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Random Minor League Notes: 2011 Edition
9 years ago  ::  Sep 21, 2011 - 6:58PM #451
Posts: 32,868

what kind of offensive ceiling does Ravel Santana have?
Ben Badler: Higher than anyone in the league's other  than  Bichette, and from a pure tools standpoint, he had better tools  than  anyone in the league. I don't think the pure hit tool right now is  as  advanced as the numbers might suggest; there's still some rawness  there  against offspeed stuff, but he has a solid approach, makes  adjustments  and has 60, maybe even 65 raw power depending who you talk  to. In  terms of overall tools and ceiling, I know there's some scouts  who  would put Santana ahead of Bichette.


Was any other Yankee close to making the list.
Ben Badler: Jose Rosario was a small signing but he has  good  speed, a solid arm, solid defense at second base and would  probably  have played shortstop for most teams, except that the Yankees  also had  Claudio Custodio. Very aggressive (sometimes too aggresive at  the  plate), more power than Custodio, but the tools are a tick behind   Custudio and he's not quite as refined at the plate. If you want a deep   sleeper, Reynaldo Polanco had a John Lackey ERA but actually has solid   stuff: 90-94, one report of 95, with the potential for an above-average   curveball, but he was mostly a shortstop as an amateur, so he's still   learning how to pitch.


Steven Alengakis (NYC): Hi Ben, I was really surprised and  pleased that the Yankees had 3 players on your Top 1o GCL list. One  player I was wondering about though was their C, Isaias Tejada. His  numbers looked really good, especially as a younger player.Is he a  legitimate prospect? What kind of impression did he make on GCL managers  and scouts? Thank you.
Ben Badler: He was in the mix. Was a pretty cheap sign but he’s  come a long ways since last year. Solid defensive catcher, blocks well,  average arm, mostly a gap-to-gap guy but showed a bit of pop this year,  pretty solid approach, doesn’t chase too much out of the zone. Pretty  pleasant surprise who put himself on the map this year.

9 years ago  ::  Sep 27, 2011 - 7:58PM #452
Posts: 32,868

Baseball America released their Top-20 NY-Penn League ranking this week. The Yankees on the list:

1. Mason Williams, of, Staten Island Yankees
6. Cito Culver, ss, Staten Island Yankees
8. Tyler Austin, 3b, Staten Island Yankees
14. Angelo Gumbs, 2b, Staten Island Yankees
19. Branden Pinder, rhp, Staten Island Yankees

Everyone knew that Mason Williams was a no-brainer for the #1 spot.  That was hardly news. However, Cito Culver’s relatively high #6 ranking  is great news for Yankee fans. Culver didn’t put up eye-popping numbers  last year, wasn’t lauded at the draft, and for the most part hasn’t made  any news since the Yankees signed him. That makes his overall prospect  status very difficult to judge. Aaron Fitt gets his information from  calling around to scouts and coaches in the league and asking people for  their opinion on players. His ranking reflects significant praise for  Culver coming from people outside the Yankee organization.

We have a pretty good idea of what Cito Culver offers right now. He’s  got good-to-great defensive skills and average-for-a-shortstop  offensive skills. Do the math and you have the potential for a solid  player. However, due to his relative obscurity in upstate New York and  his surprise 1st round select at the draft, he has a few extra question  marks attached to his prospect status. I don’t think he’ll ever be a  top-100 prospect, but he could very well be a major league starting  shortstop. Yankee fans (some of whom expect the Yankees to sign a $4  million signability case with every top pick) will selectively complain  about him for awhile, because he seems so boring for a 1st round pick. This ranking doesn’t make him any less boring, but augurs well for the young shortstop.

The other rankings give us some information, although not much. I’m  not sure what expectations were for Angelo Gumbs this year. He’s got  crazy tools, but not a lot of refinement. He held his own at the plate  while playing a new position, stayed healthy, and generally looks right  on track with other top Yankee position prospects. That said, given all  of that, he probably should be rated closer to Cito Culver than Branden  Pinder. People in the league were intrigued, but not necessarily  impressed.

