Empire State Yankees L 3-0
Not a good start for the team with a new name. Only one hit for the team by Raymond Kruml who hit a double. Pena had an error on a throw.
|Manny Delcarmen (L, 0-1)||1.2||1||3||1||4||2||0||5.40|
Trenton Thunder L 5-3
Doubles: Mustelier (1, Hutchison), Almonte, A (1, Hutchison). Rbi’s: Mustelier (1), Mesa 2 (2). Zolio Almonte had 4 Strikeouts. Ouch!
|Shaeffer Hall (L, 0-1)||4.0||7||4||3||2||3||0||6.75|
Tampa Yankees L 8-5
Kelvin Castro had 2 hits in the game. Players to have RBI’s were Castro, K (1), Mojica (1), Murphy, JR (1), Roller (1).
|Vidal Nuno (L, 0-1)||2.0||4||2||2||0||2||0||9.00|
Charleston River Dogs was suspended because of rain
Mason Williams did lead off with a triple though. Oh well.
Hello all and welcome to another installment of Spanning the Yankee Blogs. If you’re new to the site, every week, I link the best articles out there in the Yankee “blogosphere”.
Enjoy the links……..
* An A-Blog for A-Rod has released their Top Yankee Prospects as well. Here is 5 through 1.
* Bleeding Yankee Blue opines that Boras will mess things up for Edwin Jackson.
* NY Baseball Digest feels that Matt Garza is worth the asking price.
* Pinstripe Alley details what to make of Anaheim’s spending splurge.
* River Ave Blues thinks out loud about Ryan Madson.
* Road to Yankee Stadium has an interview with Yankees Pitching Prospect Shaeffer Hall.
* The Captain’s Blog says MLB’s loose lips could sink PED Policy.
* The Yankee Analysts discuss the realistic expectation for Ivan Nova in 2012.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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 Mitchell – RHSP, 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 Notables: Walter 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
Well, another potential #2-type starter- Mat Latos – has been traded while Brian Cashman does nothing. Cash has not made a significant move to bring in a new pitcher since the failed Javy Vazquez trade in 2009. Since the 2010 season when both Vazquez and A.J. Burnett proved they were enormous busts, the Yankees have had a glaring need for another top of the rotation starter. The need increased after Andy Pettitte’s retirement.
Despite the obvious need and Cashman’s own admission that “pitching, pitching, pitching” has been his #1 target, he has not made any significant additions, electing to rely on what is in the system and going for low-risk veterans like Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon & Kevin Millwood. While Cashman continues to complain about the price, we have seen more than a dozen potential top of the rotation arms change teams. Cliff Lee (twice), Dan Haren, Zack Greinke, Shawn Marcum, Matt Garza, CJ Wilson, Trevor Cahill, Mark Buehrle, Doug Fister, Ubaldo Jimenez, Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt, Yu Darvish (likely) & Mat Latos have all been moved since the Yanks have been in the market so what is Cashman waiting for?
Each one of the above pitchers have had their own set of circumstances but to see that many starters being moved, it is really mind-boggling that Cashman has been unable to make any moves. The Yanks seem to have the 2 most necessary things needed to acquire a SP – plenty of cash and a stocked Farm System. But if we look in-depth at what has prevented the Yankees from completing a deal, these seem to be the biggest obstacles:
- Cashman has been very reluctant to part with his top prospects. All trade partners have asked for 1 or more of Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances & Eduardo Nunez. Cashman was willing to trade Montero for Lee but things stalled when Seattle also insisted on Nunez. Lately Cashman has rebuffed any and all offers for Montero & Banuelos and I think he is right in doing so. Unless a truly elite arm with multiple years of team control becomes available, those 2 should stay.
- Teams have not accepted or Cash has been unwilling to trade his next level of prospects. It seems to me that the Yanks have plenty of guys besides the big 4 mentioned above that teams would be interested in. Romine & Gary Sanchez are both highly regarded Catchers that project to be MLB starters. They also have 4 ready or nearly-MLB ready pitchers in Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, David Phelps & DJ Williams. In addition there are many strong hitting prospects in Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Dante Bichette, Ravel Santana, Tyler Austin, etc but they are all in the lower levels of the system.
