Jump Menu:
Post Reply
Page 15 of 88  •  Prev 1 ... 13 14 15 16 17 ... 88 Next
Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
6 years ago  ::  Dec 15, 2013 - 11:47AM #141
Posts: 32,868

2014 Breakout Candidate: Abiatal Avelino

Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on print

abiatal avelino


Name: Abiatal Avelino
Position: SS
Handedness: Bats and throws right handed
Age: 18
Signed: 2012 for $300,000 out of the Dominican Republic
Size: 5-foot-11, 186-pounds
Best Tool: Defense, contact
BBDP Rank: 12

Abiatal Avelino is a great example of a top notch signing for the Yankees at a minimal cost. To spend $300,000 on a player of Avelino’s caliber is highway robbery. It has been a developing trend for the past 2-3 years that the Yankees have done an excellent job with international scouting and have been fortunate enough to sign some high quality players for low bonuses. This has given the lower minors an infusion of talent that is about one year away from bolstering this system.

Abiatal started his Yankee career in the DSL in 2012. As a 17 year old he hit .302/.398/.374/.772 with 20 SB in 57 games. He had 11 doubles, a triple and a homerun in that stretch. He developed a reputation as a slick defender and Baseball America took notice. He was ranked as one of the top 20 DSL players in 2012.

Here is a quote from their write-up at that time; “His actions are clean, his hands and feet work well and he has good body control. He’s an instinctive fielder who turns double plays well, has a good internal clock and a plus arm with solid-average speed.”

They also noted that he has a line drive swing which is short and compact, and he is able to barrel the baseball well. He is noted to have good patience at the plate and a game centered around getting on base.

These observations turned out to be quite accurate, as his appearance stateside confirmed most of the scouting report. In his first stateside season he hit .303/.381/.399/.780 with 28 SB and 4 CS in 51 games. He played 34 games in the GCL and 17 in Staten Island, his first experience playing under the lights. He hit nine doubles and five triples. He spent 2013 proving that the scouting reports were accurate.


Avelino’s biggest strength is his defense. He is smooth, has good hands, and excellent arm strength. He has plus range and quickness as well. Defensively there is little question that he can not only stick, but will excel at shortstop. This is a key in the major leagues.

Offensively Avelino’s game is already quite polished. He has good patience at the plate, and excellent instincts to go with solid speed on the base paths. He is a very good contact hitter and sprays line drives throughout the field. He has the potential to continue to hit for a high average going forward.

The one aspect of his game which has yet to develop is power. This will not be a necessary tool for him to make it to the majors but if he is able to develop it he could take the leap from prospect star to prospect superstar. His small frame would indicate that he may never hit for power, but his swing is good enough that as he develops and matures he could hit for average power.


Avelino has an immense ceiling. He has star potential with his skill set and ability to implement it in games. He could be an all-star shortstop if all goes well who steals 40 bases and hits for a .300+ average every year.

His floor is already a backup shortstop used as a defensive replacement late in games.

The likelihood that he will hit his ceiling is above average, as he has an excellent work ethic and drive to succeed to go along with superior tools.

2014 Outlook:

Avelino should start this season in Charleston. Given that it is his first season in a full season league, the Yankees tend to move slow. He’ll likely stay in Charleston for his first year and look to move two levels at a time after that.

He could be in the major leagues as soon as 2016 if he is as good as advertised.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 16, 2013 - 12:09PM #142
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospect: Baseball Prospectus 2014 top ten


Baseball Prospectus has released their list of the top ten Yankees prospects going into the 2014 season. It's more traditional than Baseball America's list, but it's not overly optimistic about any of their chances to make it.

No. 1: The top prospect in the system is, of course, Gary Sanchez, though Jason Parks believes his stock fell a little bit in 2013 due to mix reviews of both his offense and defense. He still has the potential to be a first-division player as a catcher, though his more realistic future is as a major league regular first baseman/DH type.

While he's still a top 101 prospect in the game, his stock has slipped, and several scout sources continue to question his baseball makeup, and the likelihood that he reaches his tool-based ceiling.

I have concerns about his actual abilities behind the plate. We were told that he was a good defender, but then there were reports that he was just as bad (or even worse) than Jesus Montero. The Yankees kept saying Montero could stay at catcher, but it was obvious that he was horrible when he went to the Mariners. Now I'm worried that the organization is trying to pump Sanchez's value up too.

