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Minor Night Cap: Tampa not so good, Charleston wins

Empire State Yankees – PPD

Tampa Yankees L 10-5

PTF J.R. Murphy – 1H, 1RBI, 1BB, 1K, .240

Eduardo Sosa – 1H (triple), 1Rbi, 1K, .238

Ramon Flores – 1R, 1H, 1K, .248

Rob Segedin – 1R, 3H (double), .314

Neil Medchill – 1H (triple), 1RBI, 1K, .262

Kyle Higashioki – 1R, 1H (2 run homer), 2RBI, 1K, .200

Kyle Roller – 1H, 1K, .200

Garrison Lassiter – 2R, 2H (double), 1K, .154

Kelvin Castro – 1H, 1K, .195

Pitching
PTF Nik Turley (DNP)

Sean Black (L, 0-1) – 2.2IP, 8H, 6R, 5ER, 1BB, 2K, 5.59era

Dawerd Cruz – 2.1IP, 6H, 3R, 2ER, 1BB, 1K, 7.71era

Alex Smith – 3.0IP, 3H, 1BB, 1K, 0.00era

Matt Bashore – 1.0IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 1K, 9.00era

Charleston River Dogs W 5-4

PTF Dante Bichette Jr. – 3K, .206

Mason Williams – 2R, 1H, 2BB, 2K, .327

Cito Culver – 1BB, 2K, .226

Gary Sanchez – 3H (double), 2RBI, 1K, .354

Tyler Austin – 1K, .314

Benjamin Gamel – 1H, 2K, .238

Angelo Gumbs – 1R, 2H (triple), 1K, .220

Casey Stevenson – 1R, 1H, 1RBI, 1BB, 1K, .410

Kelvin De Leon – 1H (double), 2K, .224

Pitching
PTF Bryan Mitchell (DNP)

Scottie Allen – 6.0IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 6K, 3.77era

Wilton Rodriguez (BS, 1) 1.0IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 1BB, 1HR, 3.27era

Joel De La Cruz (W, 2-0) 2.0IP, 1BB, 2K, 0.00era

Yankees Fans Unite Exculsive Interview with Cito Culver

Jamie F. and myself had the opportunity to have some questions answered by the New York Yankees 1st-round pick of the 2010 draft Cito Culver.  A native of Rochester, New York, Culver’s a switch-hitter who throws right-handed.  Below is our interview  with our questions in BLUE.  Enjoy.

Year PA R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 233 23 51 8 2 18 7 21 51 .251 .325 .330 .655
2011 312 40 69 14 2 33 10 30 57 .250 .323 .337 .660
Totals 545 63 120 22 4 51 17 51 108 .251 .323 .334 .657
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/12/2012.

1) After 2 seasons in short-season ball, what did you do this Winter to prepare for the grind of your first year in full-season ball?

After playing two season of short season ball I realized the toll it takes on your body. The everyday grind was tough to adjust to. This off-season I felt that I had to come into this year in a lot better shape so I was in the weight room more than ever before I’m trying to get my body ready for this long season.

2) You had much better results hitting right-handed last year (.324 BA) – is that your natural side and which side is more comfortable? How long have you been switch-hitting?

Since I was 3. My dad never let me hit from one side without swinging from the other.  If I tried to hit just one way my dad would stop playing with me.

3) Describe your approach at the plate. Do you like to work the count or jump on the first fastball you see?

I try to keep it as simple as I can.  Get a pitch that I can drive and go from there.  Hitting is hard enough to do. I don’t want to make it any harder.

4) You threw 95 MPH in High School. Was there ever a thought of pitching professionally and do you miss taking the mound?

No. I never wanted to pitch. I was just a hard thrower. I like playing everyday. I’ve always wanted to play shortstop.

5) How has your strength and size improved since you were drafted? Have you added weight?

Yes I have.  I’ve gained 8 pounds this off-season. And I feel better than ever.

6) You and the other H.S. kids drafted in 2010 made up the core of the Staten Island Championship team – do you guys talk about moving up together and eventually to New York?

We had a great group of guys and we have been lucky to have success as a team at a young age and we love playing with each other. We all talk about playing with each other over then next few years and how great that would be. But it’s out of our control.

7) Which of your Staten Island teammates impressed you the most?

That team had a lot of bright spots on it. And a lot of the players had something different to offer. Mason (Williams), Ben G.(Gamel), Tyler A.(Austin), Branden P.(Pinder), Bryan M.(Mitchell), Matt T.(Tracy).   These guys are all great players and I look forward to playing with them again.

8) What are your strengths as a hitter and what do you need to work on?

As a hitter I can put the bat on the ball a lot of the time. I don’t swing and miss often but I have a lot to work on. There is always room for improvement. I want to be as good as I can be and still be a student of the game.

