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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2014 - 1:39PM #161
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Mason Williams, OF


bleacherreport.com/articles/1909099-new-...



Position: OF


DOB: 8/21/1991 (Age: 22)


Height/Weight: 6’0", 180 pounds


Bats/Throws: L/R


Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2010 (West Orange HS, Fla.)


ETA: 2015


 


2013 Stats


 


Scouting Report 


6’0”, 180-pound frame is loaded with athleticism; underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in 2012; endured significant regression at the plate last season; left-handed hitter employed a weaker swing, trying too hard to slap the ball in play rather than make adjustments; struggled mightily to keep weight back against secondary offerings; too much swing-and-miss to his overall game; speed has lost a grade over the last year, partially a result of his lack of on-field hustle.


Still offers above-average to plus defense in center field; struggles to track balls over his head; good reads and routes; athletic, fluid actions; average arm strength is ideal for center field.


 


Ceiling: Second-division outfielder


 


Risk: High


6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2014 - 1:41PM #162
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Tyler Austin, OF


bleacherreport.com/articles/1909099-new-...



Position: OF


DOB: 09/06/1991 (Age: 22)


Height/Weight: 6’2”, 200 pounds


Bats/Throws: R/R


Drafted: 13th round, 2010 (Heritage HS, Ga.)


ETA: 2014


 


2013 Stats


 


Scouting Report


Physically strong player who drives the ball across the entire field; majority of power is to right-center field; works to stay inside the ball; good plate coverage and bat-to-ball ability; hit tool should be at least serviceable in the major leagues; nagging wrist injury limited his power in 2013; should showcase more over-the-fence pop when healthy; still learning to turn on the ball; potential to hit 15-20 home runs at maturity; strong track record against left-handed pitching gives him upside as a platoon option.


Swing has some length that could make him vulnerable to elevated velocity at higher levels; has strong track record against quality pitchers over last two seasons; employs a patient approach; doesn’t waste many at-bats; overall intelligent hitter capable of making in-game adjustments.


Actions look natural in outfield, despite background as a corner infielder; above-average arm is ideal for a corner spot; moves well for his size and showcases range that’s better than expected; defensive skill set plays up thanks to high baseball IQ; only an average runner but has sneaky speed and athleticism; instinctual baserunner who picks his spots to run; 45 stolen bases in 47 attempts during professional career.


 


Ceiling: Second-division regular/reserve outfielder


 


Risk: Medium


6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2014 - 1:43PM #163
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

J.R. Murphy, C


bleacherreport.com/articles/1909099-new-...



Position: C


DOB: 05/13/1991 (Age: 22)


Height/Weight: 5’11”, 195 pounds


Bats/Throws: R/R


Drafted: Second round, 2009 (The Pendleton School, Fla.)


ETA: 2014 (Debuted in 2013)


 


2013 Stats


 


Scouting Report


Murphy turned in a breakout performance in 2013 and was rewarded with a 16-game stint with the Yankees in September; 22-year-old has always possessed a mature approach and feel for the strike zone; both his strikeout and walk rates have improved in the face of advanced competition; consistent right-handed swing with solid bat speed, but some question his ability to square-up velocity; works to get extension after contact; learned to lift the ball last year and posted career-best power numbers.


Defense has improved considerably over the last two seasons; well rounded defensive profile, despite lack of a carrying tool; average receiver with room to improve; footwork will be an area of focus as he prepares for 2014 season; compensates for average arm strength with a quick release and good catch-and-throw skills; poised for a career as a solid backup with the potential to play his way into a more serious role.


 


Ceiling: Second-division regular/backup catcher


 


Risk: Low


6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2014 - 1:46PM #164
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Slade Heathcott, OF


bleacherreport.com/articles/1909099-new-...



Position: OF


DOB: 9/28/1990 (Age: 23)


Height/Weight: 6’1”, 190 pounds


Bats/Throws: L/L


Drafted: First round, 2009 (Texas HS, Texas)


ETA: 2015


 


2013 Stats


 


Scouting Report


Leadoff hitter-type who gets down out of the box in a hurry; best athlete in the system; quick hands but slashy swing that lacks leverage; above-average bat speed but needs to keep barrel in the zone longer; inconsistent bat path; plus speed makes him a constant extra-base threat at the plate; potential for 20-plus stolen bases annually; tendency to rip open and pull off with front side, which limits the use of his hands; could develop moderate over-the-fence pop with better use of lower half; unnecessary pre-pitch movement causes a lack of fluidity in swing; fringy pitch recognition.


