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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 9:27AM #201
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospect Profile: Aaron Judge


www.pinstripealley.com/yankees-prospects...


Background:


The Yankees' second pick in the first round of the 2013 Draft was Aaron Judge (32nd overall pick). The right-hander is from Linden, California. This was his second time in the draft, after being a 31st round pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2010. Obviously, he chose not to sign with the A's and ended up going on to play at Fresno State instead. Over three seasons at Fresno State, he hit .346/.451/.528. He stole at least 11 bases each season. Judge had a terrific final year at Fresno State, hitting .373/.461/.663 with 11 home runs. This was his breakout year in terms of power, as he only hit six total home runs in the previous two seasons combined, though two of those home runs were off of the 2013 draft's top overall pick, Mark Appel. He won the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby, where he launched 16 home runs in three rounds.


Judge is a huge guy, listed at 6'7" and 255 pounds. He's drawn comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton (yes, please!) based on sheer size and power. In fact, if Judge makes it to the majors, he'll be tied for the tallest outfielder ever. The 21-year-old outfielder is described as having a canon for an arm. He has quite a bit of raw power at the plate, although this is displayed more frequently in batting practice than in actual games. He has good speed, and while he played center field in college, he'll likely switch over to right field.


2013 Results:


Judge waited until close to the deadline to finally sign with the Yankees. He failed to make it into any minor league games due to a lingering quad injury.


2014 Outlook:


It seems that Judge will be starting the 2014 season in Low-A Charleston, or possibly High-A Tampa. It will be interesting to follow his first season in the minor leagues and to see whether he can recreate the power that he displayed during his 2013 season with Fresno State. If Judge progresses accordingly, he should break into the majors sometime between 2016-2018. It would be great to see him reach his potential of 30+ HRs and turn into a Stanton-esque type of player.


6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 11:14AM #202
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015







  1. @swbrailriders manager, Dave Miley, named to the International League HOF! Congrats Dave! SWB ceremony June 7!


    Retweeted by Jack Curry

    View image on Twitter



"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 12:05PM #203
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


Keith Law ranks New York the 20th best farm system in baseball







The farm isn't so bad, right? RIGHT?



We all know the Yankees farm system isn't really that great. There are some interesting players, but no one that's a "can't miss" or clearly a future All-Star in the making. Gary Sanchez is the only Yankee prospect who made the top 100 prospects according to both MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Mason Williams at least made MLB's list as well. Still, they seemingly don't have a top 50 prospect in the system.


So far the consensus seems to be that the Yankee farm system is among the worst in baseball, it's just a matter of how bad. Jason Parks of BP has previously described the system as "Gary Sanchez and a list of interchangeable prospects with reliever profiles or bench futures." In a recent chat, Parks even made it known that he believed the Yankees had one of the worst systems in baseball.


Screen_shot_2014-01-28_at_10 


Maybe this is true, but at least they have potentially useful players in relievers and bench players; some systems don't even have those.


Keith Law of ESPN disagrees, kind of. He doesn't think they're one of the worst, but he does place them among the bottom third in the league, ranking them 20th overall. Top of the bottom third, though!



It seemed like everyone who mattered in this system got hurt in 2013, and of those who didn't most had disappointing years. The good news is every one of the injured prospects should be healthy to start 2014 (except Slade Heathcott, for whom "healthy" is an abstract concept), but it also means the Mason Williamses and Tyler Austins of the system will run out of excuses if they don't hit.


A strong day one draft class in 2013 -- when they had three of the top 33 picks -- helped boost the system.



That isn't so bad. If a lot of things go right for the Yankees in 2014; if Mason and Slade and Austin are all healthy and productive, if Sanchez improves, if the 2013 draft class impresses in their first full year of pro ball, maybe the system won't be so bad. Still, that's asking for a lot to break in the right direction.


Thankfully, the Yankees aren't even the worst in the AL East as both the Blue Jaysand the prospect guru Rays sit behind them, so at least New York is beating their direct opponents in something. With the Rays now winning more and getting lower draft picks it's becoming clearer that they aren't as good at developing players as people wanted you to believe. They just have to trade David Price if they want to move back up to the top.