9) Same question about your defense – what are your strengths and what do you need to improve?

My strength is my arm I think. But I love playing defense and there still is a lot more I can get better with. I’m excited to learn more about my position and be the best I can possible be.

10) What are your individual goals for this season?

I try to just play to the best of my ability and win. That is the most important thing to me.

11) Any last thoughts to tell the fans of the Yankees?

Just keep watching and cheering the Yankees we aren’t anything without the fans. Best fans in the world.

S2S 2012 Team Prospect Lists: New York Yankees

This article is being syndicated from our friends over at Seedlings to Stars.  I will provide some of the article and at the bottom just click the link to read the rest.  Enjoy!!

With the S2S 2012 Top 100 Prospects List now in the books, it’s time to take a closer look at the future of each team. And that means team prospect lists!

Most minor league sites will do top-10s, top-15s, top-20s, or some other ranking. Last year, to be a bit different, the FanSided team prospect lists (which were done at Call to the Pen, since S2S didn’t exist), instead listed a team’s top prospect at each position (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OFs, 5 SPs, and 2 RPs). This year, we’re keeping that format, but also adding a “Best of the Rest” section that lists the top ten players beyond the positional rankings. That’s 25 players per system, if you’re counting.

New York Yankees

The Yankees system is undoubtedly somewhat down from where it was in years past. Their vaunted “Killer B” trio–Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Brackman–all ran into trouble in 2011, and Brackman ended up released while Betances looks like he may be headed for the bullpen. Jesus Montero was traded away to Seattle, further damaging the top talent, although New York did receive the Northwest League’s top prospect, Jose Campos, in that trade.

There’s still plenty to like here, though. This system has an abundance of two things: upper-minors arms and low-minors bats. Banuelos, Campos, and Gary Sanchez could be excellent contributors even by the lofty standards of Yankee fans.

Position Player Upside: B
Position Player Depth: B-
Pitching Upside: B+
Pitching Depth: B+
System Grade: B

Catcher: Gary Sanchez. You don’t come across a whole lot of 18-year-old catchers with ISOs of .229 in full-season ball. Sanchez also boasts a strong arm and a good eye at the plate, and has superstar potential. He has some major problems with blocking pitches, but at his age, that’s not cause for alarm just yet, and neither is his elevated strikeout rate. At some point, those are going to need to come around, but he’s got plenty of time, and his overall potential is enormous. Grade: A-

Read the rest of this entry

Yankees Top 40 Prospects for 2012

Could Mason Williams be #1 on this list next year?

Based on their recent actions and remarks, it seems the Yankees are serious about sticking to a smaller payroll now and at least through the 2014 season in an attempt to get under the $189 Million Luxury Tax threshold.  In order to do so, the club will need to look  to fill important positions from within and develop both impact and role players.

The Yankees system became known in recent years as being deep in Pitchers and Catchers but lacking in strong position prospects.  This was definitely a weakness identified by Mark Newman & Damon Oppenheimer and they addressed it by adding several solid up the middle athletes and corner players who can rake in the last 2 years.  Now, the system is more well-rounded although there is definitely a lack of upper-echelon hitters in the higher levels of the organization.

The system is still strong in upper level pitching. Even with Nova & Noesi graduating to NY, they still have 5 potential MLB starters in AAA (Banuelos, Betances, Warren, Phelps, DJ Mitchell).  The next level of pitching is led by Brett Marshall and several guys that need to take a step forward in 2012.  Oppenheimer has a history of drafting good college relievers and there are many strong-armed righties in the pipeline who could advance quickly.

Today, I will list the Top 40 with a quick blurb, then will follow-up with more in-depth on the Top 20 or so players in the coming weeks.  Each player has their position, Opening Day 2012 Age & expected level to start season.

1) Jesus Montero – C/DH, 22 – MLB

Has an elite bat that will make him a middle of the order MLB hitter for the next decade+. Rare blend of natural power to all fields with ability to make adjustments and take what pitcher gives him.   Only question is whether he will be anything more than a DH but a .300 hitter with 30 HR power will always find a spot even if he’s eventually a full-time DH.

2) Manny Banuelos– LHSP, 21 – AAA

Manny Banuelos

Had control issues in AA/AAA but most believe it’s just a matter of trying to be too fine as he has solid mechanics and repeats his delivery well.  Threw a career-high 130 innings so will be in line for 150-160 this year and could be ready to pitch for NY in 2nd half.

3) Gary Sanchez – C, 19 – HiA

Has big-time raw power and still growing into his 6’2″ frame.  His defense has been poor but I think he has the athleticism to convert to corner OF or 1B down the line and his bat is definitely strong enough to support such a switch.

4) Dellin Betances – RHSP, 24 – AAA

This is a big year for Betances. At 24, he needs to have a good year in AAA to prove he can pitch in a MLB rotation. Has plus, swing-and-miss stuff but most improve his control to cut down his pitch counts.

