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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2013 - 10:32AM #31
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015
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Yankees Prospects: Rule 5 Draft eligible with Mark Newman



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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports






Chad Jennings talked to Mark Newman about the Yankees prospects that are Rule 5 Draft eligible. Slade Heathcott, Shane Greene and Bryan Mitchell, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Burawa, Chase Whitley, and Gary Sanchez are all eligible and, therefore, must be added to the 40-man roster to be saved from the draft.


The Yankees currently have 39 players on their 40-man roster, and most of them are about to be gone in another month. Travis Hafner, Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, Brendan Ryan, Mark Reynolds, Lyle Overbay, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain will all be gone. Matt Daley and David Huff could also be kicked off the roster. With 13 spots open, the Yankees will obviously have to sign players back up, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of space to protect everyone.


The prospects that will certainly be protected are Mitchell, Heathcot, and Sanchez, though everyone has their own merits as well. Mark Newman had good things to say about several of them and others:


Slade Heathcott:



"His second half was good," Newman said. "And by the metrics we use, he improved over the course of the season. He needs at-bats, and he needs some time."



Bryan Mitchell:



"Bryan Mitchell," he said. "He's got a great arm. He's getting better."



Chase Whitley:



"He's got a great changeup, so it was, let's see if he can do this," Newman said. "His velocity picked up over the last two years, he's always had a very good changeup, we're working on his breaking ball. We had some innings in the rotation, and he's got starter stuff, so he may get a look in that way in the future."



Shane Greene:



"Big time (improvement)," Newman said. "Command. Look at his walk totals. ... He's got good stuff. He gets it up to 95, 96 and can sink the ball. Now he's getting it over the plate."



Jose Campos:



"He did well," Newman said. "We shut him down and we're happy. ... We just don't want to jack his innings up too much." Newman said Campos will likely be on a similar but less-restrictive program next year. "He'll have more innings next year, but it will be managed (again)," Newman said. "He's not going to go to 180 innings after what he did this year."



Rob Refnsyder:



"Huge improvement (defensively)," Newman said. "So far it's been good, and he can hit. And he had a bunch of walks."



Unfortunately, he also had some not so great things to say about some other prospects.


Ravel Santana:



"He's had two really tough injuries," Newman said. "He's had a tough go."



Angelo Gumbs:



"He's got some work to do," Newman said. "He's a talented kid, but he's got work to do. He needs to have a good year. ... He can run and he can impact the ball. He's real athletic. Like so many of those (young) guys, it's plate discipline, using the field, being a quality hitter."



Austin Aune:



"He had a rough year," Newman said. "He had a tough year. We'll see how it goes next year. He's a hard-working, good kid and I'll leave it at that."


"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2013 - 11:31AM #32
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Oct 11, 2013 -- 11:09PM, cookback wrote:


Thanks for the work, Major... I am starved for Yankee news already ! I fear it's going to be a LONG offseason ...





You are welcome.  Big Guy does the major lifting.  He knows about the


Yankees in his little finger than 50000 of me put together.



Yankees shut out of Baseball America’s top International League prospects list

By Baseball America continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each of the 16 minor leagues leagues with the Triple-A International League today (no. subs. req’d). SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) topped the list and was followed by big leaguers OF Wil Myers (Rays) and former Yankee first rounder RHP Gerrit Cole (Pirates). The top six is really, really strong, but it drops off after that.

The Yankees didn’t land a single player on the list and that’s not surprising at all. The best prospect to start the year with the Triple-A Scranton squad was C Austin Romine, and he spent most of the season in the big leagues. RHP Brett Marshall had a poor year, C J.R. Murphy and OF Zoilo Almonte didn’t play many games for the RailRiders, and relievers like RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Mark Montgomery rarely crack these lists for obvious reasons. There wasn’t even a Yankees-related question in the subscriber-only chat.

The Rookie Gulf Coast League (six Yankees farmhands), Short Season NY-Penn League (one), Low-A South Atlantic League (one), and High-A Florida State League (two) lists have all been released. Baseball America went out of sequence, so the Double-A Eastern League is still to come. That is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin are the best bets from Double-A Trenton.