No. 2: This is the highest I've seen Jose Ramirez place. Parks believes that his health is a major concern after two injury-shortened seasons in a row. He has a plus fastball and his changeup is described as his "money pitch," however, his inconsistent command is going to hurt his potential. If everything goes right for him, he could be a No. 2-3 starter in the majors, but his more realistic future is as a late-inning reliever

If he can stay healthy (big if) and take steps forward with his delivery and overall command, Ramirez could develop into a high leverage reliever, perhaps even a closer if it really comes together. The arm is that good.

For me, injury is still a very big concern for Ramirez. He definitely has the ability to pitch, but he struggled when he made it to Double-A this season and then he got hurt again. He seems to be destined for the bullpen.

No. 3: J.R. Murphy had a breakout season in 2013, and it has paid off with his inclusion on many top prospect lists. Overall he projects to be a very quietly good player, with the ceiling of a major-league regular and a floor as a quality backup catcher. He lacks impact tools, however, he has shown enough with the bat and the glove that he could be a solid hitter and receiver.

His likely role will be as a backup, he has the potential to develop into an average major-league regular at a premium defensive position, and despite a lack of loud tools, the sum of his parts could make him a very valuable player.

I think Murphy could have been a major-league option in 2014, but he will likely get the majority of his playing time in Triple-A. I'm not entirely sold on his bat just yet, but another solid season like 2013 will make it obvious that he belongs with the Yankees.

No. 4: Playing in over 100 games for the first time in his pro career, the oft injured Slade Heathcott continued to show his toolsy potential. He has high-end physical tools, showing plus-plus athleticism and running, with a plus arm and above average glove, however his reckless style of play will hurt him in the field and at the plate. He has the potential to be a first-division player, but his more realistic role will be as a below-average major leaguer in a bench role.

His game lacks nuance, with an all-or-nothing approach and a highly contagious but often reckless style of play that limits his ability to stay healthy. If he can put the bat to the ball with enough consistency, he can bring his legs into the equation and possibly hit for a respectable average.

I don't think Heathcott will ever be a starting-caliber player. He's just lost too much time to injury and he lacks power and the plate discipline to make up for it. I do think he can be a solid fourth outfielder that can add some speed in the field and on the base paths, though I will continue to hope he builds on his decent 2013 season.

No. 5: Tyler Austin followed up his breakout 2012 season with a disappointing injury-plagued 2013, but the promise is still there. Parks sees him as a major-league regular with good bat speed and advanced approach at the plate, though his more realistic role will be as a platoon player off the bench with, at best, average defense at the corners.

Austin has natural bat-to-ball ability, with a short stroke that produces bat speed and allows him to make hard contact. That contact has yet to manifest itself as over-the-fence power, at least against upper minors pitching, but it has a chance to play to average, and the hit tool and approach could push it beyond that in a perfect world scenario.

I think Austin has the best chance out of the Yankees' three outfield prospects, but that depends largely on how much of 2012 was for real. He lacks home run power for someone who has very little defensive value, but he's still valuable if he can prove to be a good right-handed bat off the bench.

No. 6: Parks didn't seem overly impressed by Mason Williams, who was once the best/second best prospect in the system. He believes Williams is an impact athlete with excellent range in center field with a plus glove, solid arm, and above-average speed. While he does possess good contact ability at the plate, that contact is often weak and his power will be well below average. He has the potential to be a first-division player, but he is more likely to be a below-average option off the bench.

The defensive profile in center will give him value even if the bat falls short of the mark, but the concerns about his work ethic and overall baseball makeup don't offer a lot of confidence that he will reach his potential, much less overachieve his projections.

I really don't see where Mason Williams is going anymore. The 2014 season is going to be make or break for his prospect status going forward. He's struggled, and with that, questions about his makeup have emerged. He's very hard on himself, which is important to see, but it's possible he isn't taking that and being productive with it. This is where coachability issues come in. If the organization thinks it will be impossible to fix his problems, it's best to trade him now before his value completely flatlines.

No. 7: Greg Bird arrives on another prospect list for the first time after his breakout season in 2013. Parks believes he has an advanced approach at the plate with an excellent eye, often taking counts deep. He profiles as a major-league regular, but his bat is what will take him through the system, so he could end up as a platoon player.