5) Mason Williams – CF, 20 – LoA

Dynamic player with plus-plus MLB speed and defense already. He put on a show in rookie ball and if he shows his offensive skills are for real this year in full-season ball, he may vault to #1 on this list next year.

6)  Dante Bichette, Jr. – 3B, 19 – LoA

Drafted for his plus power, he’s shown better defense than was thought. He’s really impressed the organization with his intangibles & makeup – namely his work ethic, advanced approach, knowledge of the game & leadership. Baseball America named him top prospect in Gulf Coast League and VP of baseball operations Mark Newman calls him “a special player and person.”

7) Austin Romine– C, 23 – AAA

His defense behind the plate is MLB-ready now.  His bat isn’t special but will be good enough for him to have a long career as a starting catcher in the bigs.

Phelps is a winner.

8) David Phelps – RHSP, 25 – AAA

Phelps is a winner who knows how to pitch. He’s 38-15 with a 2.61 ERA in his 4 years in the organization. He’s maintained the same solid numbers at every level including a 7.4 K/9 & 2.0 BB/9. Reminds me a little of Ian Kennedy. Missed time with shoulder issue but came back strong in August and was solid in AFL also.

9) Ravel Santana – OF, 19 – LoA

Tremendous physical skill set with power & speed. BA rated the wiry 6’2″ 160 pounder  right behind Bichette as best in the Gulf Coast League after he put up a .425 wOBA. Will have to overcome the broken ankle & torn ligaments he suffered last season so will likely start in extended ST this year.

10) Tyler Austin– 3B, 20 – LoA

Tyler Austin can hit for average and power.

I seem to be in the minority but I  really like this guy. He made his debut in the Gulf Coast and smashed to a .517 wOBA in 20 games, then followed up with .448 wOBA  in Staten Island. Has power to all fields and an advanced approach that helps him drive off-speed pitches. How many 20-year olds can you say that about? BA ranked him 8th best prospect in NY Penn League. Only question mark is his defense at 3B but he’s athletic enough to play the OF if need be. He even stole 18 of 18 bases in just 47 games which tells me he has good instincts and a feel for the game.

11) J.R. Murphy – C/3B, 20 – HiA

Improved his game offensively & defensively before ending season early with leg injury. Rips line drives to all fields and scouts now believe he has the ability to remain as a catcher while also showing the athleticism to play 3B and OF. Could become a very versatile asset in the Majors.

12) Slade Heathcott – CF, 21 – HiA

He’s Gardner-like in the OF right now and has more offensive potential. However, I’m a little concerned with his constant injuries and questionable makeup. To have his speed and get thrown out stealing 17 times in 38 attempts is baffling. But, if he matures and stays healthy, he could be special.

13) Brett Marshall– RHSP, 22 – AA

Brett Marshall

Now fully recovered from his 2009 Tommy John Surgery, he threw career high 140 IP with 3.24 FIP. Has good low 90s sinker and makings of a plus slider. Has flashed mid 90s velocity at times and will be interesting how he does in AA this year.

14) Adam Warren– RHSP,  24 – AAA

Warren is next in a succession of Yankee right handers, behind Nova and Noesi, ready to advance to the majors. He threw 152 IP in AAA with a 3.60 ERA and on a lesser team without depth, he’d have a great chance to make the rotation.

15) Corban Joseph – 2B, 23 – AAA

Has patient approach and nice lefty stroke that generates hard line drives but there are concerns about his defense at 2B and 3B. He had .346 wOBA in Trenton with 38 doubles and 8 triples but doesn’t get the lift and backspin to hit HRs.

16) Zoilo Almonte – OF, 22 – AA

Solid all-around skills. Good defense, speed and power that has improved the last 2 years. Yanks added the switch-hitter to their 40-man to protect him from Rule 5 draft and he could be a candidate to make the team in 2013.

17) Graham Stoneburner – RHSP, 24 – AA

Season was marred by a neck injury that kept him out 2 months and he was never quite effective as excellent debut in 2010. But he still has a great sinking fastball that gets tons of grounders.

18) David Adams – 2B, 24 – AA

The ankle injury he suffered in 2010 lingered all season and the Yankees were very careful with Adams. He played sparingly in only 29 games.  If he’s finally healthy this season he could progress quickly as he has an excellent bat that rips line drives to all fields.

19) Angelo Gumbs– 2B, 19 – LoA

Great up the middle athlete shows lightning quick bat speed and raw power to go with strong arm and nice speed. BA rated him 14th best prospect in NY Penn League where he had .341 wOBA, 4 triples & 11 SB in 220 PAs.

Nik Turley has that Andy Pettitte look down pat.