6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2013 - 3:54PM #33
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Got a collection of minor league notes to pass along, courtesy of Chad Jennings and Matt Eddy:

  • VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed C Gary Sanchez is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this winter. I thought he had at least one more year to go, but it’s always tough to pin down the international guys. Obviously Sanchez will be added to the 40-man roster and protected from the draft.
  • RHP Chase Whitley may remain a starter in the future. The career reliever has made a handful of spot starts the last two years, and he’s the rare reliever who used three pitches fairly regularly. “He’s got a great changeup, so it was, let’s see if he can do this,” said Newman. “His velocity picked up over the last two years, he’s always had a very good changeup, we’re working on his breaking ball. We had some innings in the rotation, and he’s got starter stuff, so he may get a look in that way in the future.”
  • Newman confirmed RHP Jose Campos will again have his workload controlled next season. He was limited to three or four inning outings all summer. He’ll throw more innings overall, but they’re not yet ready to turn him loose just yet. Campos missed pretty much all of last season with an elbow injury.
  • Apparently OF Ravel Santana broke his arm at some point. That’s on top of the brutal ankle injury that completely derailed his career two years ago. “He’s had two really tough injuries,” said Newman. “He’s had a tough go.”
  • The Yankees re-signed UTIL Jose Pirela to a minor league contract. He became a six-year minor league free agent after the season. The 23-year-old has spent the last few years with Double-A Trenton, putting up a ~120 wRC+ in 888 plate appearances the last two seasons. Pirela’s not much of a prospect, but he can play all over the field. He’s the kind of guy who could sneak a call-up at some point.
6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2013 - 8:21PM #34
cookback
Posts: 1,394

Oct 12, 2013 -- 11:31AM, MajorYankFan wrote:


Oct 11, 2013 -- 11:09PM, cookback wrote:


Thanks for the work, Major... I am starved for Yankee news already ! I fear it's going to be a LONG offseason ...





You are welcome.  Big Guy does the major lifting.  He knows about the


Yankees in his little finger than 50000 of me put together.



Yankees shut out of Baseball America’s top International League prospects list

By Baseball America continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each of the 16 minor leagues leagues with the Triple-A International League today (no. subs. req’d). SS Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) topped the list and was followed by big leaguers OF Wil Myers (Rays) and former Yankee first rounder RHP Gerrit Cole (Pirates). The top six is really, really strong, but it drops off after that.

The Yankees didn’t land a single player on the list and that’s not surprising at all. The best prospect to start the year with the Triple-A Scranton squad was C Austin Romine, and he spent most of the season in the big leagues. RHP Brett Marshall had a poor year, C J.R. Murphy and OF Zoilo Almonte didn’t play many games for the RailRiders, and relievers like RHP Dellin Betances and RHP Mark Montgomery rarely crack these lists for obvious reasons. There wasn’t even a Yankees-related question in the subscriber-only chat.

The Rookie Gulf Coast League (six Yankees farmhands), Short Season NY-Penn League (one), Low-A South Atlantic League (one), and High-A Florida State League (two) lists have all been released. Baseball America went out of sequence, so the Double-A Eastern League is still to come. That is scheduled to be released on Tuesday. OF Slade Heathcott and OF Tyler Austin are the best bets from Double-A Trenton.





i know, and appreciate, all the stuff that BG does...especially during the offseason. Between you and him I can ALMOST make it through the offseason with my sanity...Wink

Life is better when the Yankees win !
6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2013 - 9:23PM #35
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

The Yankees and first round picks (updated)


October 12, 2013 | 4 comments | in Farm System | by SJK



In June 2012, we first brought attention to the Yankees’ poor draft record when it came to first round picks.


In a recent Daily News article, Yankees farm system director Mark Newman confirmed the sentiment we expressed over a year ago:



“Our biggest issues have been higher in the draft, not lower; I think that’s a fair assessment,” Newman said. “Some of that (criticism) is legit. Some of it isn’t. All of us are committed to being self-aware about it.”



