Will Warren turning heads at Yankees minor league camp

Will Warren was selected 243rd overall in 2021.

When New York Yankees Vice President of Player Development Kevin Reese and Director of Pitching Sam Briend were asked who stood out through Yankees minor league spring training thus far, they both responded with the same name: Will Warren.

A right-handed starting pitcher, Warren was selected by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of Southeastern Louisiana University. In his senior campaign with the Lions, Warren pitched to a 2.57 ERA, striking out 95 batters in 91 innings of work.

“It's great to be back out here,” Warren said following his outing last week at the Yankees player development complex in Tampa. “I'm just doing my thing, very blessed to be with a great group of guys learning every day… it's a dream come true.”

After 91 innings in college during the spring of 2021, the Yankees shut the 22-year-old Warren down from throwing when he was drafted, instead having him plug away in the weight room. “I came in long and lengthy, so they were like, ‘let's get you stronger,” Warren explained. He worked closely with the Yankees strength and conditioning department to gain approximately 20 pounds since last July.

“I never thought that was gonna happen,” he said. “We're lifting a lot, it's more technical stuff which is new to me. Coming from Southeastern (Louisiana) we had a great weight program, but it's a lot different than professional baseball.”

Warren has specifically enjoyed the training methods used by the Yankees, including the pitching lab nicknamed the Gas Station, which features high-speed cameras as well as ball-tracking and pitch design technology. “It's crazy,” Warren explained. “I call my friends back home like ‘dude, you aren't going to believe what we did today.’ I've been here for five weeks and I've learned so much in this short amount of time, I can't imagine what I'm going to learn over a full season.”

Warren, who said he would compare himself to 2016 CY Young Award winner Rick Porcello on the mound, throws a sinking fastball that has reached 98 MPH, to go along with a recently developed slider which he considers his best offering, as well as a curveball and change-up.

The Brandon, Mississippi native will make his professional debut when the 2022 Minor League Baseball season officially kicks off the week of April 5. “I'm very excited,” Warren said with a big smile. “I'm just ready to get out there and do what I do best… compete.”