20) Nik Turley – LHSP. 22 – HiA

6’7″ lefty reminds me a litle of Andy Pettitte.  Took a step forward with 2.51 ERA and 8.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 82 IP in Charleston til a broken hand ended his season after being promoted to Tampa.

21) DJ Mitchell – RHSP, 24 – AAA

Similar to David Phelps, Mitchell is someone who just keeps pitching well and winning. Sinker/slider pitcher with solid change-up could be another back end starter/long-relief candidate.

22) Mark Montgomery – RHRP, 21 – HiA

Overwhelmed hitters with low-mid 90s Fastball and an unhittable slider leading to a 16.4 K/9 and 1.91 ERA as closer in Charleston.  His slider is just unfair to young hitters and he needs to be tested against more advanced hitters to see how quick he can advance.

23) Brandon Laird – 3B, 24 – AAA

Strong defensive 3B with good power but he doesn’t take many walks or hit for much average.  Has also played some 1B & LF so could be a backup candidate in NY.

24) Cito Culver– SS, 19 – LoA

Showed strong arm with smoothness in the field and compact swing from both sides of the plate. BA rated him 6th best prospect in NYPenn League where he hit .250/.323/.337.  He’s a project that will take time to develop his offensive game.

25) Ramon Flores – OF, 20 – HiA

Sweet lefty stroke and patient approach at plate, had .350 wOBA in Charleston. Good OF with strong arm and solid all-around tools. Only 5’10” 160 so should get stronger and develop some pop.

26) George Kontos – RHRP, 26 – MLB

Standard FB/Slider reliever, held RH hitters to a .182 BAA in AAA.  Averages about a strikeout per inning but is a fly-ball pitcher who is prone to HRs.

27) Claudio Custodio – 2B, 21 – LoA

Talented 2B/SS with very good speed.  Hit ball well in GCL and  showed willingness to take a walk.  Hit .325 with .433 OBP and 26 SB in 28 attempts.

28) Tommy Kahnle – RHRP, 22 – HiA

Power reliever had 2.45 FIP in 81 IP with 12.4 K/9 but also 5.4 BB/9. Sits around 93-95 and can dial it up to 96-97 with a developing slider.  Needs to improve his command and secondary pitches.

29) Isias Tejada – C, 20 – LoA

Next in line of promising Yankee catcher prospects, Tejada showed his ability to make good, hard contact with a .971 OPS in the GCL with only a 12% strike out rate.

30) Brandon Pinder – RHRP, 23 – LoA

Dominated mostly younger hitters as closer in Staten Island with 11.0 K/9, 1.4 BB/9 and 1.16 ERA.  Has great command of 94-95 mph Fastball but has no quality secondary pitch yet.

31) Bryan MitchellRHSP, 20 – LoA

Plus stuff but still very raw. Put things together by end of year and shows strikeout (8.6 K/9) and ground-ball stuff (2.19 GO/AO rate)

32) Jose Rosario– SS/2B, 20 – LoA

Hit just as well as teammate Bichette with .331 average and .529 SLG%.  He’s a hacker with a 3.2% Walk rate but he’s caught the attention of the organization and earned a late season promotion to Charleston. Mark Newman stated, “He can run (11 SB in 43 games) and throw. He hit 6 HRs, so he has some ability to impact the ball.  By diligence, he’s turning himself into a quality prospect.”

33) Taylor Morton – RHSP, 20 – LoA

Made impressive debut in GCL. The 6’3″ righty should get stronger and he already possesses a plus change, low 90’s FB and good command.

34) Rob Segedin – 3B, 23 – HiA

Big 3B/OF with strong hitting skills. Earned promotion with .395wOBA at Charleston but struggled some in Tampa. Yanks put him in AFL this Fall where he went .250/.367/.407.

35) Daniel Lopez – CF, 20 – LoA

Another emerging all-around athlete with good speed. Showed power potential this year hitting .327/.413/.490 with 27 SB in 61 games across 3 levels.

36) Jose Ramirez – RHSP, 22 – HiA

Promising arm took a step back this year but still notched strong K rates so stuff is still there.

37) Evan Rutckyj– LHSP, 20 – LoA

Big strong 6’5″ lefty got stronger as the season progressed and generates a lot of ground-balls.

38) Cesar Cabral – LHRP, 23 – MLB

Rule 5 pick from Red Sox system, he’ll have chance to make team in ST as second lefty in pen. Gets a lot of Ks with good Fastball and plus Changeup.

39) Pat Venditte SWRP, 26 – AAA

Doesn’t have dominating stuff but continues to post good overall numbers and solid K rates at every level.  Biggest drawback is he’s a heavy flyball pitcher.