Newman and Co. may be “self-aware” of it, but it doesn’t change the results. While understanding the draft can be a crapshoot, it doesn’t excuse the fact that the Yankees have arguably whiffed on every first rounder since 2007. Here’s an updated list (w/ 2013 omitted since the selections just happened in June)


2005 – CJ Henry
2006 – Ian Kennedy
2006 – Joba Chamberlain
2007 – Andrew Brackman
2008 – Gerrit Cole
2008 – Jeremy Bleich
2009 – Slade Heathcott
2010 – Cito Culver
2011 – Dante Bichette Jr
2012 – Ty Hensley


Starting in reverse, Ty Hensley (P) missed all of 2013 with hip surgery, so you can’t fault the Yankees there, but it’s still a setback.


Dante Bichette Jr. (3B) didn’t hit in two straight years at Low-A, and was actually worse this year than in 2012.


Cito Culver (SS) also did not hit in two straight years at Low-A. Despite the lack of a bat, he was promoted to High-A Tampa probably just to get a change of scenery. After his promotion, he hit well in a small number of plate appearances (.878 OPS in 66 PA), but that’s likely a case of small sample size. The thing about Culver is that when he was picked, the entire drafting community was like “WTF?!?” It was a shock pick because no one other than the Yankees had him that high up on the board.


Slade Heathcott (CF) has gone under the knife twice for his shoulder. He hit OK at Double-A this year, .261/.327/.411 (104 wRC+), but still hasn’t proven he can hit higher level pitching.


Jeremy Bleich (P) was another “WTF?!?” pick at the time of his selection. Then he missed two years due to shoulder surgery. He’s an organizational player at this point.


Gerrit Cole wouldn’t sign with the Yankees, and you could see him on national TV pitching for Pittsburgh in this year’s playoffs.


Andrew Brackman (P) was last reported to be pursuing basketball, maybe in Europe somewhere.


Leaping to the 2005 draft, CJ Henry is now playing independent ball, but he was the main prospect involved in the trade which brought over Bobby Abreu from the Phillies. So win for the Yankees, and loss for the Phillies.


However, looking from 2007 specifically, you see a list comprised of: someone no longer in baseball, a couple WTF selections, a non-sign, repeaters of Low-A, and an average hitter at Double-A. Change is needed.

6 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2013 - 5:21PM #36
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Cookback...........I no longer dread the off-season.  With the


Fall and Winter Leagues, Hot Stove League, and free agency


movements, the off-season is pretty exciting.

6 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2013 - 6:11PM #37
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Arizona Fall League: Yankees prospects Week One results






How did the Baby Bombers fare out west this week?


Arizona Fall League play got underway last week with a few Yankees representatives playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions. They have only participated in four games to this point, but I figured that a weekly check in on how they are doing might be interesting for those who follow the Baby Bombers throughout the season, particularly because a few of the Yankees' better prospects have been sent to Arizona.


Tyler Austin might be the most intriguing of the prospects playing in the AFL this season, being that he reported to Arizona as a first baseman after playing the outfield for the Yankees the past few seasons. Austin has moved from catcher to third base before settling in the outfield and it appears that now the team is hoping he can add the other corner infield to his repertoire. In two games for the Scorpions last week, Austin fared the best of the Yankees prospects. He picked up two hits in six at-bats, drove in two runs, and worked a walk. It will be worth watching to see what comes out of his work at first base. Obviously Mark Teixeira isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but the Yankees may have future plans in mind nonetheless.


After a dreadful season with High-A Tampa, Mason Williams is also participating in the AFL to get some extra work in. He has picked up four hits in 13 at-bats for Scottsdale to this point, two of which were doubles. Williams also drove in a run and stole a base in three games. If he can hit well out west, hopefully he can bring some of that good fortune back with him for next season. He needs it after failing to prove he can hit High-A pitching thus far.