Several industry sources were very high on Bird, including one front office (NL) source who said he would take the 21-year-old bat over every position player in the Yankees system other than Sanchez. The makeup gets positive reviews, which is encouraging, but the swing is what really matters, and Bird can hit, with bat speed and strength and the potential to bring legit power into game action.

I love Greg Bird. He led all the minors in walks and it's good to see that not only does he have power potential, but he has an excellent approach at the plate. You have to temper your expectations when it comes to prospects, but if he has another big season in 2014, I think he deserves to be one of the top two in the system, despite his defensive limitations.

No. 8: While many were impressed by Eric Jagielo's professional debut, Parks was more cautious, as he was striking out against only average pitching. Still, he believes he has a good swing and approach with some power potential. He has the arm to play third, though he's probably below-average in the field right now. Jagielo has the ceiling to be an above-average player, but he also has the floor of a below-average player, it all comes down to how he develops.

Jagielo was drafted for his polish and offensive potential, which means he should be facing an accelerated developmental plan and high expectations for immediate production. It was small sample, but I wasn't blown away with Jagielo's bat in the New York-Penn League; the bat speed wasn't special and he was often behind average stuff located over the plate. But it was the end of a long season, and several sources think the 21-year-old product of Notre Dame is going to hit, for both average and power, and if he shines in his full-season debut, he could be sitting atop this list next season.

I have to agree with Parks on this one. He wasn't overly impressive, but then again, in this system even average looks good. I still have high hopes going forward and I hope he shows that he can handle an accelerated workload.

No. 9: Ian Clarkin is one of the Yankees' pitching prospects who actually projects to stick in the rotation. Right now he has a complicated delivery and below-average command, velocity, and movement, but his fastball projects to be a future plus pitch, while his curveball could be his "money pitch." He could be a No. 2-3 pitcher in the rotation, but realistically he could be as low as a No. 4 instead.

The secondary stuff will get there eventually, as the curveball already shows legit plus potential, but the first developmental steps will likely be taken through a heavy dose of four-seam fastballs. Clarkin's a long-term project, but an athletic lefty with a promising and projectable three-pitch mix is worth the developmental patience.

It's nice to see a pitcher in the system that is actually expected to remain a starter. Everyone seems to have high hopes for Clarkin, but until I see him pitch more than five innings, I have to conserve my judgement and potential excitement.

o. 10: Despite his monstrous size, Aaron Judge has shown he's an excellent athlete with solid speed and a strong arm. He has tremendous power potential, but it needs to be harnessed with a refined swing. Judge probably has the greatest difference between potential and realistic future, as he could fall anywhere from a first-division player to a career minor leaguer.

Judge has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order power monster, but he also has the potential to flame out before he reaches the highest level.

Yes, his power potential could have us all salivating, but right now it seems to be more hypothetical than actually in-game. I fear that he could end up completely flaming out if the power doesn't develop. Even then, I don't know how good of an overall hitter he will end up being. It sounds like he could be a home run or nothing player, yet strangely has the athleticism to play the outfield.

Aside from the top ten, three other players were also set aside as prospects on the rise. Luis Severino, a right-handed pitcher who played for Low-A Charleston in 2013, could have been included in the top ten, though he might end up as a reliever down the road. Luis Torrens, another Venezuelan catcher, made his professional debut in rookie ball this year and could hone his raw tools to make big strides in 2014. Jose Campos, who normally makes these lists, has been stunted by injury, but if he's healthy he could be one of the best in the system.

I think it's fitting that Campos fell off the top ten. He has the potential, but until he can prove that he is healthy, it's best to not expect much from him.

Parks also identified three players who could find themselves contributing at the major league level in 2014: Manny Banuelos, once he overcomes any rust from missing a full season, Rafael De Paula, if he's moved to the bullpen and accelerated through the system, and Bryan Mitchell, as a starter or, more likely, a reliever.

Personally, I find De Paula and Mitchell to be very unlikely. De Paula won't be converted to a reliever just yet and Mitchell has yet to really match his results with his potential. I would love to see ManBan up in the majors, but unless he suddenly figures out his control issues, I say he stays in Triple-A until September.