Hard-nosed, high-energy player; does everything at 100 percent; worrisome injury history due to playing style; good defensive center fielder with above-average range and impressive closing speed; tracks the ball well; impressive arm strength; shows impressive closing speed on balls in the gaps; takes direct routes.


 


Ceiling: First-division regular


 


Risk: Medium


6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2014 - 8:11PM #165
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Jose Ramirez, RHP


bleacherreport.com/articles/1909099-new-...



Position: RHP


DOB: 01/21/1990 (Age: 23)


Height/Weight: 6’3”, 190 pounds


Bats/Throws: R/R


Signed: 2007 (Dominican Republic)


ETA: 2014


 


2013 Stats


 


Scouting Report


Durable frame at 6’3”, 190 pounds; low-three-quarters arm slot; delivery involves some effort; quick arm but inconsistent release point.


Plus fastball that works consistently in the mid-90s with sink; fringy command of pitch; throws a hard slider that registers in upper-80s with depth and tilt; at least average potential; changeup has outstanding fade in the mid-80s and flashes plus-plus potential.


Overall command can get away from him at any point; history of shoulder and arm problems; big upside out of the bullpen if starting doesn’t work out.


 


Ceiling: No. 2 or 3 starter/late-inning reliever


 


Risk: High


6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2014 - 8:12PM #166
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Gary Sanchez, C


bleacherreport.com/articles/1909099-new-...



Position: C


DOB: 12/02/1992 (Age: 21)


Height/Weight: 6’2”, 220 pounds


Bats/Throws: R/R


Signed: 2009 (Dominican Republic)


ETA: 2014


 


2013 Stats


 


Scouting Report


Has improved plate discipline and contact rate this season; above-average power potential from a well-balanced swing; plus bat speed; feel for striking the ball; has some serious thump in bat; overaggressive approach; ability to control strike zone is better but still has plenty of room to improve; impressive young hitter; bat will play, regardless of future position.


Defense and work ethic has significantly improved since start of 2012; possesses underrated athleticism and agility; blocking and receiving skills leave room for improvement; arm strength is biggest asset; game-calling and leadership improving with experience; not a guarantee to remain behind the plate.


 


Ceiling: First-division regular


 


Risk: Medium


6 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2014 - 12:34PM #167
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

New York Yankees To Spend Big Internationally This Year


When the international free agent pool opened up to teams during the 2013 season, the Chicago Cubs took advantage of a loophole in the signing rules to land all of the top players. One year later, the New York Yankees are prepared to do the same.


The Yankees are willing to spend $20-25 million next year during the negotiating period, which will likely be more than enough to land many of the top, budding stars.


The drawback will come in the following two years when the Yankees will not be allowed to sign any international free agent for more than $300,000. The majority of these players come from countries like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, but players from countries such as Taiwan have been signed in the past.


Signing a few top free agents will – hopefully – replenish the Yankees farm system which has come under fire recently for not being as strong as it should be, with many prospects not being MLB-ready. However, a few plus-talent players with very cheap contracts can help the Yankees field a cost-effective team, says sbnation.com.


The players signed might not be noteworthy until they let their skills develop within the minor league system, but the tools that they possess make them can’t-miss talent worth signing. Last year, the Cubs signed six players from the international pool, all of whom are on the radars of Cubs’ fans and management.


The Yankees have had past success in the international pool, as in 2001, they signed a young player from the Dominican Republic by the name of Robinson Cano, and well, we know how that one turned out. Before Cano, there was also a player named Alfonso Soriano who was signed by the Yankees from this pool, and years later, he still continues to play in MLB at a high level.


Not every player signed turns out to be a Cano or a Soriano, but sometimes they do, and that is why most of the time, signing these international players for such a small amount of money is worth it.


The next international free agent negotiation period begins on July 2, 2014.

6 years ago  ::  Jan 07, 2014 - 2:39PM #168
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Which Yankee prospects could break camp with the team?


www.pinstripealley.com/yankees-analysis-...




USA TODAY Sports



Even though the Yankees will, once again, be a team filled with aging veterans, which prospects could make the team following Spring Training?



Although pitchers and catchers are set to report to the team's complex in Tampa, Florida in a little over one month, the Yankees still have a few spots on the roster up for grabs. Some of these spots will be filled with veterans/potential Masahiro Tanaka signings, but others could be filled with (gasp!) younger players from the farm system.