I know we all want a super prospect like Wil Myers or Jose Fernandez, but all we really need are useful players who can help fill in at the major league level. If we're patient, maybe we'll have the next Brett Gardner or David Robertson soon and those kinds of players are important too. The important thing is that they're going in the right direction. Hang in there.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 12:27PM #204
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Dellin Betances’ Big Chance




(Presswire)

(Presswire)



I swear, it still feels like the 2006 draft was just yesterday, but the 2014 season will be Dellin Betances‘ eighth (!) full season in the organization. The Yankees gave the towering right-hander from Washington Heights a $1M bonus as their eighth round pick back in ’06 and hoped he would develop into a frontline starter. That has not happened but the team has not given up on his enormous potential.


Last May, following six ugly starts with Triple-A Scranton, the Yankees moved the soon-to-be 26-year-old Betances to the bullpen full-time and the results were immediate. He struck out 43 of the next 136 batters he faced (31.6%) while allowing only eight runs and 12 walks in 34 innings. The Yankees called him up briefly in mid-August and then again as an extra arm when rosters expanded in September. Betances finished the year with a 2.06 ERA and 93 strikeouts (35.3%) in 65.2  total relief innings.


“I just feel like, confidence wise, I feel good,” said Betances to Anthony McCarron last August when asked about moving into a relief role. “I get to pitch more often, instead of going every five days. I get to go two or three times in that span, so I think the more time I get on the mound has helped me be more consistent … I think it’s just being more aggressive, attack the strike zone right away, where if you’re a starter, you kind gradually get aggressive as the game goes on.”


Repeating his delivery and keeping his long limbs in check has always been a struggle for the 6-foot-8 Betances, but apparently working more often out of the bullpen helped him stay in control even though he threw fewer total pitches. There’s nothing particularly impressive about a 10.6% walk rate (his walk rate as a reliever in 2013), but it’s substantially better than the 14.3% walk rate he posted from the start of 2011 through the conversion last May, when he looked close to a lost cause.


Betances struck out eight and walked one in 4.1 innings last September and barring some last minute additions, he’ll head to Spring Training as part of a wide open bullpen competition. The only relievers guaranteed to be on the roster come Opening Day are David Robertson, Shawn Kelley, and Matt Thornton, so that is potentially four open spots. I count as many as ten guys competing for those four spots, including potential fifth starters like David Phelps and Adam Warren and minor league free agents like Robert Coello and Brian Gordon.


Brian Cashman confirmed that, for whatever reason, Betances qualifies for a fourth option and can be sent to the minors this season without having to pass through waivers. Had he not qualified for the fourth option and instead required waivers to go to back to Triple-A, he might have won a bullpen spot almost by default. Now Betances will have to not only earn a big league job in camp, but he’ll have to continue to pitch well in the regular season to keep it. Spring Training competitions don’t end on Opening Day.


For the first time in his nearly nine full years as a pro, there is a clear path for Betances to make the Yankees out of camp and play a rather significant role this coming season. Nothing in the bullpen is set aside from Robertson being the closer and Thornton being the lefty specialist, so if Betances shows last summer’s success was a true indication of his ability and not just a fluke, he could assume an important late-inning role rather quickly. This is his chance to justify that seven-figure signing bonus and more than a half-decade’s worth of patience.


“I’m thrilled to just come out here and whatever situation I need to be used in,” added Betances while talking to McCarron. “I’m ready for that.”


6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 1:36PM #205
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospects: Eric Jagielo ranked as 11th best third baseman by Jim Callis


MLB.com has released their top 100 prospects list and only Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams made it on there. Before that they released their top 10 list for each position, and Sanchez ranked No.4 on the catcher list, while Greg Bird made it onto the first baseman list at No.7. No other Yankee prospect made any of the other positional lists, but one of them was at least close.


According to Jim Callis' list of the 11th best player at each position, Eric Jagielo is only just outside the top 10 at third base. Despite only one half season in pro ball, the 21-year-old draftee ranks just behind fellow 2013 draft picks Hunter Dozier (10), D.J. Peterson (8), Colin Moran (5), and Kris Bryant (2) and he's actually the fourth-best left-handed hitter in the group. Callis thinks he's a pretty solid player too, believing he "stands out most for his left-handed power, which should play well in Yankee Stadium. He also should hit for a solid average and get the job done at third base."