Peter O'Brien basically tore the cover off the ball all season between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, but his problem is that he is currently without a position. The Yankees moved him from behind the plate after he was promoted to Tampa, trying him out at third base before that proved to be a bit of a disaster. His bat is what will get O'Brien to the majors, if that happens, but he'll need to play somewhere if he doesn't want to be a DH like Jesus Montero. The Yankees are likely hoping he can work out some of the kinks in his defense in extra games with the Scorpions. O'Brien has gotten reps behind the plate so far in the AFL, so it's possible that the team hasn't abandoned all hope of him catching just yet. Either way, he's picked up one hit in eight at-bats with that hit being a home run that drove in two runs.


The Yankees sent four pitchers to Arizona, none of them being top of the line prospects, and three of them have seen action so far. Fred Lewis, Brett Gerritse, and James Pazos are all representing the Yankees on the pitching side for the Scorpions. To this point, Lewis has gotten the most playing time with 2.1 innings of work in which he allowed three hits and two walks along side four strikeouts without allowing a run. Pazos picked up a win and worked two innings for the Scorpions in a game he finished last week. He allowed no hits, but walked two and struck out four. Gerritse has gotten into one game in which he pitched 1.1 innings, allowing three runs on two hits in addition to two walks. He did manage to strike out two batters.


Obviously everything here is small sample size so far, but there are definitely some positives to take away. We'll check back in on the Baby Bombers next week to see how the first full week of play goes.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2013 - 6:35PM #38
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

2013 Arizona Fall League Preview: Scottsdale Scorpions


www.minorleagueball.com/2013/10/13/48223...


New York Yankees





C Peter O'Brien
1B Tyler Austin
CF Mason Williams





RHP Brett Gerritse
LHP Fred Lewis
LHSP Vidal Nuno
LHP James Pazos


The position player contingent from the Yankees features break outs and top prospects, but what about the pitchers? Elder statesman Fred Lewis threw 59.2 innings this year at age 26. The 6'2 210 pound southpaw was a 47th round senior sign in 2010 and has worked his was through the system, posting solid numbers at each stop. He started off the year over-matching hitters in A+, only staying for a month (14 IP)before getting promoted to AA. Aside from a one game appearance at AAA, Lewis spent the rest of the year with Trenton, throwing 43.1 more innings. For the year, he tallied up 58.2 innings with a 2.61 ERA, 60 strike outs (9.2 K/9), 25 walks (3.8 BB/9), 60 hits (9.2 H/9) and a 2.4 K/BB ratio. He also dealt with a high .341 BABIP. He will be Rule 5 eligible after the AFL wraps up and the Yanks will have to decide if he's worth protecting. RHP Brett Gerritse just finished off his third season at Low A after being selected in the 12th round of the 2009 draft. The 6'4 220 pound right hander worked out of the pen to start, making 21 relief appearances then switched to the rotation and made 9 starts, totaling 101 innings with a 3.56 ERA and 2.39 FIP. He allowed 93 hits (8.3 H/9), 31 walks (2.8 BB/9) and struck out 108 (9.6 K/9) with a 3.48 K/BB, the best of his career. Gerritse made progress across the board this year, lowering his ERA, BB/9, H/9 and raised his K/9 by almost 3 batters. He had no platoon split and worked better as a starter, posting a 2.22 ERA and 5.33 K/BB in 48.2 innings. He is eligible for the Rule 5 as well, so he has to show Cashman and Co. that he's worth protecting from the minor league portion of the draft, which is where he would be selected if taken. James Pazos is a 6'3 220 lb lefty that was picked in the 13th round of the 2012 draft. He's been used exclusively in relief since signing, had a great debut in 2012 but took a step back this year. In 34.1 innings between short season Staten Island and Low A, Pazos gave up 28 hits (7.3 H/9), 9 walks (2.4 BB/9), stuck out 33 (8.7 K/9), and had a 3.67 K/BB ratio. He finished the year with a 3.93 ERA and 3.39 FIP. On the mound he attacks hitters with a three pitch mix - a fastball anywhere from 89-93, a hard slider and change up still in the development phase.

6 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2013 - 4:31PM #39
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospects: J.R. Murphy makes Baseball America's top 20 list for the Eastern League


www.pinstripedbible.com/2013/10/14/48381...