Jason Parks really summarizes the system in one sentence:

It's Gary Sanchez and a list of interchangeable prospects with reliever profiles or bench futures, although the lower levels of the system might be able to put a much-needed charge into a lifeless system in the coming years.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2013 - 10:21AM #143
Posts: 32,868

Let’s Talk About Some Prospects


Bryan Mitchell

I have a confession.  I’m bored.  I’m bored talking about mediocre second and third basemen and I’m bored waiting around for the Rakuten Golden Eagles president to just embrace the inevitable and agree to post Masahiro Tanaka.  I’m bored pondering which righty reliever the Yankees will overpay to “compete” with D-Rob for the closer role next year and I’m bored wondering how or if they are going to be able to move Ichiro.

Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus have both recently released their annual top 10 Yankee prospects lists, and both have their strengths and weaknesses.  That means prospect ranking season is right around the corner, if it isn’t here all ready, so I’m saying the hell with the Major League issues this morning and going with the prospects.  I still have to put the finishing touches on my top 30 ranking for this season, but for the sake of conversation and debate here’s a peek into my mindset.

Prospect I Value More Than I Probably Should- Tyler Austin

Austin slid down the rankings on both BA and BP’s lists.  BA didn’t even have him in the top 10.  I don’t get that.  I look at Tyler Austin and I see a guy who just played the bulk of the 2013 season as a 21-year-old in Double-A and managed to put up a decent .333 wOBA despite battling a wrist injury for almost the entire season.  I see a guy with a polished approach at the plate who drew 41 walks in 366 plate appearances and has generally improved his BB rate as he’s advanced from the lower levels.  I see a guy who’s a gamer, who’s not afraid to step up and lead the charge in big games.

The reality of Austin’s numbers is that he hasn’t had a truly monster offensive performance since A-ball and the wrist problems could diminish what was already expected to be average Major League power at best.  He may eventually profile as nothing more than a 4th OF, but right now I could still see him being an above-average starting corner OF and a run producer and that makes him a no-brainer top 5 prospect.

Prospect I Value Less Than I Probably Should- Bryan Mitchell

Every year his name pops up on top organizational lists and every year he gets the same type of write-up: “Big kid, dynamite stuff, huge upside, needs to work on consistency.”  Something like that.  And every year he goes out and basically turns in the same performance.  He was inconsistent and walked too many guys at Staten Island, he was inconsistent and walked too many guys at Charleston, and he was inconsistent and walked too many guys at Tampa.  I value performance over upside and in my world Mitchell’s performance hasn’t come close to matching his reported upside.  That said, he did look pretty good in his 3 late-season starts for Double-A Trenton and I’m not dumb enough to not recognize that the stuff is there.  I have him way down in my rankings right now, and if he puts it together this year and gets bumped up to Triple-A, he’s going to rocket up a lot of lists and I’m going to look a bit stupid for being so down on him.

Prospect I Really Hope Returns to Form This Year- Mark Montgomery

Coming into the 2013 season, most people expected to see Montgomery make the move into the Major League bullpen sometime in the late summer or early fall.  The way he stampeded through the MiL system, it only made sense to think that way.  His numbers through Double-A in 2012 were FILTHY.  His workload was also a heavy one and I cautioned that it could come back to haunt him in 2013.  It did, he struggled with shoulder problems, his performance suffered (4.00 FIP in 40 IP), and Montgomery ended the season on the DL.  He should be back to full strength for the start of next season and it’d be nice to see the life come back to his fastball and slider.  If he can regain his dominant form from 2012 or something close to it, he could end up being that extra arm that the Major League bullpen needs.

Prospect I Can’t Help But Feel Like I Was Right About All Along – Angelo Gumbs

When the Yankees drafted Angelo Gumbs, everybody raved about his tools.  I said let’s see him actually play more than 7 GCL games first.  When he tore up SS Staten Island in 2011, everybody rushed to put him in their top 10 lists.  I said let’s wait and see how he handles a full-season league first and I didn’t even put him in my top 30.  When he had a pretty good year in Charleston in 2012 I moved him into my top 20, but I still wasn’t sold on just the tools.  Gumbs was a complete disaster in 2013, bad enough that he was demoted from Tampa back to Low-A ball halfway through the year.  After the demotion he didn’t hit much better, .213/.261/.351 compared to the .214/.265/.302 he was hitting in Tampa, so if it was a motivational tactic it’s hard to say it worked.