On Twitter he recently suggested what kind of hitter he projects to be. I would take a hitter like that, especially if he was making the league minimum. That would be awesome.


Ok, yes, it's a little sad that this is what we have to get excited about. The 11th-best at his position, who is a sub-top 100 prospect and only the team's fifth-best prospect. Yikes. I like Eric Jagielo, I think he represents the Yankees' best chance to not only develop a third basemen, but to produce even one productive infielder. Still, he's only played in a handful of games, and we've been fooled by flashy starts before (Hello, Dante Bichette), so it might be wise to keep our expectations low. I guess it's a kind of hope for the best, but prepare for the worst kind of thing, though you could say that about any prospect in the farm system right now and that's really depressing.


Baseball Prospectus just released their top 101 prospects and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees' best prospect, only made it to 85. Sure, there are a few teams that have their best prospect ranked lower than that, but 24 different teams have a top-50 prospect in baseball. Not only do we not have one, but Sanchez used to be one before he fell through the roof. If Jagielo was that close to making the top 10 positional rankings, it could only take another solid season to land him on the top 100 list. That would be fun to see.

6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 2:43PM #206
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Australian teen thrilled to get six-figure deal with Yankees






A Melbourne teenager has signed a lucrative professional contract with the Yankees that will make him a millionaire before he can legally drive.


Brandon Stenhouse, 17, has realized a childhood dream, inking a six-figure deal with the Bronx Bombers. The right-hander could go from suburban pitcher to global star after signing the deal this week with American scouts who flew to Australia to see him play.


“It’s still sinking in and I was a bit nervous signing the contract but it is a dream come true,” he said. “I was never sure it was going to happen.”


Stenhouse started playing tee-ball at 4 years old and caught the eye of scouts in the past two years by consistently clocking pitching speeds approaching 93 mph. With at least two other MLB clubs circling, Yankees scouts gave Stenhouse his ticket to the big time on Monday along with an educational scholarship and a bag of merchandise including the club’s famous cap.


Proud dad Dave Stenhouse said the sky was the limit.


“It’s a good opportunity, but I don’t think it will hit him until he gets over there,” he said.


“He got a big bag full of stuff which I think made him the happiest, and mum and dad are happy too since we don’t have to pay for anything anymore.”


Stenhouse will report to Yankees spring training camp in Florida in April for two weeks of orientation before returning to Melbourne to complete his high school final exams. He will then move to the United States full-time to live his dream. The teen sensation, who plays in the Victorian league for Cheltenham Rustlers, was signed by the Yankees after a standout performance at the Under 18 National championships in Canberra.


Yankees Australian scout John Wadsworth said the young arm would be given “every opportunity” to become a star.


“I have been waiting for many years to see if Brandon Stenhouse had the physical and mental makeup to be considered as a possible Yankee,” he said.


“I am pleased to see just how far this young man has progressed and his future is exciting to us all.”


Stenhouse will join fellow Victorian player Adam Silva on the Yankees’ books this year.


This article originally appeared on News.com.au.


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 3:25PM #207
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospects: 10 likely 2014 call-ups


The Yankees don't have many surefire impact prospects ready to contribute in 2014, but there are a few fringy players that could make the leap and help the team. I've come up with a list of non-prospects, semi-prospects, and "top" prospects that are most likely to be promoted to the majors this year. Most of them come from Triple-A, since there aren't many prospects in Double-A that you could say will definitely jump two levels in one season.


(I'm projecting that Dellin Betances and Michael Pineda [Bold!] make the team out of spring training.)


  1. Vidal Nuno: I like Nuno, though I guess I haven't seen enough of him in the majors to guarantee him success. He has a lot of things going for him: Lefty, excellent command, can start or relieve. I think the 2014 team needs all of that, so if he doesn't make it out of spring training, we'll see him at some point down the line.

  2. Chase Whitley: Yeah, this guy should have been taken in the Rule 5 Draft, and I'm still not completely sure why he wasn't. They have been experimenting with him as a starter, but given the mysteries of the 2014 bullpen, I think they might send him to the majors as this year's Preston Claiborne. I just hope he turns out to be better.
  3. Zoilo Almonte: It's obviously kind of cheating to put Zoilo in here, but I don't care, it's my list. Despite the many outfielders the Yankees have on their roster, if they somehow manage to trade Ichiro Suzuki then a spot opens up. If they want to carry five outfielders then I think Z is the most likely guy to get the job out of spring training.

