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Random Minor League Notes: 2011 Edition
9 years ago  ::  Sep 06, 2011 - 8:40PM #441
Posts: 32,868

Minor League Players of the week

As the minor league season comes to a close, this will be our  last MLPW of 2011.  However, stay tuned for our Top 20 Prospect list,  which will be posted soon.

David Phelps, 24, RHP, AAA
13 IP, 9 K, 1 BB, 10 H, 1 ER, 0 HR
Notable: Allowed only 2 runs in his last 19.1 innings of work

NoMaas Ranking - 17

Previous 2011 MLPW Wins: None

We close out MLPW with the first win for Scranton's David Phelps this  season.  His strong run over the last couple weeks placed him tops in  the team in starter ERA (3.19) and finished with a 3.69 FIP.  Phelps  only threw 107 innings due to a summer trip to the DL (shoulder), but  2011 was another successful campaign for the Notre Dame product.  The  24-year old continued to flash his control, posting an excellent K/BB of  3.46.  His K/9 of 7.5 is consistent with what he's done at every minor  league level since being drafted in 2008 (14th round).

The knock on Phelps has always been his lack of secondary pitches, but Mark Newman told us that he saw improvements this year.  Phelps came extremely close to getting a call-up this summer, and due to another solid campaign, he's certainly a candidate for a future role in the Bronx in some capacity.

Melky Mesa, 24, RHB CF, AA
.400/.454/.700 in 32 PAs, 1 SB
Notable: 2 HRs

NoMaas Ranking - 20

Previous 2011 MLPW Win - None

Mesa closed out the 2011 season with a big performance, going 12-30  with three doubles and two home runs.  Unfortunately, this strong run to  the finish line could not overcome what was a very underwhelming  campaign.  While the centerfielder has been lauded for his combination  of power and speed, he still hasn't put it all together on a consistent  basis.

At Double-A, Mesa mustered a .251/.329/.404 line, which isn't  terrible, but he didn't show progress in any area.  You also have to  wonder what his results would look like if it wasn't for a .354 BABIP.   In fact, most of his numbers declined in 2011.  His ISO went from .215  to .153.  His SB% went from 77.5% to 58%.  His strikeout rate climbed  from 25.4% to 30%.  His wOBA dropped from .378 to .326.

Overall, the season was a disappointing one for Melky Mesa.

Honorable Mentions:

Tyler Austin, 19, RHB 3B/1B, Short-Season
.400/.428/.700 in 21 PAs, 2 SBs

MLPW v. 17 winner, big numbers this year between GCL & SI, 18/18 SBs too

Corban Joseph, 22, LHB 2B, AA
.406/.457/.625 in 35 PAs

2008 4th round pick, .277/.353/.415 for the season

Vidal Nuno, 24, LHP, A
6 IP, 7 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 HR

Three honorable mentions in a row, the indy league signing posted a 1.38 ERA between SI & Charleston

Mark Montgomery, 21, RHP, A
2 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 HR

Reliever had 41 K in 24.1 IP at Charleston (15.2 K/9!), 1.31 FIP

9 years ago  ::  Sep 07, 2011 - 5:44PM #442
Posts: 66,015

Greg Bird named number two prospect in Cal Collegiate League


Baseball America continues to plug along with their lists of the top  prospects in the various wood bat summer leagues, and they recently  named Yankees fifth rounder Greg Bird as the number two prospect in the  Cal Collegiate League. Bird, a high schooler catcher/first baseman from  Colorado, signed for $1.1M on deadline day and was playing with college kids this summer.

The article is subscriber-only,  unfortunately, so I can’t give away too much. They do praise Bird for  his “above-average raw power from the left side” and the way he “excels  at driving balls middle-away.” His work ethic is also considered a plus.  However, Bird is still considered a first baseman long-term, mostly  because he lacks the agility to stick behind the dish. The Yankees  didn’t give him that much money for his glove, though. Sixth rounder  Jake Cave was recently named the top prospect in the Coastal Plains League.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Sep 07, 2011 - 6:57PM #443
Posts: 32,868

Warren, Phelps, and Banuelos to join Yankees (kinda)

By Via Josh Norris,  the Yankees will bring Adam Warren, David Phelps, and Manny Banuelos to  New York for the upcoming Red Sox series (Sept. 23rd-25th). They won’t  be added to the roster though, instead they’ll just workout with the  team and observe the series from the stands. The Yankees do this pretty  much every year with their top non-40-man roster prospects, giving them a  taste of the big league life without actually letting them live the big  league life. The fact that Dellin Betances is not included suggests he  might be getting a legit call-up soon, but that’s far from confirmed. ·

9 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2011 - 8:46AM #444
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Sending 3 More to Arizona Fall League

The Yankees have already committed to sending four players to the Arizona Fall League and now it has been announced that they will be sending three more, right handed pitchers Daniel  Burawa, Preston  Claiborne, and Chase  Whitley.