In fairness to Gumbs, he did battle injuries this season and I’m sure they had something to do with his struggles.  Those injury problems were present in 2012 as well though, and to me they’re part of a prospect profile that’s more flash and unrealistic potential than substance and meaningful results.  Tools are all well and good, but everybody’s tools look good in rookie league.  It’s about what you can do with them at the higher levels that really matter and so far Gumbs hasn’t shown me anything.  He needs a big bounce back year in 2014 to re-establish his prospect value, maybe more than anybody in the Yankee system.

Prospect I’m Not Even Close to Sold On Yet- Aaron Judge

Big guy, big swing.  Could be a strikeout machine if he doesn’t have the smart approach and plate discipline you need against pro pitching.

Prospect I Wish Would Stay Healthy- Jose Ramirez

115.0 IP in 2010, 103.1 in 2011, 98.2 in 2012, 73.2 in 2013.  Not exactly the trend you want to see from someone who’s supposed to be one of the top pitching prospects in the organization.  He impressed in Major League spring camp this year and made his way up to Triple-A, but if he can’t hold his body together he’s going to end up in the bullpen.  That would be a major waste of his talent.

Prospect Who’s Not Actually a Prospect But I Wish He Was- Matt Tracy

Big dude, big stuff, lefty, already working up at Double-A.  He’d be a great guy to point to as a potential future starter or a really useful trade piece.  He just hasn’t been pitching that long, he hasn’t established much control of his pitches let alone command of them, and he’s always banged up.  He also just turned 25, so the click could already be running out on his prospect timeline.

Prospect I Think More People Need to Pay Attention to- Ben Gamel

I look at him and what he’s done in the last 3 years and I see Brett Gardner 2.0.  I’m probably way off there but I can’t help it.  I’m a Ben Gamel fan.

So there’s a little taste of the prospect thoughts that are rattling around in my head right now.  There will be more to come when I get tired of the “who else can the Yankees bring in to platoon at second base?” talk again.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2013 - 3:15PM #144
Posts: 32,868

Prospect Profile: Shane Greene


(The Patriot News)

6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2013 - 5:47PM #145
Posts: 32,868

Yankees release 16 minor league players

The Yankees did some serious housecleaning that fell under the radar. The organization released a total of 16 players in mid-December, all but one of them being international free agent signings. The lone draftee was Jose Diaz, a lefty drafted in the 29th round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

Everyone else was an international signing that the Yankees evidently were unhappy with. Right-handed pitchers Joaquin Acuna, Daury Aquino, Erick Canela, Edixon Mejia, Edwin Rodriguez, and Wilton Rodriguez, lefty Hector Bello, catchers Ignacio Chevalier and Jose Lopez, third baseman Fu-Lin Kuo, and outfielders Wilson Agramonte, Jorge Alcantara, Sandy Brito, Freite Marte, and Eladio ****ta were all let go. Of those 15, only Wilton Rodriguez and Fu-Lin Kuo saw any extended time playing above rookie ball.

Obviously no one will miss them, but I wonder if they plan to add fresh talent into the system through more international signings or if this is just in preparation for the 2014 draft. It's amazing how some of these kids don't get more than a few games to impress before they're cut loose. Of course, a lot of them are probably just showing no progress and are just too old.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 19, 2013 - 10:11AM #146
Posts: 32,868

Looking at some Yankees prospect rankings

J.R. Murphy, Derek Jeter

First, a quick announcement: We’re going to do a chat tomorrow at noon. It was quite obviously a late decision, but I’m flying home to Missouri on Friday — my family is celebrating the holiday a few days early — and I wanted to get in one last chat before the end of December. So, let’s talk tomorrow. Stop by at noon. If you’ve been there before, you know the drill. Noon. Chat. Right here on the blog. See ya then.

For now, let’s rewind a few days.

Prospect rankings are far more interesting as discussion points rather than definitive judgments. Team-by-team Top 10 lists are popular for obvious reasons, mostly the fact that they’re interesting. Agree or disagree, they’re an interesting way to look at, evaluate and discuss a team’s farm system. During the Winter Meetings, Baseball America released its Yankees Top 10 list (compiled by our old friend Josh Norris, who’s brought his usual fine work to BA). Earlier this week, Baseball Prospectus released its Yankees Top 10.

You’ll have to pay — and should pay — to get the full scouting reports and details of each list, but the names and numbers are fair game without a subscription. Here are the rankings (I’m focusing on these two if only because they’re two of the better known prospect-related sites out there), along with a few thoughts of my own.