  4. Corban Joseph: Yes, he had shoulder surgery, so this all relies on whether or not CoJo is healthy in 2014. But then there's also second base to consider. He's one of the closest things the Yankees have to a top prospect at the position and he showed up in 2013 for a quick cameo. If Brian Roberts explodes, Corban Joseph could end up on the team. Maybe. It would be really cool to see him get a shot this year.

  5. J.R. Murphy: After a big season last year, Murphy would be in the position to take on a major league job, if it wasn't for that pesky Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees currently have two catching prospects ticketed for Scranton, so one might be traded, but if someone goes down, Murph will be the first to replace him. Hopefully.

  6. Austin Romine: The other catching prospect. I think everyone would prefer Murphy over Romine, but if the former gets traded, the latter will be all they have if someone gets hurt. I think the Yankees are better off trying to trade Romine, but a good deal is a good deal, whichever ends up going.

  7. Manny Banuelos: The lefty is finally returning from injury this year, and while people are saying he could compete for a rotation spot, he's likely ticketed to Triple-A to make sure he's healthy and back to form. He could be ready for a promotion by midseason, and if Pineda/Phelps doesn't work out, Man Ban could break through. In all likelihood, I think he's more likely to get a September call up, if anything.

  8. Mark Montgomery: The once elite relief prospect was a mess last year after he apparently sat around and did nothing all offseason. Hopefully he's healthy and ready to party because I think he will be a very important piece to the bullpen puzzle this year. He could be the second coming of David Robertson. That guy's good.

  9. Ramon Flores: The silently productive prospect had another solid year in Double-A and is likely going to move up to Triple-A this year. Like Zoilo, he'll be a fifth outfielder if someone gets injured during the season, but he likely won't produce much if his OBP superpowers don't translate.

  10. Slade Heathcott: I think Slade is ticketed for a September call up, if (That's the biggest IF of all time) he isn't already hurt by then. While his hitting might not be up to par just yet, his glove and speed will be useful late in games. Whatever happens, out of him, Mason Williams, and Tyler Austin, I still think he makes it to the majors first. Book it.


Honorable Mentions: Tyler Austin, Adonis Garcia, Fred Lewis, Ronnier Mustelier, Jose Pirela


Who do you think will make the jump in 2014? Where was I right? Where will I be wrong? I'm never wrong. Just kidding. But seriously.

6 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2014 - 6:27PM #208
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospects: Rafael De Paula just missed MLB's top 100 list


MLB.com just released their top 100 prospects list and only one Yankee made it. Gary Sanchez at No.85 is the best the system could do after the 2013 season, but Jonathan Mayo believes that one Yankee prospect fell just outside of the final list: Rafael De Paula.


Mayo released a list of 15 players who could have made the list if he and Jim Callis had agreed on their rank. He leads the post with a warning, "keep in mind, this should not be regarded as a ranking for 101-115. It's really more of a "guys I like" list." According to him, De Paula "just missed the cut of this year's Top 100, has gotten past all the identity nonsense, missed a ton of bats in 2013. He has the chance to have three average or better pitches and could start moving fast."


Signed out of the Dominican Republic a few years ago, the 22-year-old finally made his American debut this season, taking Low-A by storm. Unfortunately, he wasn't nearly as impressive when he made the jump to High-A Tampa. His trouble adjusting to the different leagues was addressed by Ashley Marshall in a study of the BABIP among the top prospects in baseball.



The right-hander struggled when he earned a promotion from the South Atlantic League, where he was pitching in one of the least hitter-friendly ballparks on the circuit, to the Florida State League. The fact that Tampa's George M. Steinbrenner Field does not easily surrender home runs and that the league as a whole heavily favors hurlers was negated by the jump in competition, something that De Paula struggled with.


Opponents hit almost 100 points higher against him in Tampa. He gave up more home runs in fewer innings than in Charleston and his strikeouts dropped as walks increased. He proved at Class A that he can both command pitches and induce swings and misses. With more experience and a little more luck with the balls that are put in play (Tampa had the worst fielding percentage in the league), De Paula will have every chance to post better numbers in 2014.