- The team is working under a stricter budget. While Cashman always had a budget to work with, he knew he could always go over it if he felt a move really helped the team. But money has been a reason why the Yanks haven’t made offers to most Free Agent pitchers lately. While the budget doesn’t preclude Cash from signing a big Free Agent, it makes it much more important that he is right when he gives out the next big deal. If they want to get under the $189M Luxury tax threshold in 2014 and stay competetive, they will not be able to eat another $80M mistake like AJ Burnett or ~$40M blunders like Igawa, Pavano, Wright or Soriano.
- Could Cashman be gun-shy? As mentioned above, the Yankees have often been wrong on their big money pitching acquisitions. I don’t believe Brian is afraid of making a mistake, however I do think he’s starting to become too rigid. I understand not wanting to trade Montero & Banuelos, but I would trade anyone else in the system to upgrade the pitching. I’d rather overpay a bit for a proven #2 and challenge for the World Series, than to do nothing and get knocked out early again in 2012. He must remember that most prospects don’t pan out and there are only so many openings in the Bronx for them anyway. Use your farm system while its strong!
Based on what is left on the market, I think FAs Kuroda & Oswalt should be targets. Signing Kuroda and dumping AJ Burnett for any salary relief would be a big improvemet. If Oswalt would consider a 1 or 2 yr deal, he’d also be an option. On the trade front, I agree with not trading Montero & Banuelos for Gio Gonzalez or John Danks, but I think some combo of Betances, Nunez, Romine, Sanchez, Noesi, etc should be enough to get one of those pitchers.
The Reds got a great young, team-controlled pitcher in Mat Latos but also gave up a lot of talent. If the Yanks were to match the Reds package, it likely would have been something like Montero, Sanchez or Romine, Noesi or Warren & Hughes or Joba. That’s a heavy price to pay. If the Padres offered you Latos for that package would you have done it? And what do you think of what Cashman has done the past 2 years? Is he correct to do nothing?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
RHP – Bryan Mitchell – 20, 6’2″ 175
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
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.
As with many A – ball teams, the Tampa Yankees saw a lot of turnover on their roster throughout the season. Despite all the changes they finished 74-64 in the 12-team Florida State League. They were led by an offense that finished 3rd in Runs scored & 2nd in Batting Average. Tampa’s pitching staff finished 10th with a 3.98 team ERA.
The team went through a lot of changes during June. It’s three top hitters, 3B Robert Lyerly, OF Deangelo Mack and CF Zoilo Almonte were promoted to AA Trenton and were eventually replaced by Kyle Roller, Rob Segedin, Slade Heathcott & JR Murphy from Low A Charleston. Unfortunately, Slade & Murph had there seasons cut short by injury and Roller and Segedin had some trouble adapting to the more advanced pitchers.
Abraham Almonte – CF, 22, 5’9″ 205
Almonte is a well-built switch-hitter who finished the season on fire with a 30-game hitting streak. He was hitting a pathetic .218/.294/.280 with 12 XBH at the midpoint of the season but was .314/.369/.475 with 30XBH in the 2nd half to finish at .268 with 30 sbs. Almonte has a plus glove and great speed and shows flashes of being a dynamic offensive player but he’s been wildly inconsistent throughout his career so it remains to be seen if he can build on his huge 2nd half.
Kyle Roller – 1B, 23, 6’1″ 235
Roller’s a big lefty hitter drafted in the 8th rd in 2010 because he can stroke and he did just that in 2011. He was roping in Charleston to start the season with a .925 OPS that got him promoted after 50 games. He held his own against better pitching to finish the season at .284/.371//482/.854 with 31 doubles & 16 HRs in 110 games.
Rob Segedin – 3B, 22, 6’3″ 220
Like Roller, Segedin was drafted in the 3rd rd of 2010 for his stick. He began mashing in CHS with an .878 OPS but he did not hit in Tampa after his promotion with a .245/.311/.309 slash in 52 games. It doesn’t damper his upside as a productive hitting corner IF or OF. His season total was a respectable .287/.358/.403.