1. Gary Sanchez, C
2. Slade Heathcott, OF
3. Mason Williams, OF
4. J.R. Murphy, C
5. Eric Jagielo, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, OF
7. Ian Clarkin, LHP
8. Greg Bird, 1B
9. Luis Severino, RHP
10. Gosuke Katoh, 2B

The first thing that stands out are Nos. 5 through 10: Four guys who were drafted in 2013, one guy who made his U.S. debut in 2013, and another guy who just played his first year of full-season ball. That’s the Yankees farm system in a nutshell. A lot of low-level upside, but the upper-level talent is both thin and uncertain. With guys like Judge and Clarkin and Severino, the ranking is all about upside. Judge has yet to take a pro at-bat, Clarkin has three pro games, and Severino has pitched in 10 regular season games in the States. Sanchez feels like an obvious and easy choice at No. 1, but Baseball America remains fairly bullish on Heathcott and Williams. Either that, or they’re acknowledging the risk that comes with the younger guys at the bottom of the Top 10. Maybe a little of both.

1. Gary Sanchez, C
2. Jose Ramirez, RHP
3. J.R. Murphy, C
4. Slade Heathcott, OF
5. Tyler Austin, OF/3B
6. Mason Williams, OF
7. Gregory Bird, 1B
8. Eric Jagielo, 3B
9. Ian Clarkin, LHP
10. Aaron Judge, OF

Prospectus is bullish on Ramirez, who dazzled in spring training but had some injury problems during the regular season. Even so, his stuff makes him the system’s top upper-level rotation prospect (with the possible exception of Manny Banuelos). Interesting that both BP and BA agree on Murphy as a top five prospect in the Yankees system. That’s a credit to his improvement behind the plate and the belief that he’ll be a solid hitter. He’s the safest pick on either of these lists. Prospectus also gives a nod to Tyler Austin — coming off injury and disappointment in Triple-A — before venturing into those low-level guys with significant upside and massive hurdles to clear. Both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America agree that the Yankees top three draft picks from 2013 immediately belong in the team’s Top 10 prospects. That’s not necessarily a good thing. Indicates just how few sure things the system has.

I think I might have come up with my own Top 10 Yankees prospects back when I was in Scranton, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it since I came to New York. There’s a good reason for that: I don’t see these guys or talk about them nearly as much as I did when I was covering Triple-A, but that doesn’t keep me from having a few thoughts on who stands out and who doesn’t in the Yankees farm system.

Banuelos• During a Baseball America chat, Norris revealed that he has Manny Banuelos at No. 11. I really haven’t tried to come up with a list of my own, but I’m thinking I might have had Banuelos in my top 10. Which is more risky, an upper-level pitcher coming off Tommy John or a first-year pro with hardly any professional experience? Both bring considerable uncertainty, but if I had to pick one to have in the system, I think I’d prefer Banuelos to Clarkin. That’s not at all an indictment of Clarkin, it’s just that we’ve seen Banuelos pitch well against Double-A hitters, and Tommy John has a pretty solid success rate these days. I wouldn’t rule out Banuelos as a Top 10 Yankees prospect, but that’s just another opinion in an exercise full of them.

• If you’ve never heard of Severino, that’s perfectly fine. I know him by name only. I was surprised to see him in Baseball America’s Top 10, but that’s not at all to say I disagree. I know his stuff is supposed to be good, and in this system, a guy with limited experience isn’t necessarily overshadowed. That said, I rarely pay attention to guys until they get much higher in the system. If he’s the real deal, he’ll force you to learn his name over time.

• No Rafael De Paula on either list. Another one that surprised me, but also one that leaves me with no real disagreement. He was overwhelming in Charleston this year, then he bumped up to Tampa and was very clearly exposed. Yet another reason I don’t pay too much attention until guys get to Double-A. Those low-level numbers can be deceiving. I know the Yankees like De Paula a lot, but there’s a lot of development to go.

Bird• Not allowed to post his rankings as they’re entirely behind a pay wall, but I will say that my old friend from the minor league complex, Patrick Teale, is a big believer in Greg Bird. Teale posts his own Top 50 Yankees prospects every year at Pinstripes Plus, and he tends to lean toward those high upside guys in the lower levels, generally preferring potential ahead of polish (that’s my assessment anyway, I think he would agree with that). Patrick’s list as Bird very high. I’m also pretty bullish on Bird if only because of the way he handled himself in big league camp this year. Incredibly young, but went about his business with no sense of being starstruck or overwhelmed. That impressed me. The jury is out on whether he’ll develop the kind of home run power expected from a first baseman, but he has an advanced hitting approach for a kid his age.