The Yankees have to hope that De Paula's troubles are easily reversible if he's given more time to adjust to a higher level of competition. Maybe if they can surround him with better fielders his BABIP will improve and so will his overall numbers, but the drop in strikeouts are concerning. It makes me think that he wasn't fooling many batters anymore and the better players were laying off his borderline stuff.


He might be their best chance at a top of the rotation starter right now, though Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus has previously suggested the Yankees move him to the bullpen and push him quickly through the system, since he will likely end up there eventually anyway. If he can be more Charleston De Paula and less Tampa De Paula in 2014, then he might reach MLB.com's list and possibly cause Parks to rethink his stance.



MLB.com just released their top 100 prospects list and only one Yankee made it. Gary Sanchez at No.85 is the best the system could do after the 2013 season, but Jonathan Mayo believes that one Yankee prospect fell just outside of the final list: Rafael De Paula.


Mayo released a list of 15 players who could have made the list if he and Jim Callis had agreed on their rank. He leads the post with a warning, "keep in mind, this should not be regarded as a ranking for 101-115. It's really more of a "guys I like" list." According to him, De Paula "just missed the cut of this year's Top 100, has gotten past all the identity nonsense, missed a ton of bats in 2013. He has the chance to have three average or better pitches and could start moving fast."


Signed out of the Dominican Republic a few years ago, the 22-year-old finally made his American debut this season, taking Low-A by storm. Unfortunately, he wasn't nearly as impressive when he made the jump to High-A Tampa. His trouble adjusting to the different leagues was addressed by Ashley Marshall in a study of the BABIP among the top prospects in baseball.



The right-hander struggled when he earned a promotion from the South Atlantic League, where he was pitching in one of the least hitter-friendly ballparks on the circuit, to the Florida State League. The fact that Tampa's George M. Steinbrenner Field does not easily surrender home runs and that the league as a whole heavily favors hurlers was negated by the jump in competition, something that De Paula struggled with.


Opponents hit almost 100 points higher against him in Tampa. He gave up more home runs in fewer innings than in Charleston and his strikeouts dropped as walks increased. He proved at Class A that he can both command pitches and induce swings and misses. With more experience and a little more luck with the balls that are put in play (Tampa had the worst fielding percentage in the league), De Paula will have every chance to post better numbers in 2014.



The Yankees have to hope that De Paula's troubles are easily reversible if he's given more time to adjust to a higher level of competition. Maybe if they can surround him with better fielders his BABIP will improve and so will his overall numbers, but the drop in strikeouts are concerning. It makes me think that he wasn't fooling many batters anymore and the better players were laying off his borderline stuff.


He might be their best chance at a top of the rotation starter right now, though Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus has previously suggested the Yankees move him to the bullpen and push him quickly through the system, since he will likely end up there eventually anyway. If he can be more Charleston De Paula and less Tampa De Paula in 2014, then he might reach MLB.com's list and possibly cause Parks to rethink his stance.

6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2014 - 9:41AM #209
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospect Profile: Gosuke Katoh







Background:


Drafted in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft, Gosuke Katoh was thought of as a reach as soon as the Yankees announced their pick. Baseball America ranked him as the 189th best player eligible for the draft, and yet he was taken 66th overall. I wrote about him back in June when he was first drafted, commenting on how surprising it was that the Yankees took him, yet it was clear he had some real talent.


He attended Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California, and was believed to be heading to UCLA, but, a high draft choice, and the accompanying paycheck, likely changed his mind. In high school he became known as one of the best defensive players in the country, but a weak arm has limited to second base, instead of shortstop. Katoh has spoken about how he modeled his game after Ichiro Suzuki, focusing on contact and using his speed to get on base, even becoming a left-handed hitter to match.


The Yankees seemed pretty pumped to have him, as Damon Oppenheimer, the vice president of amateur scouting, believes that "on our scale, he's an excellent runner with great hand-eye coordination who can hit with some surprising power. He's a really good defender, and someone that excites us."


2013 Results:


In his first season as a professional baseball player, Katoh continued to surprise a lot of people, including myself, but in a good way, after he hit .310/.402/.522 with six home runs, four stolen bases, and 25 RBI in 215 plate appearances for the Gulf Coast Yankees. He also had a solid 12.6% walk rate for an 18-year-old, though his 20.5% strikeout rate was a little more realistic. In all, that's a 171 wRC+ over a 50-game span, and much better than I ever expected him to be at any level throughout his career. Defensively, he was equally as impressive, making only four errors in 176 chances over 42 games at second base at a level where most players can't even figure out where the ball is going.