40) Abe Almonte – OF, 22 – AA

Plus defender and baserunner but wildly inconsistent at the plate. Switch-hitter had huge 2nd half, riding a 30-game hitting streak and showing off good extra base hit power.  Needs to prove 2nd half surge was real at AA this year.

Other NotablesWalter Ibarra, Kyle Roller, Zach Nuding, Dan Burawa, Chase Whitley, Ronnie Mustlier, Yeicock Calderon, Robert Lyerly, Melky Mesa, Dan Brewer, Brad Suttle, Jorge Vazquez, Ben Gamel, Gabe  Encinas, Matt Tracy, Zach Wilson, Evan DeLuca, Mikey O’Brien

New Additions to Watch in 2012: Greg Bird, Jake Cave, Matt Duran, Jordan Cote, Justin James, Dan Camarena, Hayden Sharp, Rookie Davis, Miquel Andujar

Minor League Recap – Short Season A Staten Island Yankees

The Short-Season Staten Island Yankees won the regular season 14-team New York Penn League with a 45-28 record and also won the league post-season championship.  They did so with a strong all-around team that was 2nd in team average (.265), 3rd in runs scored and 5th in team ERA (3.50).  The success of the Yanks 2 lowest level teams (Staten Island and Gulf Coast Yanks) proves the success of the latest drafts in 2010 & 2011 and bodes well for the future of the organization.

HITTERS
CF – Mason Williams – 20, 6’0″ 150

Impressive rookie year for Mason Williams

Williams was arguably the best prospect in the entire NY Penn Lg and he did nothing to disappoint with his on-field performance.  He tore up the league finishing 2nd with a .349 average and 1st with 28 stolen bases & 94 Hits. He also finished in the top 10 in OBP (.395), SLG(.469), OPS(.863), Triples(6), Total Bases(126) and Runs(42). Mason is a wiry athlete with plus speed, a plus arm and a smooth left-handed stroke.  He has a good feel for the strike zone but was very aggressive at the plate.

Williams has been compared to Brett Gardner because of his outstanding speed and defense.  He projects to add more power as he grows into his slim frame and could end up being a cross between Gardner & Curtis Granderson.I was impressed to see that despite his immense physical talent, his coaches also regard him as a very hard worker who lives in the batting cage and has an infectious personality.  Be prepared to see Williams in everybody’s Yankee  Top 10 prospect lists this year and with his skill set & work ethic he could rocket through the system. He’s shown the ability to make hard contact so it will be interesting to see how much power he can generate as he starts to add more strength and weight to his 6’0″ 150 lb frame.

1B – Zachary Wilson – 21, 6’1″ 205

Wilson was a 21st round pick out of Arizona State who finished 2nd in the lg with 10 HRs plus a big solo shot for the 1st run in the 2-1 championship game. He hit .256 with a .346 OBP & .456 SLG% but doesn’t do anything particularly well except hit for power.

2B – Angelo Gumbs, 18 – 6’0″ 175

Angelo Gumbs - 2010 2nd round Pick

Gumbs is an athletic, up the middle player taken by the Yanks in the 2010 Draft. He got a $750,000 bonus as a 2nd -rd pick and has flashed all of the tools the team paid for despite tailing off at the end of the season due to injuries. He has great bat speed and a lot of raw power which he used to  hit .264/.332/.406 with 3 HRs. Gumbs showed off his good speed with 11 SBs & 4 triples. This speed may make him better suited as a CF or LF moving forward because he wasn’t great at 2B with 9 errors.

SS – Cito Culver, 19 – 6’0 185

The Yanks were criticized for taking Culver with their 1st pick in 2010 but he’s impressed scouts with his rocket arm and a nice compact swing from both sides of the plate. Like most players right out of HS, he was inconsistent during the season but he showed a good approach at the plate but his poor August had him finish at .250/.323/.337. Cito is going to take a while to develop both offensively & defensively as he must cut down on his 17 errors. One area he is advanced in is his base running, as he shows good instincts and above average speed which he used to steal 10 of 10 bases.

3B – Tyler Austin, 20 – 6’2″ 200

Tyler Austin mashed all year long

Austin was a 13th round pick in 2010’s draft who started the season in the Gulf Coast Lg where he mashed the ball to a .390/.438/.622 clip in 20 games before he was promoted to Staten Island.  He kept on hitting after the promotion in 27 games to finish a combined .354/.418/.579 for a .997 OPS.  Tyler was also a perfect 18 of 18 in Stolen Base attempts.

Leading up to the draft Austin was considered a high ceiling H.S. player with big time power and solid speed & arm strength. But many thought he was a project but he has come out mashing.  Tyler overcame testicular cancer as a teenager and battled back from a broken had last yr.  He also has a reputation as a “gamer”, a hard-nosed type of player.  He sounds a lot like Bichette to me and it seems the Yanks are looking for guys like this based on their recent draft picks. With his MLB power, solid speed & attitude, Austin is one of my favorite prospects and I will be following him closely as he develops.

