For all 2016 Prospect Ranking Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out one a day over the offseason).

Caleb Cotham spent his entire season with the New York Yankees organization. His season began in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder. The first week of the season was outstanding for the 27-year-old who made three appearances and tossed 4.2 shutout innings with six strikeouts. The second week of the season started out in about as rough of a way as you can imagine as New Hampshire touched Cotham up for six runs in 2.0 innings. The right hander rebounded well, tossing 2.0 hitless innings the next time out with five strikeouts. He finished the month with two outings, spanning a combined 3.0 innings with one earned run. One poor outing led to a high ERA on the month as he posted a 5.40 ERA in 11.1 innings with three walks and 16 strikeouts while allowing just one home run.

May got out to a solid start. In the first week he would make three appearances and toss 4.0 shutout innings with three walks and four strikeouts.  After an outing on the 13th for Trenton, allowing a run in an inning of work, he would be promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. On the 16th he would make his debut with the RailRiders and toss 3.0 perfect innings of relief with six strikeouts, but it would be his last appearance of the month as he hit the disabled list two days later. In 11.0 innings on the month he would post a 0.82 ERA with just five hits allowed, four walks and he added 15 strikeouts.

Cotham wouldn’t make it back from the disabled list until June 11th when he would make an appearance against Rochester. He tossed a shutout inning with a strikeout in his return to the mound. Two nights later he’d record the final two outs of the game, also against Rochester in what would be his final game before being sent back to Double-A. Over the next week he would pitch in three games for Trenton, tossing 6.1 shutout innings with a walk and six strikeouts. That earned him a promotion back to Triple-A, where he made one last appearances before the month was over, allowing a run in an inning of work. In limited action due to the injury, he posted a 1.00 ERA in 9.0 innings with a walk and eight strikeouts.

Back in Triple-A, the righty made two appearances in the first week of July, tossing a combined 5.0 shutout innings with six strikeouts and a walk. He would make two more appearances the next week, tossing 2.0 shutout innings in one appearances and allowing a run in an inning of work in the other. The third week of July saw Cotham allow a run in 5.0 innings over three more appearances with five strikeouts and no walks. On the 26th he tossed a shutout frame against Toledo with two strikeouts in his final appearances for Scranton Wilkes-Barre of the month, but it wouldn’t be his final showing of July. He would make his big league debut for the Yankees on the 29th, tossing 1.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts against the Texas Rangers. For the month he posted a 1.15 ERA in 15.2 innings with just two walks and 18 strikeouts as he managed his third consecutive month with an ERA under 1.20 and a WHIP under 0.96.

When August began, Cotham found himself back in Triple-A with the RailRiders. In the first week he would tossed 3.2 shutout innings with two strikeouts. In the second week he would strike out three batters in 3.0 innings over two appearances. He would be recalled to New York and pitch against the Twins on the 17th, where he would struggle as Minnesota scored four runs in 2.0 innings against him as they hit two home runs. He would return to Triple-A for the remaining two weeks of August. In four appearances he would struggle, allowing three runs in 4.2 innings with three walks and three strikeouts. In 13.1 innings overall he posted a 4.73 ERA with three walks and nine strikeouts.

When the big league rosters expanded in September the Yankees called him up. He was solid down the stretch in limited action. Over 10 games he would allowed three runs in 6.0 innings with a walk and six strikeouts.

In what turned out to be his first full season working out of the bullpen, Caleb Cotham set himself up as a solid relief prospect by dominating in the minor leagues. Between Double-A and Triple-A he posted a 2.21 ERA with 61 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 57.0 innings. He did run into some struggles at the big league level over his 9.2 innings.

AA 2.77 26.0 20 1 8 31 1.08
AAA 1.74 31.0 25 1 5 30 0.97
MLB 6.52 9.2 14 4 1 11 1.55

Scouting Report


Fastball | The pitch works in the 92-94 MPH range and has touched 96. The pitch is a bit straight, but can have a little bit of cutting action to it at times.