2014 Outlook:


The biggest question is how he will perform in 2014, given a full year and a heightened level of competition. If he continues his line of production into this coming season, Jim Callis of MLB.com believes he could move into the system's top 10.


Jim Callis @jimcallisMLB



Definitely. @brothertona: do you think Katoh if he shows what he did in his limited time in the GCL could make the list next year? @Yankees


Obviously, the biggest concern is regression. We saw what happened with Dante Bichette after his impressive debut at the same age in the same level back in 2011. Katoh was expected to be a slap hitter with some power potential, so better pitchers and better fielders might be able to take advantage of that, since much of his success was at least partially fueled by a .378 BABIP.


There might be a little bit of a snag when it comes to promotions. I would like to see Katoh moved up to Low-A Charleston to start the season, however, that's where fellow second base prospect Angelo Gumbs was demoted to after Rob Refsnyder booted him out of High-A Tampa. If Refsnyder is moved up to Double-A Trenton this season, Gumbs could move back up to Tampa, and then Katoh can be promoted and everyone will be happy. But that might be too aggressive for the Yankees. If they want to go with the conservative approach, they can hold him through extended spring training and then let him play short season ball.


It's possible that the Yankees could try to convert him into a shortstop at some point and see what happens. This could make him extremely valuable and allow him to bypass the conga line of second basemen in front of him. Hopefully they ease him into the position because I'd rather him focus on repeating his hitting performance than worry about where he'll play exceptional defense on the field at this time. If it looks like his arm can make the conversion then they can give him more time at the position as he climbs up the ladder. In 2014, if his hitting is for real, I'd like to see him in Tampa by the end of the year, but we'll see. At 19, he has time.



6 years ago  ::  Jan 29, 2014 - 9:45AM #210
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Melbourne teenager signs lucrative New York Yankees baseball deal


Brandon Stenhouse has signed a six-figure contract with the New York Yankees. Pictured at home with dad Dave.

Brandon Stenhouse has signed a six-figure contract with the New York Yankees. Pictured at home with dad Dave. Source: News Limited



A MELBOURNE teenager has hit a home run by signing a lucrative professional contract with the New York Yankees that will make him a millionaire before he can legally drive.


Mordialloc school boy Brandon Stenhouse has realised a childhood dream, inking a six-figure deal with the most famous baseball team in the world.


Stenhouse, 17, could go from suburban pitcher to global star after signing the deal this week with US scouts who flew to Australia to see him play.


``It's still sinking in and I was a bit nervous signing the contract but it is a dream come true,'' he said.


``I was never sure it was going to happen.''



Brandon Stenhouse signed a six-figure contract with the world's biggest basecall club.

Brandon Stenhouse signed a six-figure contract with the world's biggest basecall club. Source: News Limited



Stenhouse started playing tee-ball aged four and caught the eye of scouts in the past two years by consistently clocking pitching speeds approaching 150kph.


With at least two other Major League Baseball clubs circling, Yankees scouts gave Stenhouse his ticket to the big time on Monday along with an educational scholarship and a bag of merchandise including the club's famous NY cap.


Proud dad Dave Stenhouse said the sky was the limit.


``It's a good opportunity but I don't think it will hit him until he gets over there,'' he said.


"He got a big bag full of stuff which I think made him the happiest and mum and dad are happy too since we don't have to pay for anything anymore.''


Stenhouse will report to Yankees spring training camp in Florida in April for two weeks of orientation before returning to Melbourne to complete his VCE.


He will then move to the US full-time to live his dream.


The teen sensation, who plays in the Victorian league for Cheltenham Rustlers, was signed by the most successful and well known club in the US after a standout performance at the Under 18 National championships in Canberra.


Yankee's Australian scout John Wadsworth said the young gun would be given ``every opportunity'' to become a Major League star.


``I have been waiting for many years to see if Brandon Stenhouse had the physical and mental makeup to be considered as a possible Yankee.,'' he said.


``I am pleased to see just how far this young man has progressed and his future is exciting to us all.''


Stenhouse will join

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