Kaprielian was regarded as one of the top prospects in the 2015 MLB draft, and the New York Yankees selected him 16th overall in the first round.
He signed with the Yankees for a $2.65 million signing bonus and spent his first professional season with both the GCL Yankees and the Staten Island Yankees, posting a combined 0-1 record and 3.97 ERA in 11+13 innings.
In 2016, Kaprielian was invited to spring training as a non-roster player.
He started the season with the Tampa Yankees, but due to an elbow injury, he only appeared in three games.
James Kaprielian’s elbow injury persisted in 2017, and he began the season on the disabled list. He had Tommy John surgery on April 13, 2017, to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament, which put him out for the year.
James Kaprielian was traded to the Oakland Athletics on July 31, 2017, along with fellow prospects Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler, for Sonny Gray. After the 2018 season, the Athletics added him to their 40-man roster.
James Kaprielian debuted at High-A Stockton on May 19, 2019. Before the Athletics promoted him to Double-A Midland on July 23, he had a 4.46 ERA in 36.1 innings with a 43:8 K-to-BB ratio.
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