Overall, the Yankees pretty much owned the GCL/NY-Penn rankings. You  could easily make a case that Ravel Santana, Mason Williams, and Dante  Bichette are the 3 best prospects in the two leagues combined right now.  I said this before, but seriously: Charleston is going to be stacked  next year.

9 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2011 - 9:23AM #453
Posts: 66,015

Mets block Yanks from hosting AAA team in Newark next season


Update (8:30pm): Via Jon Heyman,  the Yankees offered the Mets $250k and a matching evergreen proposal  for allowing them to use Newark, but  apparently that’s not enough. The  matching evergreen proposal basically means the Yankees would allow the  Mets to move one of their minor league teams into their territory (for  one year) sometime in the future, extending the same courtesy they were  asking of the Mets. Quarter of a million bucks though? I never thought  someone could love Newark that much.

Original Post (3:30pm): Via Jerry Izenberg,  the Mets used their territory rights to block the Yankees from housing  the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in Newark next season. Brian  Cashman and Essex County exec Joseph DiVincenzo reached an agreement  that would have allowed the team to play at Bears & Eagles  Riverfront Stadium in 2012 (home of the Newark Bears), but the Mets shot  it down because “their organization would only do something like that  with mutual and immediate reciprocity.” The Yankees made the Mets  several offers, including at least one involving an undisclosed amount  of cash, but still no dice.

PNC Field is undergoing major renovations, which will force the team to play at an alternate site next year. The deadline to submit a proposal for such a site was missed earlier this month,  but league execs have established a timetable to ensure that this gets  resolved in a timely manner. Ottawa, another potential home, appears to  be off the table as well.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2011 - 1:57PM #454
Posts: 66,015

Gary Sanchez ranked among top 20 Sally League prospects


Baseball America’s looked at the top 20 prospects in each minor league continued today with the Low-A South Atlantic League.  Gary Sanchez ranked  14th, the only Yankees farmhand to crack a rather  stacked list. Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, arguably the two best  prospects in baseball, topped the list.

In the subscriber-only scouting report,  Bill Ballew says “Sanchez’s bat speed and strength ranked among the  best in the league, though his swing gets too long at times.” The  biggest problem is his defense, “because he stabs at pitches instead of  shifting his body.” Sanchez led the league with 26 passed balls in just  60 games behind the plate. “He’s had to adjust to a lot of things both  on and off the field,”  said Charleston manager Aaron Ledesma, a gentle  little reminder that Sanchez was demoted to Extended Spring Training for a few weeks in the middle of the season because of attitude problems.

The next top 20 list of interest to the Yankees is the High-A Florida State League, which will be posted on Monday. The Tampa Yankees were a pretty weak squad in terms of prospects this year, but it’s a solid bet that Brett Marshall will make an appearance. Jose Quintana and the Almontes (Zoilo and Abe) might sneak on, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2011 - 7:17PM #455
Posts: 32,868

Were J.R. Murphy and Slade Heathcott given any love for this list?
Bill Ballew: They were, but they received more support  from some  of the managers than the scouts. Murphy's projections have  bounced  from being an offensive guy to being more of a defensive guy.  Heathcott  has above-average athleticism but is still trying to put all  the  pieces together to become a multi-tool outfielder at higher levels.   That said, both had good showings in the SAL and are headed in the right   direction.0


Yankees C Gary Sanchez was uber hyped before the season I'm shocked to see him ranked  this low
Bill Ballew: Sanchez had a season not unlike what  Christian  Bethancourt did for Rome in 2010. He was sent to Tampa for  disciplinary  reasons which centered on his work ethic and he did not  impress with  his ability to work with pitchers and call a game. The  tools are in  place, but many scouts wonder if he has the drive to remain  behind the  plate. I believe his batting average and power output will  improve, but  in my opinion he is nowhere near the likes of Jesus Montero  at the  same point in his career

9 years ago  ::  Sep 28, 2011 - 7:19PM #456
Posts: 32,868

Kevin Jordan Returns To The Field0



WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—Nearly eight months after receiving a kidney from  Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter, outfielder Kevin Jordan returned to  the field for the first time during the Demon Deacons' first fall  practice Sept. 27.

"This is a special day for me and for our program," Walter said. "I  mean, to see Kevin out here running around and doing the things he's  meant to do is pretty amazing."