PITCHERS

RHP – Bryan Mitchell – 20, 6’2″ 175

Raw righthander Bryan Mitchell

Mitchell is a tantalizing prospect with a high ceiling but is still very raw. He has plus stuff but his questionable mechanics and inconsistent arm angle make him a project. The couple of videos I saw of him look like 2 different pitchers. Mitchell had a mediocre season but finished with 4 strong starts at the end of the season during which he gave up 3 ER in 21 IP.  Overall, he went 1-3 with a 4.09 ERA, 8.6 K/9,  4.5 BB/9 & impressive 2.19 GO/AO ratio. The high strikeout & ground ball rates are very encouraging as he is likely to improve his command/control as he refines his mechanics.

LHP – Evan DeLuca – 20, 6’1″ 195

DeLuca is a New Jersey kid who played his HS ball at Immaculata in Somerville where he was picked in the 44th rd of the 2009 draft by the Yankees.  Like Mitchell, he has taunted with his amazing stuff and wild bouts of inconsistency.  I read scouting reports on him in the beginning of the season where he was sitting at 91-93 and topping at 94-95 and was getting excellent results at 3-1 2.19 ERA through July 22.  But later reports had him at 87-89 which led to him getting ripped in his last 4 starts and eventually finish the yr on the DL.

LHP – Matt Tracy – 22, 6’3″ 212

Tracy was a 24th rd pick out of U of Mississippi this yr who had a solid season splitting time as a starter and reliever.  He was 1-2 with a 3.04 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 9.1 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 and 2.26 ground out to Air out ratio. He was the team’s best starter in the post-season going 2-0 including 6 shutout innings of 3-hit ball in the clincher.

RHP – William Oliver – 24, 6’2″ 185

Oliver had a strong season going 5-2 with a 3.45 ERA, 7.5 k/9, 3.7 bb/9 & 1.83 GO/AO rate.  The 35th rd pick in 2010 out of Palomar College is a lot older than most of the players in this league so will need to prove himself at a higher level to show he’s a prospect.

RHP – Branden Pinder – 22, 6’3″ 210

Branden Pinder dominated NYPL hitters

Pinder was a 16th rd pick out of Cal State Long Beach this year and quickly got himself comfortable as Staten Island’s closer.  He used his 94-95 MPH fastball with excellent command to finish 2-2 with 14 saves and a minute 1.16 ERA. He held hitters to a .152 BA and had a 11.0 k/9 & 1.5 bb/9 in 31 ip.  He really has no quality secondary offerings but with command of a mid 90s heater he need only develop one other pitch to advance as a MLB reliever.

Minor Lg Profiles: Bichette, Williams, Gumbs, Santana, Culver

The Yankees have wrapped up their signings from their 2011 Draft class and it seems they had a clear goal going into this Draft/Signing period.     On the pitching side, they continued their recent trend of going with high upside HS arms while also adding experienced college power bullpen arms.  They appeared to focus on adding some good young High School hitting prospects, kids with good size & power upside  but athletic ability that will limit them to corner IF/OF types. This is what many believe to be a weakness within the organization so guys like Dante Bichette, Jake Cave & Greg Bird are welcome additions.

Last year there was a clear focus on athletic, up the middle type position players in the Draft and many of those players are off to good starts in their professional careers. Now that the 2011 Draft class is complete, this is a good time to take a look at how some of the prospects added since last year’s Draft are progressing.

CF – Mason Williams, 19 – 6’0″ 150

Williams is a wiry athlete with plus speed, a plus arm and a smooth left-handed stroke. He was a 4th-rd pick in 2010 but got the team’s highest signing bonus ($1.45M) and he is paying immediate dividends with a whopping .425 wOBA! Mason’s ripping up the NY-Penn Lg, leading the league  in BA (.369), hits (75), Total Bases (105), Triples (6) and is in the top 5 in SB’s (20), OBP% (.414), SLG%(.517) & OPS(.932). Be prepared to see Williams in everybody’s Yankee  Top 10 prospect lists this year and with his skill set he could rocket through the system. He’s shown the ability to make hard contact so it will be interesting to see how much power he can generate as he starts to add more strength and weight to his 6’0″ 150 lb frame.

