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Random Minor League Notes: 2018 Edition
1 week ago  ::  May 18, 2018 - 8:35AM #231
Posts: 234

Our Trenton Thunder beat writer, Matt Kardos, breaks down the latest from Double-A in his weekly Thunder notebook.  Check it out here: pinstripedprospects.com/thunder-notebook...

1 week ago  ::  May 18, 2018 - 9:46AM #232
Posts: 26,152

Matt Kardos @mattkardos 34m34 minutes ago
Abiatal Avelino wants nothing to do with Double-A. He smashes a three run homer to dead CF to put Trenton ahead 11-3. He is 4-for 5 tonight. He is a triple shy of the cycle. He is now hitting .410 since being sent down from Triple A

1 week ago  ::  May 18, 2018 - 11:57AM #233
Posts: 234

Nick Swisher is now a special assistant to Brian Cashman, and he is enjoying his new job.


6 days ago  ::  May 21, 2018 - 10:26AM #234
Posts: 26,152
  • In case you missed it earlier, the Yankees have re-signed RHP David Hale to a new minor league contract. He is stepping right into Triple-A Scranton’s rotation. LHP Daniel Camarena was released to clear a roster spot, the team announced.
  • RHP Erik Swanson will make his next start with Triple-A Scranton, according to Kyle FrankoHe’s been great this year. Swanson has a 0.44 ERA (1.61 FIP) with 34.9% strikeouts and 8.1% walks in 40.2 innings with Double-A Trenton.
6 days ago  ::  May 21, 2018 - 10:31AM #235
Posts: 26,152

The Three Most (Only?) Interesting Yankee Hitter Playing Minor League Baseball Right Now

Entering this season, the Yankee farm system was considered perhaps the deepest in baseball. Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and Tyler Austin have all been promoted to the majors. The top remaining hitting prospect, Estevan Florial, will miss most of the remainder of the season with hamate surgery. Nearly every other remaining prospect is a pitcher. MLB.com lists 30 Yankee prospects, only six of whom bat, and only three of whom are currently playing in full-season ball, and one of which is Billy McKinney. Yuck.

This imbalance poses a problem for me because I find pitching prospects incredibly boring. Half of them will end up injured. Of the other half, it’s difficult to tell which mid-90s fastball guy with a plus breaking ball, decent command and a developing changeup is going to be a good major league pitcher. It’s harder still when most of them are in A-ball. Thus, my daily habit of checking minor league box scores is quite boring right now.

After years of familiar hitting prospects graduating, it’s time to learn a little more about the obscure ones. Who are the most interesting Yankee hitting prospects currently playing in games?

The Top Prospect: Thairo Estrada, 22, SS 

He’s in Triple-A. He’s a middle infielder. He kind of hits well, putting up wRC+s above 107 at every full-season minor league level despite being younger than his competition. However, no one thinks Thairo Estrada is going to be a great major league hitter. If he is successful long-term, Estrada is going to be a Freddy Galvis, Brandon Crawford, or pre-power Didi Gregorius type. Other than missing most of Spring Training with a bullet wound, Estrada is a snoozefest. Next.

The Probably Terrible But Maybe Decent Prospect: Dermis Garcia, 20, 3b

Way back in the more innocent days of 2014, the Yankees decided to exploit a hole in Major League Baseball’s international free agency spending caps and spend tens of millions of dollars all at once. The cream of the crop was Dermis Garcia. The third baseman has a low-average, maxed power slugger scouting report, with nothing special coming out of the other tools. He had a successful and age-appropriate 2017 season, hitting .249/.357/.542 with a 30% strikeout rate. The power was on display, but not much else. The current trend in MLB prospects has been to follow athletic guys with strong hitting skills learn to hit for 25 home runs (see Torres, Gleyber), not to try and teach power sell outs to hit singles.

Garcia is fine. He’s almost certainly going to bust at this point, but the power is interesting. He could be Mark Trumbo, Danny Valencia, or, in the best possible world, Khris Davis. Even in that timeline, which I’m pretty sure if crazy optimistic, Garcia won’t sniff even the high minor leagues until we’re knee-deep in the 2020 primaries. He didn’t even break camp to full-season ball right away. Next.

My pick: Tyler Wade, 23 Everywhere

Tyler Wade still exists. After an excellent Spring Training, Tyler Wade looked to be the next great Yankee utility guy. Then he hit below .100 in 38 MLB plate appearances. Wade hasn’t been much better since he was demoted, hitting .231/.293/.286. Not good.