• I’ve had numerous people email me this winter asking about Eric Jagielo as a solution at third base in either 2014 or 2015. While Jagielo has far surpassed Dante Bichette Jr. in the organization’s third base pecking order, I’d urge a little more patience than plugging him into your big league expectations for the next two years. He’s a college bat, so he could move fairly quickly, but 2015 would be warp speed. If it happens, that’s terrific for the Yankees — means Jagielo has raked and forced their hand — but to set that as the expectation is a bit much.

• Before putting them in a Yankees Top 10, we have to … 1. Find out whether Peter O’Brien can play the field. 2. See Abiatal Avelino produce in a full-season league. 3. Get a full, healthy year out of Jose Campos. 4. Get a significant bounce-back performance from Tyler Austin. 5. See actual results and not just raw potential out of Bryan Mitchell.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 22, 2013 - 11:43AM #147
Posts: 32,868

Looking for short-term depth: The Triple-A roster as it might be today

Taking a stab at a Yankees 25-man roster — based strictly on the players currently under contract — led me to think about who’s next in line for big league jobs. So, why not give the Triple-A roster a shot? Just like with the big league roster I posted earlier today, this isn’t really a prediction, just a look at who could slide into these roles based on who’s currently under contract. It’s more about getting a sense of the Yankees depth rather than trying to guess who will be in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre next season.

Zoilo AlmonteLINEUP
Slade Heathcott CF
Dean Anna 2B
Zoilo Almonte RF
Russ Canzler 1B
J.R. Murphy C
Ronnier Mustelier LF
Austin Romine DH
Corban Joseph 3B
Yamaico Navarro SS

This is assuming Heathcott shows enough in spring training to prove he’s ready to move up to Triple-A after 399 Double-A at-bats last year. If that’s not the case — if the Yankees want him to at least start the year back in Trenton — there are a couple of guys listed below who can play center field. This lineup also assumes that Nunez will be in New York, which seems unlikely. He might be there if the season started tomorrow, but ultimately I expect him to be crowded out. Anna and Romine could go the other way and ultimately earn big league jobs this spring, but again, I’d bet against it right now. It’s also worth noting that the details of the Yankees Triple-A lineup could be subject to change on a day-to-day basis. There are a lot of guys here who will need to play multiple positions in preparation for a potential big league role. Same goes for the guys on the bench. Also, experienced utility infielder Navarro could be traded to a team in Korea. The Yankees will lose some experienced versatility in the deal, but really, the smart money seems to be on Nunez eventually being the Triple-A shortstop anyway.

Adonis Garcia OF
Antoan Richardson OF
Addison Maruszak UT
Jose Pirela UT

Every team goes into spring training with more Triple-A possibilities than they really need. Ultimately, the Yankees will probably add even more than this, allowing for the fact that some planned minor leaguers will be needed in the big leagues, and for the fact that a handful of spring injuries are inevitable. That’s my way of saying that a guy like Garcia could and probably should play fairly regularly, even with this mix of players.

Manny Banuelos
Jose Ramirez
Vidal Nuno
Brett Marshall
Nik Turley

Just guessing, but I’d say there’s a good chance the Yankees will have Manny Banuelos open the year down in Florida to avoid the cold weather in his first outings back from Tommy John surgery. That said, the point of this exercise is to get a sense of the Yankees Triple-A depth, and it makes little sense to do that and leave out Banuelos. Also, I’d say there’s a strong chance Shane Greene is going to open the year in Triple-A, having impressed the Yankees with his improved command last season. He made 13 Double-A starts last year and might not have to go back. Also, there’s still the chance that Chase Whitley will be moved out of the bullpen and into the Triple-A rotation; and there’s a chance Michael Pineda will have to return to the minors; and a chance that Ramirez will become a big league bullpen option. Given the uncertainty of the Yankees major league pitching staff, trying to predict a Triple-A pitching staff is kind of absurd, but at least it gives some idea of who’s out there.