G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
51 226 32 75 9 6 3 26 20 15 31 .369 .414 .517 .932

2B – Angelo Gumbs, 18 – 6’0″ 175

Gumbs is another athletic, up the middle defender taken by the Yanks in the 2010 Draft. He got a $750,000 bonus as the 2nd -rd pick and has flashed all of the tools the team paid for. He has great bat speed which he’s used to post a solid .368 wOBA, .442 SLG% & .800 OPS. With 11 SBs & 4 triples he’s demonstrated his wheels

G PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
40 176 154 43 8 4 3 26 11 19 43 .279 .358 .442 .800

 3B – Dante Bichette, Jr., 18 – 6’2″ 215

Bichette was the top pick for NY in the 2011 draft. He’s a strong 6’1 215 pound corner IF who is currently playing 3B but profiles as a probable corner OF down the road.  This was another  criticized pick but Dante signed quick and reported to the GCL immediately to try to prove the pundits wrong. Unfortunately he got off to a terrible 3 for 26 start but since July 1st he has hit everything that moves. He’s got a .446w OBA & 175 rc+.He’s shown a very advanced feel for the strike zone (14.5% walk rate) which is a great skill to have for a young power hitter and contributes to his gaudy .344-.458-.519-.976 line.  I’m excited to see how he fares against more advanced pitching as he gets more strikes to hit.

G PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
42 197 157 53 13 3 3 41 3 28 36 .338 .452 .516 .968

OF – Ravel Santana, 19 – 6’2″ 160

Santana spent the last 3 years in the Dominican Lg and made his U.S. debut in the Gulf Coast Lg this summer with a bang. He’s a 6’2″ 160 athlete with speed and power. He showed both these tools with a .273 ISO, .425 wOBA and 9 HRs and 10 sbs in just 40 games. Unfortunately, his awesome season was cut short 2 days ago as he broke his ankle and tore ligaments sliding into 2nd base. Hopefully he will be 100% by next spring because he has that rare power/speed combo that is coveted in young players.

G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
40 184 43 48 11 3 9 29 10 17 40 .298 .363 .571 .934

SS – Cito Culver, 18 – 6’0″ 185

Culver got a lot of boos when the Yanks took him with their 1st pick in 2010. He wasn’t a sexy pick but he’s been exactly what we thought so far  He’s exhibited a solid approach at the plate with solid walk (10.7%) and strikeout rates (17.4%)  hitting .283 with a .358 OBP with  glimpses of power potential when he gets stronger.  Cito’s a raw switch-hitter with solid all-around ability but must cut down on his 14 errors.

G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
53 242 34 60 12 2 2 31 5 26 42 .283 .358 .387 .745

Get to know some of the Minor Guys.

I’m starting a new series that I will do either once a month or every three weeks.  I’m going to spotlights 4 guys in the minors (this time suggest by our very own Dan) and give you as much information as I can find about them.  Hope you enjoy this piece.

1. Zachary Slade Heathcott (OF)

Bats: Left, Throws: Left
Height: 6′ 1″, Weight:190 lb.

Born: September 28, 1990 in Texarkana, Arkansas, US (Age 20)

Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (29th) of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.

Heathcott attended Texas High School. In high school, he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, suffered a knee injury playing for the football team, got kicked off the baseball team for academic reasons

Current Stats

Year Age* Tm G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
2009 18 GCL 3 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .100 .182 .100 .282
2010 19 Cha 76 298 77 16 3 2 30 48 15 10 42 101 .258 .359 .352 .711
2011 20 Tam 1 5 3 0 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 .600 .600 1.200 1.800
2011 20 Cha 52 210 57 11 4 4 16 36 6 7 19 57 .271 .342 .419 .761

2. John R. (JR) Murphy (C)

Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 0″, Weight:190 lb.

Born: May 13, 1991 in Bradenton, Florida, US (Age 20)

Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 2nd round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.

Year Age Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 18 Rk 9 37 33 4 11 2 0 1 7 0 0 3 8 .333 .405 .485 .890
2010 19 A 87 374 330 46 84 15 2 7 54 4 5 36 64 .255 .327 .376 .703
2011 20 A-A+ 73 318 293 34 84 25 0 6 38 2 0 21 42 .287 .330 .433 .764
2011 20 A 63 277 256 31 76 23 0 6 32 2 0 19 38 .297 .343 .457 .800
2011 20 A+ 10 41 37 3 8 2 0 0 6 0 0 2 4 .216 .244 .270 .514

3. Mason Williams (OF)

Bats: Left, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 0″, Weight:150 lb.

Born: August 21, 1991 in Winter Garden, Florida, US (Age 19)

Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 4th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft.

 

 

Year Age Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2009 18 Rk 9 37 33 4 11 2 0 1 7 0 0 3 8 .333 .405 .485 .890
2010 19 A 87 374 330 46 84 15 2 7 54 4 5 36 64 .255 .327 .376 .703
2011 20 A-A+ 73 318 293 34 84 25 0 6 38 2 0 21 42 .287 .330 .433 .764
2011 20 A 63 277 256 31 76 23 0 6 32 2 0 19 38 .297 .343 .457 .800
2011 20 A+ 10 41 37 3 8 2 0 0 6 0 0 2 4 .216 .244 .270 .514

4. Christopher “Cito” S. Culver (SS)

Bats: Both, Throws: Right
Height: 6′ 0″, Weight:185 lb.