An area of need for the Yankees, although it wasn't the team's biggest, was strengthening the bullpen following the retirement of Mariano Rivera (as well as Boone Logan's departure to the Colorado Rockies). So far, they've only replaced Logan with the signing of Matt Thornton. This is a decent start, but as of now the Yankees' bullpen is David Robertson-Shawn Kelley-Thornton-Preston Claiborne(?)-Cesar Cabral(?)-?-Adam Warren/Vidal Nuno. The team could certainly do better. At the same time, relievers are flying off the market, so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise at this point if they do decide to stay in-house to fill out their bullpen.


If this is the route the Yankees choose to take, there are a few prospects the team has at their disposal they can go to. First, there's Chase Whitley. Whitley had yet another solid season with Triple-A Scranton, pitching to a 3.06 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 67.2 innings. This comes a year after pitching to a 3.25 ERA and 3.70 FIP with Scranton. Whitley possesses a good fastball, an improving cutter, and a very good change up as his main go-to out-pitch.


The 24-year-old right-hander can do a little bit of everything. He can soak up some innings in the middle of the game, pitch late in the game, and even start here and there. Whitley was left off the Yankees' 40-man roster and will need to be added, but that shouldn't be a problem. There are plenty of DFA/trade candidates even after the respective Thornton and Brian Roberts deals are made official.


Next is Jose Ramirez. Even though Ramirez has been pretty solid as a starter over the years, there are still injury concerns that could push him to the bullpen long term. Last season he had numbers (3.67 ERA and 4.63 FIP split between Double-A and Triple-A in 73.2 innings) that didn't quite match up to his stuff. Ramirez boasts a fastball that can reach the high 90's; sits in the mid-90s, a wipeout change up that is easily a plus offering, and an improving slider.


There's obviously the makings of a potential number two or three starter here, but if the Yankees really feel he won't stick as a starter, they can put him in the bullpen and they could all of a sudden have, if everything goes right, a legit late-inning option to a thin bullpen. At the same time, I expect the team to keep him in the rotation to begin the season considering they gave Dellin Betances, who was a complete disaster for a 32-start stretch from 2012-2013, chance after chance before mercifully pulling the plug in the middle of the year.


As of now, I see the Yankees with 11 position players set to make the team (Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Alfonso Soriano, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan, Brian McCann, and Francisco Cervelli) with guys like Ichiro, Vernon Wells, and Eduardo Nunez potentially getting traded/DFA'd/sent to Triple-A, respectively. For those scoring at home, that's four outfielders, five infielders, and two catchers. Normally, there are 13 position players who make the 25-man roster cut, so the Yankees have two spots open here. Even if Alex Rodriguez's suspension gets reduced to 50 games, they'll still need another infielder for the time being as well as another outfielder.


This is where Dean Anna comes into play. Anna plays up the middle, mostly at second base, and can hold his own defensively, unlike Nunez. Anna has also shown some good on-base ability in the minors, as he has a career minor league OBP of .386 in over 2200 plate appearances while posting a .410 OBP last year in close to 600 Triple-A PA's. This is something Nunez never showed even while down in the minors. Although Anna has yet to reach the majors, there is some upside here for a decent utility man, which is something Nunez has yet to prove in 270 games at the big league level. Obviously Anna isn't an actual "prospect," but, believe it or not, he's the closet thing the Yankees have to one as an infielder who is Major League ready. Anna is also on the 40-man roster, so having him make the 25-man roster out of camp wouldn't require any maneuvering.


If the Yankees do end up jettisoning Ichiro, which may or may not eventually happen, the team could use an extra outfielder given Soriano's and Beltran's respective advanced ages and declining outfield skills. Out of all the outfielders the Yankees have in the minors, prospect or not, Zoilo Almonte is first in line to claim an outfield spot if needed. He hit just .236/.274/.302 with a 55 wRC+, but it came in a limited 113 PA sample. Almonte, a switch-hitter, is better from the left-hand side. It would be better, given the construction of the roster, if he hit better from the right-hand side, but alas. Anyway, Almonte could be used as a defensive replacement given the aforementioned respective struggles of Soriano and Beltran. But, with this in mind, you can make a case for the Yankees to actually keep Ichiro if Almonte would be just a defensive replacement that doesn't get very many at-bats, but we'll see.


Finally, there's Ronnier Mustelier. Mustelier had a golden opportunity to break with the team following spring training, but injured his knee during a game while racing after a foul ball. Unfortunately, despite all the injuries to the Yankees' infield, Mustelier was never able to reach the Bronx in 2013. He hit an underwhelming .272/.319/.398 with a 101 wRC+ last year for Triple-A Scranton and will be 30 in August. Mustelier primarily played third base and corner outfield last season, so if he can hit like he did in 2012 at Scranton (128 wRC+), he could be given the opportunity with the Yankees, but it's a longshot.