Mark Montgomery
Chase Whitley
David Herndon
Jim Miller
Danny Burawa
Brian Gordon
Fred Lewis

Cesar Cabral is a little bit like Nunez. Based on the Yankees current 40-man roster, he might have a spot in the big leagues. But, eventually, I think he’ll be crowded out and dumped back to Triple-A. So, really, I think he’s more likely to fit here than in New York out of spring training. Preston Claiborne and Dellin Betances could be here as well. Herndon and Miller have returned to the Yankees on minor league deals, and they seem like natural fits on the Triple-A roster assuming they don’t make a surprising charge into the big league mix. There’s really no good way to predict a Triple-A bullpen this time of year, but again, this is primarily a exercise to look at the immediate depth in the Yankees organization. Tommy Kahnle could be in his mix as well if he’s returned from Rule 5 duty with the Rockies. There are plenty of others who could easily slide into this mix, including a handful of potential Triple-A starters.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 23, 2013 - 10:33AM #148
Posts: 32,868

Prospect Park: Bubba Jones



Name: Bubba Jones
Position: 1B
Handedness: Bats left, throws right handed
Age: 21
Drafted: 2011 in the 7th round
Size: 6-foot-1, 205-pounds
Best Tool: Power
BBDP Rank: Unranked
Twitter: @ItsBubbaJones

Bubba Jones was drafted in 2011 with high expectations as a high schooler in the seventh round. The Yankees were able to snatch him away from the University of Arizona and sign him. Since then he had advances slowly but made progress each year. He grew up in Washington and while he played catcher and outfield in high school he was drafted as a first baseman.

So far in his career the power has not shown up statistically, but he is still expected to develop real power in due time. As an 18 year old in the year he was drafted, he hit .260/.327/.280/.607 in 15 games. 2011 was just a year to get his feet wet.

Then in 2012 he had another poor statistical season, batting .223/.307/.287/.605 in the GCL rookie league. He did manage to hit 11 doubles in 46 games but didn’t hit a single homerun, and his slugging percentage was a paltry .287.

This year Jones finally showed that he is trending upwards. He hit a career best .284/.348/.393/.741. Bubba hit two homeruns and had 17 doubles in 60 games. It was his best season as a pro by a long shot and an important step in the right direction. Next year as a 21 year old he will really have to start stepping it up with the power if he wants to be taken seriously.


Jones has a good, short swing and a patient approach at the plate. He sprays the ball throughout the field which bodes well for his future as a hitter. He hasn’t yet tapped into his power potential, but his size and his swing would suggest that it could be coming soon. In the end though, without much in the way of speed and being a first baseman the power must come at some point or he will find himself a career minor leaguer.

As said above, Jones doesn’t have much speed. He’s not going to steal any bases for you.

Defensively he is pretty slick with the glove. He doesn’t have the best range but he makes all of the picks. There’s no reason that he won’t stick at the position and he shouldn’t ever end up being a DH.

For Jones it will all come down to power.


Bubba’s ceiling is a 25+ homerun major league first baseman who can also hit for average. The main obstacle he faces in becoming that is learning to harness some of his power. His floor is a career minor leaguer. The likelihood that he reaches his ceiling is pretty low at this point, but that could change if the power comes along as it is expected to. There are a lot of ifs in his development.

2014 Outlook:

He’ll start 2014 at Charleston. He’ll likely spend a full year at the level.

As of right now he’s probably a one level a year guy, putting his estimated arrival time at 2018.

Bubba Jones has a ton of potential as a first baseman. He’s got a long way to got and some things to improve, but with the right guidance and hard work he could end up being a top prospect if everything breaks right for him.

6 years ago  ::  Dec 23, 2013 - 2:33PM #149
Posts: 66,015

Cubs claim Brett Marshall off waivers from Yankees


Via Chris Cotillo: The Cubs have claimed right-hander Brett Marshall off waivers from the Yankees. He had been designated for assignment last week to clear a 40-man roster spot for Carlos Beltran. Marshall, 23, had a disappointing 5.13 ERA (4.62 FIP) in 138.2 innings for Triple-A Scranton in 2013, though he did make his big league debut over the summer. I ranked him as the team’s 13th best prospect prior to the season but his stock had since come down.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Dec 23, 2013 - 2:34PM #150
Posts: 66,015

Christmas glitter graphics

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
Page 15 of 88  •  Prev 1 ... 13 14 15 16 17 ... 88 Next
Jump Menu:
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing

Yankees Forum