Slider | It works in the upper 80’s and will reach into the low 90’s at times. It’s an average to slightly above-average pitch, but will flatten out at times and is very hittable when that happens.

Curveball | The pitch works in the mid-to-upper 70’s and is a fringe-average offering.

Caleb Cotham throws plenty of strikes. He’s around the zone with all three of his pitches, though he works mostly with his fastball and slider combo. The curveball usually won’t show up in shorter stints, but finds it’s way into games when he’s out there for more than an inning. Nothing is overly exciting with Cotham, but he’s solid across the board with all that he does. His stuff isn’t good enough to get away with working in the middle of the zone at the big league level, but on the corners of the plate he’s got plenty to work with. He profiles more as a 6th/7th inning reliever, but he should have some sort of big league future.


9 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Given the current state of the Reds bullpen I expect him to start the year in Cincinnati so guys with a little more upside and youth (Weiss, Johnson) can start in AAA and get a little more seasoning vs rushing them up to the big leagues and losing another year of control. Six years of Cotham takes him through his age 33 season.

    • Jasonp

      I was hopping for a better top end playing in the Chapman deal but if Cotham turns out to be a decent reliever the trade could end up pretty good. 6 years of a cheep bullpen arm is very valuable.

      I think as more time goes on I may end up liking the Chapman trade more then I have. The dream of someone’s top player went away with Chapman’s actions and by not trading him earlier.

      Chapman is amazing but it was only going to be one more year with him on a team that isn’t good enough to contend. So really if any of them gives us 6 years of service it would be a trade I would be happy with.

  2. Cbus

    The Reds lineup shouldn’t be that bad, if we still have Votto/Mes/Bruce/Phillips/Suarez in the middle of the order. Bruce will need to rebound some, Mes will need to stay healthy and Suarez needs to prove he wasn’t a fluke. Maybe that is to many Ifs but it seems decent on paper.

    I think the starting pitching in 2016 has way more question marks. We have no #1, probably don’t have a legit #2(Maybe Homer), we have a couple #3 starters(Desclafani & Iglesias) and then the rest are talented but un-proven. I don’t see how our starters are going to be able to keep the Reds in games.

    Bullpen can’t be any worse than last year.

    • The Duke

      I think Iglesias can be more than a 3. He may not be a Cueto, but I think he can be a front of the rotation arm. By the end of 2016, assuming health (a big assumption, I know), the rotation should look like:


      If we can move Lorenzen and Finnegan into the bullpen, added to what we have and if Zach Weiss and/or Stephen Johnson are for real, the pitching could look pretty strong going into 2017.

      2017 Staff

      1. Raisel Iglesias
      2. Homer Bailey
      3. Robert Stephenson
      4. Anthony Desclafani
      5. Cody Reed

      LR: Keyvious Sampson
      MR: Zach Weiss/Stephen Johnson/Blake Wood/Chris O’Grady/Jumbo Diaz
      MR: Caleb Cotham
      MR:Tony Cingrani
      RHSU: JJ Hoover
      LHSU: Brandon Finnegan
      CL: Michael Lorenzen

      • RobL

        Lorenzen is going to have to start missing a helluva a lot more bats if he is going to close. But your sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly. The staff should be ready to compete in ’17.

      • another bob in nc

        Duke – Always enjoy your posts. Did I miss something? Where do you have Lamb?

      • Cbus

        We might be waiting a long time for the next Cueto. I can’t remember a better Reds pitcher since Jose Rijo…so maybe we get another Cueto in 20 years.

      • The Duke

        D’oh, forgot about Lamb, he’d be more ideal as the long reliever in this scenario than Sampson.

        And we’d still have Travieso, Garrett, Davis, Romano, Mella, Mahle, Stephens, and Strahan in the upper minors (by 2017) as well. I think Mella, Romano, and Strahan end up in the bullpen because of all the depth.