Deangelo Mack – LF, 24, 5’10” 190
Mack had a solid year for Charleston and even played 40 games for Trenton from May to July when Melky Mesa was injured. He hit .248/.357/.388 for Trenton but was a .300 hitter in his 59 games for CHS. Overall, he hit .280/.361/.436 with 8 HRs among his 31 xtra base hits. Mack has a good feel for the strike zone and a nice lefty stroke but doesn’t have good power or speed for a corner OF which may hurt his future value.
Walter Ibarra – 2B, 23, 5’11” 180
Ibarra is in his 6th season in the organization and he repeated the FSL despite hitting .301 last yr. This yr he had his best season hitting .297-.333-.421 with 10 sbs and 33 xbh. The Yanks have a lot of talented 2B in the system rated higher than Ibarra so his future may be as a utility player.
Brett Marshall – RHP, 21, 6’0″ 195
Marshall was given an $850,000 signing bonus as a 6th rounder in 2008 but underwent Tommy John Surgery in July 2009. He came back to throw 84 innings last yr and looked good. He got off to a poor start in April this season but rebounded to have a great yr as he got stronger in his 2nd year from TJ surgery. Since May1, he went 8-4 2.87 with 100 Ks in 119 IP and saw a big uptick in his stuff and Ks in the 2nd half.
Brett threw a career high 140.1 IP this season which is big having never thrown more than 87. He proved his arm is healthy. Overall, he was 9-7 with a 3.78 ERA , 3.24 FIP, 7.3 K/9 & 3.1 BB/9. He has a good 2-seam fastball he used to post a 1.88 GO/AO ratio. His FB is in the low 90s with ability to throw in the mid 90s and he also features the makings of a plus slider. The organization has to be pleased with his season and they will likely have him begin in AA Trenton next yr. Look for Marshall to be a highly rated prospect in upcoming rankings.
Jairo Heredia – RHP, 21, 6’1″ 190
Heredia has been a highly ranked prospect for years but is terribly injury prone. Many had given up on him but he returned this season and showed the talent by going 8-2 3.29 with 9.0 k/9 & 2.1 bb/9 through June. However, he was then placed on the DL never to return. He’s still only 21 and has excellent command to go along with a plus Curveball and low 90s fastball with movement but he has not shown any durability.
Ryan Flannery – RHP, 25, 6’4 245
Dominating yr as the team’s closer going 3-1 with 19 saves and a 1.24 ERA. Had a 7 to 1 K to BB rate and 2.30 Ground Out to Air Out ratio but at 25, he’s very old for this league and needs to prove himself at AA where he didn’t fare well allowing 16 baserunners in 5 IP.
Jose Quintana – LHP, 22, 6’0″ 170
Quintana began the season as a reliever and did so well they made him a starter in July. Overall, he finished with a 10-2 record, 2.91 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 7.8 k/9, 2.5 bb/9 and 1.16 GO/AO rate. His strikeout ad groundball numbers were better as a reliever but that is true for most pitchers. Jose is a bit of an unknown not getting a lot of coverage prior to this season. He sits n the 89-91 range and throws a curve & change.
Michael O’Brien – RHP, 21, 5’11” 185
O’Brien pitched well in Low A so was brought up in late June and continued his success in Tampa. Combined he finished 7-7 with a 3.16 ERA with 99 Ks in 119 IP. He saw a big drop in his Ks after his promotion and was shut down for the season in mid-August
Almost all of the Yankees minor league affiliates have finished their 2011 season. It’s time to take a look at how each team fared and, more importantly, which individual players stood out by showing skills that could make them move up the ladder successfully. First up, we’ll look at the Rookie level Gulf Coast Yankees.
The GCL Yanks won the Gulf Coast League title and finished 37-23. This team was a blend of young foreign-born players making their debuts in the U.S. and players drafted out of high school in 2010 & 2011. Their lineup was stacked with 6 of the league’s top 14 hitters in batting average and smashed their way to the title. As a team they had a .298/.378/.466/.843 line which was by far the best in the 15 team league in all 4 categories. They also led with 116 stolen bases & 6.5 Runs per game to give their pitchers a lot of support.