Jordan needed a new kidney after developing a condition called  antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody vasculitis during his senior  year of high school.

After establishing himself as a marquee prospect as a high school  junior, Jordan played sparingly and was not at 100 percent during his  senior season but was still drafted in the 19th round by the Yankees.

Two days before classes began last year, a doctor's visit revealed that  his kidney function was down to 8 percent and a transplant was  recommended as soon as possible. When his mother and brother were ruled  out as matching donors, Walter stepped up to the plate for the  transplant, which took place Feb. 7.

Jordan said Walter offered to be tested as a potential match during Jordan's first visit to the doctor.

"Seeing as how I met him and talked to him just a couple times before  all this, it means a lot," Jordan said. "I'll always know what kind of  person he is, no matter what happens from here on out."

Walter said the transplant hasn't just brought he and Jordan closer together, it's bonded the entire team.

"It strengthened my relationship with all my guys," Walter said.  "Through all this, we're a closer unit as a whole. I think the guys have  a new appreciation of what coaches go through on a daily basis just  because they watched a little more closely because of this. Not that it  was sympathy or anything like that, it's just that they kind of had  their eye on it a little more than they normally would. So I think all  of our guys are closer because of this."

Jordan kept a positive attitude through the whole process.

"The whole time, I just felt like something good was going to happen,"  he said. "Even if I didn't play baseball at this level again, I wasn't  going to be in that situation forever. Everything happened relatively  quick, so I didn't have time to doubt myself."

Although he said he's not quite 100 percent yet, Jordan has been cleared to participate in all baseball activities.

One of the biggest challenges will be overcoming any tentativeness and  getting back to his usual instinctive style of play—he hasn't had to  dive for a ball yet or slide head-first into third base.

Jordan, who will be a redshirt freshman this year, was able to practice a  little bit with his old high school team last spring. There is some  rust to shake off, but he was in great shape considering all he's been  though. After losing 30 pounds because of the sickness, the dialysis and  the transplant, Jordan got the weight back quickly. He's back to 195  pounds now . . with just 6.3 percent body fat, he added with a smile.

"I thought he looked fantastic," Walter said. "I mean, he ran a  6.58(-second) 60-yard dash and he did it back-to-back times. One of the  things we're kind of looking at is his stamina, and I thought that  looked pretty good today. He's certainly not 100 percent yet, and the  other thing is his timing. Anytime you take a year and a half away from  baseball, it's going to take you a while to get your timing back. So  he's going to take a little while in BP and in game situations to get  caught back up, but he's such a good athlete that he should make that  adjustment pretty easily."

Opening Day is still more than four months away, but Walter believes  Jordan will be a key piece of Wake Forest's lineup this season.

"We're hoping that he's going to be a starting outfielder and hit in the  two-hole," Walter said. "That's the current plan. He has the athletic  ability and the baseball skills to do that. Whether it comes between now  and February—the timing's all the way back and the stamina's all the  way back—remains to be seen, but if we were opening up tomorrow, I'd put  him in the lineup."

9 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2011 - 6:37PM #457
Posts: 32,868

2012 Draft: Yankees will have 30th overall pick

By Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game, the  Yankees have clinched the second best record in baseball and will pick  30th overall in next June’s amateur draft. A compensation pick for an  unsigned player earlier in the round pushes the pick back one from 29th  overall. The Yankees have picked 30th overall twice before, once to take  some guy named Gary Timberlake in 1966, and again to take Andrew  Brackman in 2007. The Astros will pick first overall, followed by the Twins and Mariners.

The Yankees also have the 89th overall pick after failing to sign 2011 second rounder Sam Stafford. That pick can not be lost as  compensation for signing a Type-A free agent, but the 30th overall pick  sure can.

9 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2011 - 7:37PM #458
Posts: 32,868

Trenton Thunder Recap with Mike Ashmore: Part 1



I reached out to Mike Ashmore, a beat writer for the Trenton Thunder,  and asked if he would be willing to do a little recap of the Double-A  season. As he was the first time, Mike was more than willing to help me out. To read some of Mike's stuff, which is fantastic, you can follow him on twitter and check out his blog, Mike Ashmore's Thunder Thoughts.