That said, I still think Tyler Wade is super interesting. He can credibly play every non-catcher position pretty well. A year ago, at just 22 years old, he hit .310/.382/.460 at Triple-A. He runs and steals bases. Tyler Wade could still become an enormously valuable utility player. In one scenario, he’s Brock Holt or Eduardo Nunez. In another, he’s Chris Taylor or even a poor man’s Jose Ramirez. And he could continue his journey to the major leagues as soon as later this year. The pickings in the Yankee farm system are slim, but Tyler Wade could still be a very fun player.

5 days ago  ::  May 22, 2018 - 11:42AM #236
Posts: 26,152

The Yankees’ 2017 draft class in review

The 2017 draft netted a number of pitching prospects and a few interesting bats too.

The 2018 MLB Draft is fewer than two weeks away, and for the first time since 2014, the Yankees’ first selection comes outside the top-20. While we aren’t that far removed from the 2017 draft, Yankee fans still might not be fully acquainted with many the team’s recent draft picks. Only one of the first four picks from last year has played an inning in 2018. Still, there are more than a few names to keep an eye on from last year’s draft class.

Last year’s first-rounder, Clarke Schmidt, has yet to throw a professional pitch, as he still recovers from Tommy John Surgery. The Yankees took Schmidt, a right-handed pitcher from the University of South Carolina, 16th overall and were able to sign him to a below-slot deal. When healthy, Schmidt has real upside. Before the injury, he showed a real feel for his slider and was able to vary the depth and break of the pitch. He’s still refining his command and his changeup, but FanGraphs projects Schmidt to have four 55-grade pitches.

There’s an obvious inherent risk with drafting an injured pitcher with the first pick, but Schmidt was an extremely effective pitcher for the Game****. He’ll likely return to game action later this summer and be ready to go for all of 2019.

In the second round, the Yankees selected high school pitcher Matt Sauer. Already armed with a mid-90’s fastball and a refined breaking ball, Sauer is quite possibly the best prospect from last year’s draft class and garnered a well-above slot bonus for a second rounder. Sauer projects to be a mid-rotation starter if he can nail down a changeup, but his violent mechanics could dictate a move to the bullpen down the line. Sauer spent some time in the Gulf Coast League last season and figures to debut with Pulaski or Staten Island later this season.

Although last year’s top two picks still haven’t made their 2018 debuts, a number of players in later rounds have turned heads in 2018. The third rounder, Trevor Stephan, is perhaps the greatest example of this. At 6’5” and 225 pounds, Stephan has the ideal pitcher’s frame and is using it to overpower hitters at High-A Tampa. Despite some funky mechanics, Stephan pounds the zone and misses bats. His 10.76 K/9 and a 1.98 BB/9 rates are evidence of that. However, Stephan has surrendered 1.10 HR/9 this season and is something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Stephan has a great fastball that sits in the mid-90’s, but his secondary offerings aren’t nearly as strong. His slider is just average, and the changeup is still a work-in-progress. Stephan’s numbers suggest he could earn a call-up to Double-A at some point this season, so we’ll see how he adapts to more advanced hitters perhaps sooner rather than later.

Last year’s fifth rounder, Glenn Otto, has been on the DL since April 18th, but it’s unclear as to what’s wrong. Still, when Otto’s healthy, he’s shown some tools that make him an intriguing prospect. Otto was a reliever for all of his three years with the Rice University Owls, but in typical Yankee fashion, he’s converted to a starter this season for Charleston. Otto sports an above average fastball and a great curve, but he’s historically been plagued by walks. If starting doesn’t work out for Otto, he could certainly be an interesting piece out of the bullpen.

Steven Sensley came out of the 12th round last year but has shown some tools with Low-A Charleston this season. At 6’1”, 220 pounds, Sensley has a lefty bat with some pop. So far this season, he’s slugging .526 with 148 wRC+. Sensley does strike out quite a bit. He’s sporting a 27.6% K rate this season, but he could be a guy to keep an eye on as this season progresses.

Garrett Whitlock is another late-round pick to keep an eye on. Last year’s 18th round pick is 6’5” and 190 pounds and already been called up from Charleston to High-A Tampa. Whitlock primarily uses a sinker that sits in the low-90’s, but the Yankees have worked with Whitlock to incorporate a four-seamer too. According to Whitlock, he feels as if his changeup is his better secondary offering, but MLB.com graded his breaking ball as the stronger pitch.