The staff had a 4.31 ERA which was 10th in the league. When you consider how dominant the offense was, the team’s ERA may be skewed a bit since they pitched with so many leads.
Taylor Morton RHP, 19 –
Was the team’s top pitcher finishing 2nd in the league with a 1.98 ERA. Morton has excellent potential and is making the Yanks look good for giving him an overslot bonus of $450,000 as a 9th round pick in 2010. He’s got a sturdy 6’3″ 200 lb frame that generates low 90’s velocity. Morton already possesses 2 traits that are rare in a young pitcher – a plus change up and good command. His command translated to a 35 to 8 strikeout to walk rate and he’s only allowed 1 HR in 50 ip. The impressive 19-yr old was brought up to Staten Island to finish the season.
Gabe Encinas – RHP, 19
Another overslot HS pitcher taken in last yrs draft. Encinas got $300,000 as a 6th rounder and went 3-0, 5.08 era. He struck out 46 and walked 18 in 51.1 ip.
Evan Rutckyj – LHP, 19
A big 6’5″ 213 lb lefty from Canada. The 19 yr old got a huge $500,000 bonus as a 16th rd pick and went 5-3, 4.76 with 37 Ks & 24 bb in 45.1 ip. Evan generated a lot of ground balls with an impressive 1.76 GO/AO ratio. He finished the season strong going 3-0, 2.25 and will be a very interesting pitcher to follow as a big, strong lefty who gets ground balls.
Dante Bichette – 3B, 18
Led the way offensively finishing with a .342/.446/.505/.951 line. He led the league in Hits (67), Doubles (17) and RBI (47) and was second in Average & OBP. The things that are most impressive are his 12.5% Walk Rate ad 17.1 K rate. This indicates a very clear understanding of the strike zone and ability to make contact. He had a solid .163 iso and he projects to have plus-plus power as he continues to develop. He’s been brought up to Staten Island and promptly homered his first game. Most scouts project him as a corner OF but he played a solid 3B with only 6 errors to lead all 3B in fielding %. Bichette’s dominating debut has answered many who criticized the team for taking him as their top pick (51st overall) this year.
So far he’s done everything right. He quickly agreed to a $750,000 bonus and got a full pro season under his belt while most top picks were still negotiating. When he got off to a poor start, he made some mechanical adjustments on his own to adapt to the harder throwing pitchers in pro ball. As someone who grew up around MLB, he seems to have the perfect blend of work ethic, baseball smarts and pure ability that will lead to success. Hopefully, he will be like other sons of MLB players like Ken Griffey, Barry Bonds, Prince Fielder, etc. who have even better careers than their illustrious fathers.
Ravel Santana – OF, 19
Although Bichette gets most of the attention, Santana may be the most talented player from this team and perhaps in the whole GCL. Unfortunately his season was cut short by a nasty broken angle and torn ligaments. 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. If he makes a full recovery and starts to add strength to his frame, he could be a special player.
Daniel Lopez – OF, 19
Lopez began the year in the Dominican Lg but was called to make his U.S. debut and didn’t disappoint. The tall, slender (6’2, 175) speedster hit .305 with 22 sbs in 47 games. He had a solid .167 ISO with 18 extra base hits. He was promoted to Charleston at the end of the season .
Juan Rosario – SS, 19
After 2 sub par seasons in the DSL, he came to the states and had a great year hitting .331/.372/.529/.901 and 11 sbs in 43 games. He had an impressive .417 woba but needs to be more selective as he only walked 3.2% of the time. But as they say about Dominican Players, you can’t walk off the island.
Claudio Custodio – 2b, 20
Custodio was 4th in the GCL with a .433 obp and led the league with 26 sbs in 28 attempts. He was 7th in hitting with a .325 average. He didn’t hit for much power with a .089 iso but his biggest problem was he committed 17 errors in just 39 games…ouch.
