An effective reliever for four college seasons at Southern California, Kriske commanded a $100,000 bonus as a priority senior sign in the sixth round of the 2016 Draft. He blew out his elbow two months after turning pro, requiring Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for all of ‘17. He took off once he developed a splitter, claiming a spot on the Yankees’ 40-man roster after the ‘19 season and making his big league debut in July 2020.
Kriske's fastball topped out at 96 mph in college and averaged 91 mph when he first came back from elbow reconstruction surgery, but he now sits around 95 mph. His four-seamer rides up in the strike zone and pairs well with his 84-88 mph splitter, which bottoms out at the plate. A true three-pitch reliever, he also has a low-80s slider that he primarily uses against right-handers.
Kriske hides the ball well with a short arm action that enables his pitches to get on hitters quicker than they expect. In order to claim a full-time job as a middle reliever in New York's bullpen, he'll need to do a better job of challenging hitters and throwing strikes. His control always has been fringy at best and he walked seven of the 22 big leaguers he faced last summer.