Whitlock was named Sally League Pitcher of the Week just before being promoted to High-A on May 14th. Whitlock looked solid in his High-A debut, but how he continues to handle the Florida State League will be something to keep an eye on as this season progresses.

Lastly, Canaan Smith the 4th round pick in last year’s draft is personally one of the most intriguing players in this class. Smith was the first position player selected last year and got himself an over-slot bonus for a fourth rounder. Last season, Smith was a .289/.430/.422/.853 hitter with 46 walks and 44 K’s for the Gulf Coast League Yankees East team. Smith clearly has an advanced approach at the plate and can work a count much better than many of his contemporaries. This combined with some power from the left side makes Canaan Smith one of the more interesting players from last year’s draft. He hasn’t debuted yet this season, but we’ll likely see him with Pulaski later this season.

If one thing can be said of last year’s draft, it’s that the Yankees made a concerted effort to stock up on pitchers. Of the 23 players signed last year, eighteen are pitchers, and only one of the first ten picks from 2017 is a position player. Given this, it could stand to reason that the Yankees might stock up on bats in 2018.

Finally, while there are definitely some interesting prospects from last year’s draft, there’s certainly no guarantee we’ll see them in the Yankee system for long. Going back to 2013, Clarke Schmidt and Aaron Judge are the only two remaining first round picks still in the Yankees system because the Yankees have used those prospects to get major league help. Eric Jagielo helped get Aroldis Chapman from the Reds. Ian Clarkin and Blake Rutherford helped net David RobertsonTodd Frazier, and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox, and James Kaprielian was in the Sonny Graytrade last season. Whatever the future may hold for the 2017 Yankees’ draft picks, some of them will undoubtedly help the Yankees in some capacity in the years to come.

4 days ago  ::  May 23, 2018 - 10:02AM #237
Posts: 26,152
  • RHP Clarke Schmidt faced batters today for the first time as part of his Tommy John surgery rehab, according to his Twitter feedSteve Givarz says Schmidt sat 92-93 mph with his fastball and 82-84 mph with his slider, which sounds about right at this point of his rehab. Last year’s first rounder is expected to return to game action when the short season leagues begin next month.
  • 1B Tim Lynch has been released, reports Matt Eddy. He was the team’s ninth round pick in 2016. Lynch struggled in limited time this year, but he hit .310/.368/.573 (173 wRC+) with 13 homers in only 57 games with High-A Tampa last season.
  • IF Vince Conde has been released as well, the team announced. He was the team’s ninth round pick in 2014 and he spent the last few seasons bouncing around as an organizational utility man. Conde hit .206/.308/.301 (80 wRC+) in 321 games with the Yankees.
3 days ago  ::  May 24, 2018 - 4:17PM #238
Posts: 234

Jhalan Jackson has some of the best raw power in the system. Check out our feature on him here:


2 days ago  ::  May 25, 2018 - 10:13AM #239
Posts: 26,152

Yankees Minor League Report: May 25

ur weekly minor league report canvases the Yankees farm system, providing updates about the status of the teams in action and the organization's top prospects.

Notes: Top-30 prospect rankings (via MLBPipeline.com) are club based with overall MLB ranks, if applicable, in parenthesis. Prospects currently in the major leagues will not be covered here. Team records and statistics are through games played May 24, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

Class A - South Atlantic League Southern Division - Charleston RiverDogs

Record: 20-25, 5th place, 9.0 GB

Charleston went 4-8 since the last report, losing four games in the standings.

No. 18 -- Glenn Otto (RHP) is currently on the seven-day disabled list. Otto had thrown 10 1/3 innings to the tune of a 3.48 ERA and 1.45 WHIP before being injured.

No. 19 -- Nolan Martinez (RHP) remains on the seven-day disabled list and has yet to pitch this season.

No. 21 -- Dermis Garcia (3B) has gone 4-for-22 with a home run since coming on board with the RiverDogs.

Making Noise -- JP Sears (LHP) is pitching to a 2.08 ERA with a 0.72 WHIP in 34 2/3 innings of work. Sears has struck out 35 batters and walked just six.

Advanced A - Florida State League North Division - Tampa Tarpons

Record: 24-21, 2nd place, 1.5 GB

Tampa went 6-5 and gained three games in the standings since the last report.