Isias Tejada – C, 19
Here’s the next name to add to the Yankees long line of quality Catching prospects. Tejada mashed to a .331/.404/.568/.971 line. That .971 OPS was 3rd in the league and he only struck out 12% of the time showing he makes consistent and hard contact.
Yeicock Calderon – OF, 19
Calderon came to the GCL with a big reputation. The Yanks signed him for $650,000 in 2008 and he tore up the Dominican League the last 2 years. But he struggled to make contact with a ghastly 33.1% strikeout rate and 4.9% walk rate which led to a .225/.264/.457/.721 line. He showed some of his power potential with 11 2bs, 3 3bs & 6 hrs for a .232 iso.
Trenton L 3-2
2B: Mesa (16, Packer).
3B: Sublett (4, Packer).
TB: Pirela; Joseph, Co; Almonte, Z; Mesa 3; Gil; Sublett 3; Mack.
RBI: Sublett (16), Maruszak (39).
|Romanski (L, 0-1)||1.2||1||1||1||0||2||1||1.65|
Charleston L 7-3
2B: Feliz (26, Mueller), Mojica (20, Mueller).
HR: Sanchez, G 2 (14, 6th inning off Mueller, 1 on, 2 out; 8th inning off Sitton, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Toussen; Feliz 3; Flores; Sanchez, G 9; De Leon, K; Mojica 2.
RBI: Sanchez, G 3 (47).
|Evarts (L, 1-5)||3.2||7||5||5||2||5||0||5.65|
Staten Island L 13-5
2B: Stevenson (7, Krasne), Gumbs (8, Krasne).
HR: Gamel (1, 3rd inning off Colon, 0 on, 2 out), Stevenson (3, 8th inning off Rucinski, 0 on, 0 out), Grice (1, 9th inning off Dischler, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Williams, M; Gamel 5; Grice 5; Gumbs 2; Nunez, R; Stevenson 6.
RBI: Gamel (18), Williams, M (20), Nunez, R (25), Stevenson (22), Grice (11).
|Martinez, R (L, 2-1)||3.0||6||6||1||2||2||0||5.35|
Gulf Coast Yankees W 8-5
2B: Santana, R (8, Creasy).
TB: Custodio; Santana, R 5; Bichette; Taveras, D; Duran 2; Jones; Lopez, Da; Anderson, T.
RBI: Anderson, T (8), Santana, R 2 (27), Bichette (34), Pena, H (6), Valera, J (22), Taveras, D (11)
|Cruz, D (W, 4-0)||5.0||1||1||0||1||3||0||7.01|
|Maines (S, 1)||1.0||1||0||0||1||0||0||2.25|
SWB W 3-2
2B: Krum (10, Carpenter).
HR: Montero (11, 1st inning off Mathieson, 0 on, 2 out), Laird (11, 4th inning off Mathieson, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Montero 6; Lamb; Laird 5; Krum 2.
RBI: Montero (51), Laird (51), Russo (42).
|Schmidt (W, 5-2)||2.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.05|
|Carlyle (H, 6)||1.0||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.17|
|Whelan (S, 21)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.06|
Trenton L 3-2
TB: Kruml; Sublett; Romine; Almonte, Z; Mujica 2.
RBI: Romine (44), Kruml (31).
|Betances (L, 4-6)||4.0||6||3||3||4||5||0||3.57|
Tampa L 10-3
TB: Almonte, A; Brewer; Roller 2; Murton; Johnson, C; Rabago; Landoni.
RBI: Roller (14), Landoni (15), Murton (53).
|Black, S (L, 6-7)||5.0||7||7||6||0||2||5||6.46|
2B: De Leon, K (13, Kern).
HR: Sanchez, G (12, 2nd inning off Tago, 0 on, 1 out), Flores (11, 9th inning off Kern, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Mahoney; Sanchez, G 4; Flores 4; De Leon, K 3; Mojica.
RBI: Sanchez, G 2 (44), Flores 2 (52), Lassiter (20).
|Allen, S (L, 4-2)||4.0||12||9||9||0||2||4||7.44|
Staten Island W 7-4
2B: Nunez, R (14, Radeke).
3B: Culver (2, Radeke), Gumbs (4, Sides).