I've used the word "prospect" pretty freely since Jose Ramirez is the only true "prospect" on this list, but there are a few other fringy kind of utility players the Yankees have at the upper levels of the minors (Adonis Garcia, Jose Pirela, etc.), but they may be just organizational players more than anything. A common theme in this post is the lack of true impact type prospects, especially in the infield. Since Robinson Cano debuted in 2005, the last infielder the Yankees have developed is Eduardo Nunez. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.


Maybe Rob Refsnyder will figure out second base and Eric Jagielo may turn out well and become options down the road, but I won't hold my breath. There's also J.R. Murphy, at catcher who may be Major League ready, but is blocked for the next few years by Brian McCann. On the pitching front there's Jose Ramirez, but I'd be willing to wager a pretty good amount that he'll end up in the bullpen before it's said and done. Sure, it'd be nice to have a potential late-inning, lights-out reliever, but the Yankees need (young) starting pitching now and in the future. For now the Yankees have very little high-impact prospects (a stark contrast to the Red Sox' prospect wealth), and they'll have to make the best with what they have right now until high-end talent finally emerges.

6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2014 - 12:04PM #169
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015

Prospect Profile: Luis Severino


By

Not many photos of Mr. Severino out there. (ABC News 4 Charleston and MiLB.com)

Not many photos of Mr. Severino out there. (ABC News 4 Charleston and MiLB.com)



Luis Severino | RHP


Background
Severino hails from Sabana Del Mar, a small fishing town along the north shore of the Dominican Republic. He was a little older than the typical Latin American prospect when he signed with the Yankees in December 2011, two months before his 18th birthday. Severino received a relatively modest $225k bonus.


Pro Career
The Yankees assigned Severino to the Dominican Summer League to start his pro career in 2012. He threw 64.1 innings across 14 starts that season, posting a 1.68 ERA (3.14 FIP) with 45 strikeouts (6.30 K/9 and 18.3 K%) and 17 walks (2.38 BB/9 and 6.9 BB%).


Severino came stateside last year and was very impressive, making six appearances with the team’s Rookie Level Gulf Coast League affiliate (1.37 ERA and 1.68 FIP) before being bumped up and making four starts with Low-A Charleston (4.08 ERA and 2.24 FIP). All told, Severino posted a 2.45 ERA (1.92 FIP) with 53 strikeouts (10.84 K/9 and 29.6 K%) and only ten walks (2.05 BB/9 and 5.6 BB%) in 44 innings in 2013. After the season, Baseball America ranked him as the 17th best prospect in the GCL.


Scouting Report
Severino is a short-ish right-hander — he’s listed at only 6-foot-0 and 195 lbs. — with really big stuff. He unleashes 92-94 mph fastballs on the regular and will hump it up to 97-98 on his best days, though he is prone to getting radar gun happy and overthrowing. That is something that can improve with experience, at least in theory. Severino is really athletic and his arm action is loose, so the ball jumps out of his hand.


A mid-80s slider was Severino’s top secondary pitch when he signed, but he developed a low-to-mid-80s fading changeup after turning pro and it has since become his top offspeed offering. The slider is inconsistent but still shows promise. Severino throws strikes with his fastball and he generally locates his two offspeed pitches down in the zone, where they’re supposed to go. There is occasionally some arm recoil — not a huge red flag but not ideal either — in his otherwise smooth delivery. Like most teenage pitchers, Severino still needs to learn the finer points of his craft, like holding runners and fielding his position.


Video


That video is from Spring Training last year and is the only video of Severino I can find. Again, there just isn’t many photos or video of the kid out there.


2014 Outlook
After his successful four-start cameo at the end of last season, Severino figures to return to Low-A Charleston to open 2014. He’ll turn 20 late next month and I expect him to remain with the River Dogs all year, even if he completely tears the South Atlantic League apart.


My Take
Severino is one of those cheaper, lower profile Latin American prospects the Yankees have a knack for digging up. I actually like him more than bigger name international signings like Rafael DePaula and Omar Luis because he throws strikes with his fastball, has already figured out a changeup, and has three pitches overall. Severino is just a kid with barely a hundred pro innings to his credit though. He has a lot of work and development ahead of him, but the raw tools are exciting and suggest he will be able to remain a starter long-term.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
6 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2014 - 5:07PM #170
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

www.rantsports.com/mlb/2014/01/08/what-h...



Article on Manny Banuelos.....for some reason cannot cut and paste articles


from Rant Sports

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