No. 2 (No. 41) -- Estevan Florial (OF) is on the disabled list until mid-August due to a right wrist injury that required surgery. Florial was hitting .246 with a .353 on-base percentage and a .343 slugging percentage in 156 plate appearances before the surgery.

No. 4 (No. 69) -- Albert Abreu (RHP) followed up a solid six-inning, one-run effort with a dreadful seven-run whipping (including four home runs allowed).

No. 7 -- Freicer Perez (RHP) was placed on the seven-day disabled list. Perez's ERA sits at 7.20 across 25 innings (six starts) this season.

No. 25 -- Nick Nelson (RHP) was promoted since the last report and has made three starts with the Tarpons. The first two went fairly well (10 IP and 2 ER), however he was crushed on Thursday, allowing seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings.

No. 27 -- Garrett Whitlock (RHP) made his first start with Tampa after breaking into the top-30 and hurled six scoreless innings. Whitlock struck out eight batters while walking just one.

No. 30 -- Isiah Gilliam (1B) was recently added to MLB Pipeline's top-30 Yankees prospects. In 168 plate appearances, the switch-hitting Gilliam is slashing .256/.298/.397 with six home runs and 26 RBIs.

Making Noise -- Phillip Diehl (LHP) has struck out 28 batters and recorded a 2.16 ERA in 25 innings (12 relief appearances).

Double-A - Eastern League Eastern Division - Trenton Thunder

Record: 27-19, 2nd place, 1.0 GB

Trenton went 7-7, dropping to second place since the last report.

No. 8 -- Domingo Acevedo (RHP) has made two starts this season, pitching to a 2.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP with seven strikeouts. He's walked six batters in just 10 1/3 innings, something that will obviously have to change. Acevedo was placed on the seven-day DL on April 13 due to a blister issue.

No. 10 -- Dillon Tate (RHP) has allowed just one run in his last two starts (12 IP), while striking out nine and walking four.

No. 13 -- Jonathan Loaisiga (RHP) has started just one game since the last report, tossing three innings of one-run ball. Loaisiga owns a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings for the Thunder.

No. 14 -- Trevor Stephan (RHP) was rocked in his first start since being promoted to Trenton, lasting just 4 1/3 innings after allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks.

No. 26 -- Trevor Lane (LHP) was recently promoted to Trenton. He has made two appearances (two innings) and allowed four runs.

Making Noise -- Caleb Frare (LHP) boasts a 0.45 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 20 relief innings (14 appearances). Frare has 26 strikeouts against six walks.

Triple-A - International League North Division - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Record: 21-24, 5th place, 5.0 GB

The RailRiders went 6-7 since the last report, losing two games in the standings.

No. 3 (No. 48) -- Justus Sheffield (LHP) was shut down for a bit with a sore shoulder, but made a four-inning appearance on Wednesday in which he held Pawtucket scoreless while striking out five hitters. Sheffield has a 1.46 ERA in 12 1/3 innings at Scranton.

No. 5 (No. 71) -- Chance Adams (RHP) hurled his best outing of the season on May 16, tossing seven innings of shutout ball with 10 strikeouts. However, his last start was an abbreviated three-inning, five-run throttling. Adams' ERA stands at 5.40 for the season.

No. 10 -- Thairo Estrada (2B/SS) remains on the seven-day disabled list. In 33 at-bats with Scranton, Estrada was hitting just .152.

No. 16 -- Cody Carroll (RHP) made five appearances since the last report (5 IP), allowing just one run while striking out six batters. Carroll's ERA is 1.35 for the season.

No. 17 -- Billy McKinney (OF) finished his rehab assignment and was officially optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. McKinney has just one hit in 12 at-bats with the RailRiders thus far.

No. 20 -- Giovanny Gallegos (RHP) has thrown just four innings with SWB and two with the big club this season after spending much of the season on the disabled list.

No. 28 -- Ben Heller (RHP) is on the 60-day disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April.

Making Noise -- Josh Rogers (LHP) continued his fine season Thursday, tossing 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball to lower his ERA to 2.80 for the season.

Extended spring training or unassigned:

No. 6 -- Luis Medina (RHP)
No. 11 -- Matt Sauer (RHP)
No. 12 -- Clarke Schmidt (RHP)
No. 15 -- Deivi Garcia (RHP)
No. 22 -- Everson Pereira (OF)
No. 23 -- Juan Then (RHP)
No. 24 -- Canaan Smith (OF)
No. 29 -- Juan De Paula (RHP)

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