HR: Williams, M (3, 1st inning off Radeke, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Williams, M 6; Culver 4; Gumbs 3; Nunez, R 3; Liccien.
RBI: Williams, M 2 (19), Nunez, R (24), Gamel (17), Gumbs (26).
|Lewis (W, 4-0)||1.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4.80|
|Wetherell (S, 2)||2.0||2||0||0||1||3||0||1.10|
Gulf Coast Yankees L 6-3
2B: Santana, R (7, Briceno, E).
3B: Anderson, T (2, Briceno, E).
TB: Rosario, J; Santana, R 3; Tejeda, I; Anderson, T 3.
RBI: Santana, R 2 (25).
|Hinojosa (L, 0-1)||1.0||3||3||3||0||0||0||2.53|
Trenton L 7-6 F/11 innings
2B: Suttle (18, Rosenberg).
HR: Kruml (5, 1st inning off Rosenberg, 0 on, 0 out), Suttle (9, 1st inning off Rosenberg, 0 on, 1 out), Pirela (7, 9th inning off Zeid, 2 on, 1 out).
TB: Kruml 6; Suttle 6; Mesa; Lyerly; Pirela 4; Sublett.
RBI: Kruml (24), Suttle 2 (45), Pirela 3 (32).
|Venditte (L, 2-5)||0.1||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.28|
SWB L 3-1
2B: Tiffee (7, DeVries), Nunez, L (6, Hoey).
TB: Krum; Tiffee 3; Vazquez; Pilittere 2; Nunez, L 2; Bernier.
RBI: Bernier (17).
|Pendleton (L, 2-3)||5.0||3||3||3||1||3||2||3.03|
Trenton L 8-5
2B: Joseph, Co (27, Esposito).
HR: Kruml (4, 5th inning off Esposito, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Kruml 6; Joseph, Co 2; Mesa 2; Pirela.
RBI: Mesa 2 (20), Mack (17), Gil (23), Kruml (23).
|Garrison, St (L, 2-6)||5.0||11||7||5||1||2||1||6.97|
Many of the games were rained out tonight. Only two games to look at.
Trenton L 6-1
2B: Joseph, Co (26, Cloyd), Kruml 2 (9, Cloyd, Zeid).
TB: Kruml 5; Joseph, Co 3; Romine; Johnson, C; Lyerly.
RBI: Romine (36).
|Banuelos (L, 3-3)||5.0||8||5||4||1||3||0||3.53|
Charleston L 6-5
2B: Feliz (17, Pettit), Ferraro (4, Pettit), Flores (17, Walters).
HR: Sanchez, G (9, 3rd inning off Pettit, 0 on, 1 out), Flores (8, 5th inning off Pettit, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Toussen 3; Feliz 3; Sanchez, G 5; Flores 6; Farnham; Ferraro 4.
RBI: Sanchez, G (31), Feliz (23), Flores 2 (40).
|Kahnle (L, 1-3)||2.0||1||1||1||4||4||0||3.98|
SWB L 7-5
2B: Laird (17, Schwinden), Tiffee (6, Schwinden).
HR: Golson (5, 7th inning off O’Connor, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Dickerson; Golson 4; Tiffee 2; Laird 4; Parraz; Molina.
RBI: Laird 3 (41), Molina (12), Golson (25).
|Kontos (BS, 1)(L, 2-1)||1.0||4||3||3||1||1||2||2.35|
Tampa W 7-1
2B: Grote (11, Rhee).
HR: Castro, K (4, 1st inning off Rhee, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Castro, K 5; Murton; Medchill; Segedin 2; Grote 2; Landoni 2.
RBI: Castro, K 2 (24), Segedin (6), Grote 2 (25), Murton (36).
|O’Brien (W, 1-2)||5.0||1||0||0||2||2||0||3.60|
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)
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
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)
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)
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)
While he had already committed to play baseball for the University of Maryland, he has passed on his commitment and instead signed a contract reportedly worth $954K with the Yankees. Culver stands 6 feet tall and weighs 172 lbs. He is a switch-hitter who can also play in the outfield. 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.