just out there having fun with the boys.”

Selvidge has a strong relationship with Pitching Coach Brett DeGagne, who was with him in his first season in pro-ball in the Florida Complex League before being reunited in Bridgewater this season. In an interview earlier this week with Greg Johnson of the Trentonian, DeGagne dubbed Selvidge’s cutter as his “money-maker” offering. It is very much the pitch that has elevated his arsenal and been an instrumental part of his success.

“Ironically, it was like my slider in high school – it was my slider grip in high school,” Selvidge explained. “We call it a cutter more just because I have a sweeper. My cutter is pretty much a gyro-slider, a hard-slider. In high school I threw it 77-79 (MPH) and just kind of threw it like a curveball. I was in the FCL all of my first year and we kind of got back to it – they were like, just throw it and see how it works. Just changed the wrist position and it started coming out harder and started spinning a little bit better and it’s just a super comfortable pitch. It’s just the most comfortable for me – it was a strike pitch and get ahead pitch and the more I threw it the more comfortable I got with it.”

Selvidge doesn’t just stand out because of his impressive four-pitch mix or ability to command the zone from all quadrants, but also for the fashion in which he does it. A high break, a defined leg kick and a long stride towards the plate make his delivery very distinguished.

“I did that in my junior year of high school and then I ended up transitioning to not doing it my first year of pro-ball,” Selvidge explained. “Velocity went down, my extension point…then Sam Briend actually came to me after my fourth or fifth last year in Tampa and went over some video of me actually in high school. I was throwing very hard in that video, and we were like, let’s just get back to it. He asked me why I started doing it in the first place and my coach, Jon Huizinga, and I, in high school, thought it was just so athletic. I just pick my leg up and I’m just going. We kind of just got back to that – for me just using the athletic part of my game to my advantage.”

While Selvidge has learned to play off his fastball with the help of Pettitte, and his cutter is always in the back pocket to bail him out in counts, he understands that his other secondary offerings, specifically his change-up, need to improve and mature in order for him to continue moving up the developmental ladder which he hopes eventually culminates with him wearing pinstripes in the Bronx.

“Last year I just didn’t throw it enough [my change-up],” Selvidge said. “I just didn’t trust it, so this year my goal is just to throw it more – it’s a good pitch, analytically it shows to be good, so I’ve just got to be comfortable and throw it. That was one of my main goals, if not, my biggest goal this offseason was just to develop that change-up more and I’m excited to show it this year.”

Selvidge added, “Ironically, my first two strikeouts this year were on it. I think that was also good in my first start because it’s like an eye-opener. There are levels that you go up, the hitters get better, and they get more consistent on the pitches they’re taking or pitches they’re swinging, so to see that play in was a confidence boost.”

There are lots of internal and external expectations that come with Selvidge’s draft slot, and the territory attached to being an ascending top-10 prospect brings heavy attention with each and every appearance. While he is aware of that outside noise, the Carrolton, Texas native just approaches every opportunity on the mound for him to grow and stay true to who he is as a developing pitcher.

“I think I just let the chips fall where they may,” said Selvidge. “At the end of the day, I’m just going to try and control what I can control. I can’t control who puts me in the rankings, whether I’m ranked or unranked. All I can control is what I do out there on that field. I’m going to go out and play to the best of my ability and if that ranks me high, then it ranks me high.”

Matt Kardos | Senior Writer

Matt Kardos has covered the Yankees minor league system for over a decade and will spend his 12th season on the beat covering the Patriots for Throughout his career, Matt has contributed to, YES Network and Pinstriped Prospects. When he’s not at the ballpark, Matt enjoys traveling with his wife Kimberly, watching Jets football and collecting sports cards.