All three pitchers are right handed  relievers who had pretty good seasons in the minor leagues. Burawa and  Whitley finished in High-A Tampa and Claiborne finished in Double-A  Trenton.

They are a promising trio of relievers  that will begin to approach major league ready some time next season.  The Yankees are likely just getting them some extra innings in the AFL  and maybe even showing them off to other clubs a bit.

9 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2011 - 8:35PM #445
Posts: 66,015

IFA: Yankees sign Alvaro Noriega for $175k


Via the Dominican Prospect League,  the Yankees have signed 16-year-old Colombia catcher Alvaro Noriega for  $175k. He was supposedly the best catching prospect in the league this  season, showing “major improvement in blocking, receiving and throwing  accuracy behind the dish. ” At the plate, the 6-foot-1, 180 pounder is  said to make good contact from gap-to-gap with occasional power. The  Yankees have been hoarding catching prospects for years now, which isn’t  a bad thing given the position scarcity.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Sep 13, 2011 - 4:36PM #446
Posts: 66,015

Bichette Jr. named GCL MVP

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Sep 13, 2011

The Yankees just passed along a press release announcing that their top
pick in this year’s draft has been named MVP of the GCL…

The Gulf Coast League today announced that Dante Bichette Jr., who  hit .342 and led the league with 47 RBIs, 67 hits and 17 doubles has  been named its Most Valuable Player. Bichette, who also excelled in the  field for the Yankees by leading all third baseman with a .945 fielding  percentage, headlines the 11-man Gulf Coast League All-Star Team.

Shortstop Jose Rosario and catcher Isaias Tejeda join Bichette from  the league champion Yankees on the all-star team. Carlos Mendoza, who  skippered them to the GCL title, is the Manager of the Year.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2011 - 7:10PM #447
Posts: 32,868

Staten Island Yankees being sold for $8.3M

By Via Robert Pimpsner,  the Staten Island Yankees are being sold to a NYC hedge fund manager  for $8.3M. It’s the second time the franchise has been sold in the last  five years, but the first time it was the Yankees and Mandalay Sports  Entertainment that did the purchasing. Average attendance has been  dropping in recent years, and the sale was financially motivated. It’s  unclear if Mandalay will remain involved with the team, but the  franchise will remain in Staten Island and affiliated with the Yankees.  An official announcement is expected soon. ·

9 years ago  ::  Sep 16, 2011 - 10:34PM #448
Posts: 32,868


The minor league season is over. After a 2010 season that saw  breakout performance after breakout performance, the 2011 season saw  its share of ups and downs, but overall it was a positive for the Yankee  farm system. The Yankees had a few legitimate breakouts (Dante  Bichette, Mason  Williams), a few crash-and-burns (Andrew  Brackman, Jose  Ramirez)  and a whole lot of players who mostly maintained their status and  value. It would have been nice to see guys like Banuelos, Betances, and  Montero build on their 2010 gains, but overall they are still about the  same prospects they were a year ago.

Again, I used my TYA Prospect Rating System to assign scores to the prospects. At that link, you can read a full  explanation of how it works. Basically, a score is assigned based upon  how good a prospect can be if 75% of things go right for them, and then a  risk rating is assigned based upon factors that could derail they  potential.

As with any prospect list, don’t get too hung up over who’s at #15  versus #17. For the most part, prospects within a certain tier are  interchangeable. Tiers are #1, #2-#4, #5-#8, #9-12, #13-19, #20-24,  #25-30.

Just missing the list were honorable mentions Evan  Rutckyj, Ben Gamel, Mark  Montgomery, Isaias Tejada, Jordan Cote, Jake Cave, Adam  Smith and Zach Arneson.