Frank: Talk a bit about what you saw from Manny Banuelos before he was promoted. Did he have more to work on in AA or was he ready for the next step?

I'd  have liked to have seen Manny stay in Double-A a little longer just to  see if he could improve on his consistency.There was never any doubt  that the stuff and the talent were there, but he could just never string  together that stretch of two or three starts where he didn't run into  trouble...heck, there really wasn't any one start that I saw where he  flat out blew me away. Was it probably time for him to be challenged at  the next level? Sure. I just wasn't 100 percent sure he showed that he  was ready for it.

Frank: Dellin Betances, same question.


Mike: I  think he was more on the right track than Banuelos was at the time of  his promotion, although he still had a ways to go in terms of  consistency as well.  I think his Triple-A results showed that he  probably could have stood to stay in Trenton  a little bit longer, but overall his numbers were probably a little  better than he actually pitched...he just needs to go deeper into games  in the future. He barely averaged five innings per start, which won't  cut it at any level.

Frank: What did you see from Austin Romine in his second year at Trenton?

Mike: Improvement,  but not drastically so. I thought he got more consistent with the bat,  but he wasn't getting as many extra-base hits as he had the previous  season...thought his defense was about the same as it was last year,  which is to say it was above average but not spectacular. Would have  really liked to seen him show me more in terms of throwing guys out. But  he also endured quite a few injuries this year, so it's hard to hold  too much against him.

Frank: Pick one position player and a pitcher who have the best chance at  being impact players at the Major League level. Why did you choose them?

Mike: Improvement,  but not drastically so. I thought he got more consistent with the bat,  but he wasn't getting as many extra-base hits as he had the previous  season...thought his defense was about the same as it was last year,  which is to say it was above average but not spectacular. Would have  really liked to seen him show me more in terms of throwing guys out. But  he also endured quite a few injuries this year, so it's hard to hold  too much against him.



Frank: Pick one position player and a pitcher who have the best chance at  being impact players at the Major League level. Why did you choose them?

Mike: I  don't really think there's a true impact position player who was on the  team this year. I mean, that Jeter guy will probably be OK, I  guess...but in all seriousness, I guess Romine if I had to pick. I'm not  sure he's a starting catcher anywhere in the big leagues as of this  second...there are a lot of concerns as to whether he can hit over the  course of a full season at the top level...but I think he's a guy who  can definitely have a long big league career and at the very least break  in as a backup who could develop into something more. He's still just  22 years old.

Pitching wise...that's tough, because you're  picking between Banuelos and Betances. I'd have to pick Banuelos, just  because he's a lefty...but if Betances can settle into a specific role  in the big leagues, he could be something to watch. He could be very  nasty out of the back end of the bullpen if the Yankees so chose to go that direction with him...


Check back within the next few days for part two.

9 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2011 - 8:22PM #459
Posts: 66,015

SWB Yanks will play 2012 home games in six locations


Via Danny Wild,  the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will play their 2012 home  games in six different locations: Rochester (37 games), Syracuse (ten),  Lehigh Valley (eight), Batavia (seven), Buffalo (six), and Pawtucket  (four). All those cities already house an International League franchise  except for Batavia, which is home to an NY-Penn League affiliate.  There’s only one way to describe this: absolutely brutal.

“We appreciate the support of the clubs who will host our 2012 game,  and are looking forward with great anticipation to returning to Scranton  Wilkes-Barre for the 2013 season,” said Brian Cashman. The SWB Yanks  have to play on the road next year because PNC Field is undergoing major renovations, and a deal to play in Newark fell through because the Mets are jerks invoked territorial rights. You have to feel for guys like Austin Romine, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances;  they basically won’t have a home park next year. Also have to wonder if  the Yanks will have trouble signing free agents to minor league deals  given the stadium situation in Triple-A.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
9 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2011 - 7:34PM #460
Posts: 32,868

Any yankees get consideration for the list?
Jim Shonerd: Wasn't a lot to see in Tampa,  prospect-wise.  Nobody was very close. Abraham Almonte, their center  fielder, did get  some mention as a guy who can run and throw and has  some strength.



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