Born: August 26, 1992 in Rochester, New York, US (Age 18)

Drafted by the New York Yankees in the 1st round (32nd) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft.

While he had already committed to play baseball for the University of Maryland,[7] he has passed on his commitment and instead signed a contract reportedly worth $954K with the Yankees.[8] Culver stands 6 feet tall and weighs 172 lbs. He is a switch-hitter who can also play in the outfield.[9] Culver is just the second high school shortstop drafted by the Yankees (also C. J. Henry in 2005) in the first round since the club selected Derek Jeter with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 First-Year Player Draft.

Year Age Tm Lev G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 17 2 Teams Rk-A- 56 233 203 23 51 8 1 2 18 7 21 51 .251 .325 .330 .655
2010 17 Yankees Rk 41 179 160 21 43 7 1 2 18 6 13 41 .269 .320 .363 .683
2010 17 Staten Island A- 15 54 43 2 8 1 0 0 0 1 8 10 .186 .340 .209 .549
2011 18 Staten Island A- 17 81 73 7 21 5 0 0 14 1 7 17 .288 .346 .356 .702

 

Short Season Staten Island Roster

While Staten Island invades the Jersey Shore this summer short Season Staten Island started yesterday they lost but hey it’s the first game of the year lets not get crazy yet.  This is your chance if you live in the area to see the future Yankees play and for a cheap cost.  I believe the lowest ticket is just 15 bucks.  On the team is first round pick from last year Cito Culver who is a local kid from Rochester, NY.

Here is a video interview I found of Cito check it out to get to know him.

Here is the Roster

Managers & Coaches
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status
56 Tom Slater Manager 0′ 0″ 0 Active
39 Ty Hawkins Batting Coach L R 5′ 10″ 180 11-08-1967 Active
61 Danny Borrell Pitching Coach L L 6′ 3″ 200 01-24-1979 Active
27 Danilo Valiente Coach 0′ 0″ 0 Active
Pitchers
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
51 Zachary Arneson P R R 6′ 2″ 190 11-17-1988 Active No
26 Evan DeLuca P L L 6′ 1″ 195 03-09-1991 Active No
30 Brett Gerritse P R R 6′ 4″ 220 03-04-1991 Active No
34 Dustin Hobbs P R R 6′ 2″ 200 08-18-1989 Active No
22 Fred Lewis P L L 6′ 2″ 210 12-16-1986 Active No
31 Corey Maines P R R 6′ 0″ 195 10-16-1988 Active No
33 Bryan Mitchell P L R 6′ 2″ 175 04-19-1991 Active No
57 Mark Montgomery P R R 5′ 11″ 205 08-30-1990 Active No
25 William Oliver P R R 6′ 2″ 185 07-04-1987 Active No
Jose Ortegano P L L 6′ 1″ 175 08-05-1987 7-day DL No
58 Robert Paullus P R R 6′ 1″ 190 08-31-1989 Active No
36 Branden Pinder P R R 6′ 3″ 210 01-26-1989 Active No
50 Michael Recchia P R R 6′ 1″ 210 04-02-1989 Active No
35 Matthew Richardson P R R 6′ 1″ 175 05-28-1990 Active No
54 Wilton Rodriguez P R R 6′ 3″ 195 11-06-1990 Active No
52 Francisco Rondon P L L 6′ 1″ 160 04-19-1988 Rehab No
29 Matthew Tracy P L L 6′ 3″ 212 11-26-1988 Active No
43 Philip Wetherell P R R 6′ 5″ 225 10-09-1989 Active No
Catchers
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
Francisco Arcia C S R 6′ 0″ 155 09-14-1989 7-day DL No
13 Jhorge Liccien C R R 6′ 0″ 165 10-10-1990 Active No
12 Nick McCoy C R R 5′ 10″ 180 03-02-1987 Active No
Infielders
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
60 Ali Castillo 3B R R 5′ 10″ 165 06-19-1989 Active No
2 Cito Culver SS S R 6′ 0″ 185 08-26-1992 Active No
21 Angelo Gumbs SS R R 6′ 0″ 175 10-13-1992 Active No
45 Reymond Nunez 1B R R 6′ 4″ 210 09-25-1990 Active No
28 Casey Stevenson 2B L R 6′ 3″ 200 05-18-1988 Active No
Outfielders
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
14 Shane Brown OF R R 5′ 11″ 197 01-11-1988 Active No
24 Benjamin Gamel OF L L 5′ 10″ 156 05-17-1992 Active No
18 Robert Rinard OF R R 6′ 2″ 180 11-09-1988 Active No
59 Mason Williams OF L R 6′ 0″ 150 08-21-1991 Active No