The Yankees have a very strong farm system, arguably stronger than it  was last season. The Yankees were a top-5 system in baseball as of last  year. They didn’t infuse a ton of talent into the system from the  draft, but enough players had solid-to-breakout seasons to maintain  their past strength. Mason Williams took the biggest leap forward, and  should be a good bet to enter the BA Top-100 list on the back end. Ivan  Nova was the only major prospect to graduate to the big leagues. There were  things not to like about Montero, Betances, Banuelos, and Sanchez in  2011, but all had pretty good seasons when all was said and done, and  are set up for success next season. Andrew Brackman was the biggest  disappointment of the year, followed by David  Adams, Brandon  Laird, Melky  Mesa, Slade  Heathcott, and Ryan  Pope. All took big hits in their prospect rating, but only Pope remains hopeless to have a successful MLB career in some capacity.

Projecting forward a little bit, the Yankees may be wanting for  top-end talent a year from now. Montero and Noesi are as good as  graduated (Noesi is techincally over 50 IP, but I left him here anyway),  while Betances, Romine and Banuelos could also move up in the next 52  weeks. The Yankees haven’t added a ton of top-end talent at the draft in  recent years, even if they have quite a few respectable showings on the  list for above-slot signings. Gary  Sanchez is a blue-chipper, and Mason Williams could easily get there pretty  soon, but they’ll be looking for the 2011 draft class to show some  ceiling. Luckily, both the Staten Island Yankees and GCL Yankees had a  ton of strong seasons from hitters, including Santana, Tejada, Austin,  and others. Dante Bichette’s development will also be important.

So that’s the list. If you have any questions about the rating  system, please use this thread instead of the old one I linked to. At  some point soon, this list will be posted on the top of the site for  easy access. What do you all think?

9 years ago  ::  Sep 17, 2011 - 12:23PM #449
Posts: 32,868

The two Yankee All-Stars listed by Baseball America.


DH Dante Bichette Jr., GCL Yankees GCL .342 .446 .505 196 33 67 17 3 3 47 3
CF *Mason Williams, Staten Island (Yankees) NYP .349 .395 .468 269 42 94 11 6 3 31 28








9 years ago  ::  Sep 20, 2011 - 6:25PM #450
Posts: 32,868

Baseball America came out with its top 20 Gulf Coast League prospect list today and 3 Yankees were featured on it. Dante  Bichette (1), Ravel  Santana (2) and Claudio  Custodio (9) all made the list. Let’s take a look at how the group performed in general.

As a group, the GCL team did very well. Dante Bichette showed an  extremely advanced approach all season which culminated in his MVP award  for the season. Ravel Santana led the team with 9 HRs and was 4th  overall in the league. Santana is an extremely athletic, plus  power center fielder with an above average glove. Baseball America says  his arm grades as a “70-80″ tool, which is about as good as it gets. He  suffered a nasty ankle injury which ended his season but make sure you  keep an eye on him the future. Claudio Custodio is probably a name most  of you are unfamiliar with. He’s a SS, with a good glove and range but  an arm that fits better at 2B. At the plate, he doesn’t have power but  does have a good approach and some ability to reach base. He also led  the GCL in steals, with 26.

Offensively, there were other standouts for the GCL Yankees. Christopher Austin, otherwise known as Tyler  Austin,  showed a lot of ability in the GCL and the NY Penn league. After  posting a .517 wOBA for about a month, he was bumped up to the Staten  Island Yankees and continued to hit .323/.402/.542. The Yankees drafted  him in the 13th round of the 2010 draft as a catcher out of Georgia but  he’s moved to a corner infield spot for now where his bat plays fine at  this point. When he was drafted, the reports were plenty of raw power  and a strong arm. I’m not sure his1st professional season could have  gone any better.

Matt Duran, the 2011 4th round pick, also performed nicely in his  limited time with the GCL Yankees. After signing towards the end of  July, he basically had a month with the team where he hit .301/.365/.506  as an 18 year old.

The pitching wasn’t quite as impressive as the hitting for the GCL squad.

One nice development was 19 year old Taylor  Morton who was a 9th round pick a year ago making his professional debut.  Morton’s report from last year indicated a low 90s fastball that touched  95 and a plus circle change with good fade. He didn’t miss a ton of  bats, but for a raw 19 year old the results were pretty solid. Corey  Maines also pitched well in his professional debut. The 2011 pick is a  sinker/slider guy and showed the ability to miss some bats. Of course as  a college pitcher, the GCL shouldn’t have been too difficult. It’s  always nice to see positive results though.

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