Yankees rookie catcher J.R. Murphy was ranked as one of the 20 top prospects of the Eastern League. He placed at No. 18 on the list and was the top rated catcher in the league, two spots ahead of Twins prospect Josmil Pinto. The top 20 was compiled of four Red Sox (Murphy placed ahead of Brandon Workman), three Pirates and three Twins. He ranked behind a lot of elite talent, like Xander Bogaerts, Miguel Sano, Noah Syndergaard, Jameson Taillon, and Anthony Rendon, to just name a few, so ranking at "only" No. 18 is still quite an accomplishment with the talent in that league.


Murphy hit .268/.352/.421 with six home runs and an 11.4% walk rate in 211 plate appearances as the top catching prospect in the league this year. He then moved up to Triple-A and didn't miss a beat, hitting .270/.342/.430 with six home runs and an 8.9% walk rate in another 257 plate appearances. After making his debut in September, Murphy has poised himself for a spot on the big league roster in 2014. If the catching situation doesn't change by spring training, he'll likely be competing with Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, and Francisco Cervelli.


6 years ago  ::  Oct 14, 2013 - 4:34PM #40
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

O’Brien Is Bowman Hitting Champ


Driving out long home run balls to all parts of the park and spraying hard-hit balls across a diamond littered with targets like a moving human sphere, Yankees catching prospect Peter O’Brien and Pirates outfield farmhand Alex Dickerson topped a field of 30 highly touted prospects to win the Arizona Fall League’s inaugural Bowman Hitting Challenge on Saturday night at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.


The competition, a home run derby-like event with a wacky twist, featured one slugger from each Major League club currently playing in the AFL.


“It was a good time; definitely never done anything like that,” O’Brien said. “But any time you can do something like this where you’re just enjoying playing baseball in front of your fans and teammates, it’s a good opportunity.”


Following four untimed bunts at designated objectives, every hitter received two minutes to bat against live pitching with the goal of striking as many targets dispersed around the infield, outfield and home run grass as possible. Point values varied from 100 for hitting oversized baseball cards, giant inflatable boxing rings and towers of ball buckets to 600 for depositing a ball into an enclosed trampoline in deep right-center field. Homers ranged in worth from 100-500 depending on where they were hit.


At the end of the two-minute period, each contestant got one final swing off a tee, and any target hit with the “Bowman Bonus Ball” resulted in double points. Any foul ball hit at any point during the derby resulted in a 50 point deduction from the player’s tally.


Separated into two competition divisions, the highest three point totals from both National League and American League prospects were awarded cash prizes. O’Brien took the AL crown with 1,575 points, while the Mariners’ Stefen Romero finished second at 1,250 and the Tigers’ Tyler Collins took home third with 1,100. On the NL side, Dickerson won with 1,300 points, while the Dodgers’ Corey Seager and the Padres’ Tommy Medica finished second and third with 1,200 and 1,050 points, respectively.


O’Brien, the overall winner, accumulated his winning total on the back of five home runs, including one to the deepest part of the ballpark in straightaway center field on top of the batter’s eye for 500 points.


“I pretty much tried to keep my same approach from [batting practice] — stay to the middle of the field and drive the ball,” O’Brien said. “It looks so easy at first, but all the targets are hard and I feel like you should try to hit the ball hard and if you hit anything, you’re lucky.”


Other notable contestants in the event included seven of MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects. Minnesota’s Byron Buxton (No. 1), Oakland’s Addison Russell (No. 17), the Cubs’ Albert Almora (No. 21), Seager (No. 47), Miami’s Colin Moran (No. 71), Boston’s Garin Cecchini (No. 82) and Kansas City’s Jorge Bonifacio (No. 89) all competed.


None of those big names, however, came close to O’Brien, who was the Yankees’ second-round pick of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Miami. He spent the 2013 season split between Class A Charleston and Class A Advanced Tampa, compiling a .291 average with 22 home runs and 96 RBIs. For his efforts Saturday, O’Brien received a golden bat to take home from the first-year event.

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