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Random Minor League Notes: 2019 Edition
2 days ago  ::  Nov 13, 2018 - 10:39AM #31
Posts: 29,726

2018 Rule 5 draft : Who should Cashman protect?

Brian Cashman made several trades at the deadline this year that relieved a significant amount of the pressure for the upcoming rule 5 draft. The Yankees will soon have to decide on who to protect from the guys they have left. They currently have two open spots, although I don’t believe Hanser Alonso is going to hinder any 40-man roster plans the Yankees might have.

Excluding those who have already been protected or traded, the Yankees also have Nestor Cortes, Anyelo Gomez, Jeff Hendrix, David Sosebee, Billy Fleming, Kyle Holder, Jason Lopez, Nelson Gomez, Danienger Perez, Daniel Alvarez, Andy Diaz, Welfrin Mateo, Griffin Garabito, Carlos Tatis, Miguel Flames, Adonny Rojas, Alex Vargas, Christian Morris, Garrett Mundell, Brandon Wagner, Carlos Vidal, Ricardo Ferrera, Alex Robinett, Pedro Espinola, Reiver Sanmartin, Hobie Harris, Alexander Rosario, Kenily Montas, Gilmael Troya, Juan De Leon, Frederick Cuevas, Raymundo Moreno, Nelson Alvarez, Jairo Garcia, Trey Amburgey, Dermis Garcia, Andrew Schwaab, Will Carter, Wilkerman Garcia, Donny Sands, Jhalan Jackson, Zack Zehner, Hoy Jun Park, Pablo Olivares, Brody Koerner, Daniel Ramos, James Reeves, and Diego Castillo.

A good place to start would be to discuss who could get taken. That’s a pretty long list. First, Nestor Cortes and Anyelo Gomez were both taken last year, and could easily get popped this year. David Sosebee, and Erik Swanson are all major league close and could also get drafted. Billy Fleming and Kyle Holder have major flaws but are both major league close and have some great qualities that could lead to them being drafted (Kyle Holder with his defense and Billy Fleming with his versatility and solid bat). Brandon Wagner had a magnificent season and there’s an outside chance he could get taken. Trey Amburgey, Andrew Schwaab, Brody Koerner, James Reeves, and Hobie Harris are all major league close guys who are unlikely to get taken. There’s an outside chance one of these guys could end up getting picked though. Lastly, Dermis Garcia, Diego Castillo, Pedro Espinola, Alex Vargas, and Daniel Ramos are all lower level guys who could get taken by some team who thinks their talents could immediately translate to major league success.

The goal with the rule 5 draft is to avoid any major disappointments. Losing Erik Swanson and Dermis Garcia would be a huge bummer. Erik Swanson was virtually unknown prior to 2018 but had a monster season that led to him becoming a well-known prospect. He finished in Triple-A and was effective there. He represents valuable rotation depth and would be a major loss. Dermis Garcia would be a huge loss because of his monstrous power and potential to develop into an elite prospect in the not so distant future.

It is therefore my opinion that if there are two spots available for protection, they should go to the above two players. That said, there are other considerations. You must consider that a guy like Garcia is unlikely to be taken due to his lack of proximity to the major leagues, and still raw bat. Also, if you protect him now, you are forfeiting another year of options with him. He is a raw prospect still and is nowhere near major league ready. He will take up a spot on the 40-man roster for a long time, and by the time he is ready it might be too late. That’s if he’s ever ready.

The other consideration is who else you have that can do what these prospects do. In the case of many of the relievers mentioned above, the Yankees have a ton of guys who can replace their production. The opportunity cost is negligible. In the case of the starting pitchers, you can never have enough of them. In the case of Dermis Garcia, no one in the system has power like him. With the upper level outfielders, the Yankees don’t have much room at the major league level and they already have solid depth.

The last consideration is that one or more of the open spots could go away. If the Yankees sign a free agent, that’s one fewer they can protect. If they make a trade that doesn’t involve someone on the 40-man roster and they receive someone they need to put on it, they will lose a spot. On the other hand, they could open some spots with trades or by dropping someone.

I would rank the players in the following order.

1. Erik Swanson
2. Dermis Garcia
3. Kyle Holder
4. Diego Castillo
5. Nestor Cortes
6. Trey Amburgey
7. Billy Fleming
8. Anyelo Gomez

The Yankees do a nice job of not losing their guys. Aside from the occasional Luis Torrens, the Yankees generally get the guys they lose back. They sometimes lose a guy who ends up sticking with the team who drafts them, but that’s rare. It will be interesting to see who the Yankees choose to protect this year, who they lose, and who gets returned to them.

1 day ago  ::  Nov 14, 2018 - 10:50AM #32
Posts: 29,726

Yankees Arizona Fall League Update: Week Five

One last update on the Yankees participating in the AFL.

The Arizona Fall League comes to an end this week. There is a game tonight, one final league game tomorrow, and then the Championship game on Saturday. The Yankee participants happen to be on one of the worst teams in the league, so they won’t be playing over the weekend. Let’s take one final look at how the Yankees prospects fared over the last six weeks.

Position Players

Overall, the position players were pretty awful throughout the AFL. Steven Sensley, Thairo Estrada, and Estevan Florial all got off to ice cold starts. Estrada and Florial, of course, missed a great deal of time with injuries in 2018. All-in-all, it is good to see that they are healthy. It would have been fun to see one of them really take off and put on a show, like Tyler Nevin with his 1.113 OPS.

Florial picked it up a bit over the last few weeks, but still has managed just 12 hits through 68 at-bats. He’s batting just .176/.273/.265 with two games to go. Sensley was hitting better towards the start of the season, and has dropped off. The first baseman has just one more hit under his belt, and collected 24 strikeouts through 70 at-bats. Finally, there’s Estrada. He ended up being the only position player of the three who could string together back-to-back multi-hit games. The shortstop is slashing .250/.296/.276.


I can’t help but thinking that this was a rather odd assortment of pitchers for the Yankees to send to the AFL. No flashy names, just a bunch of right-handed relievers. For the most part, they didn’t do much better than the position players. There’s still a chance that Jordan Foley makes another appearance, but as of now he surrendered one or more runs during all six of his AFL outings. Walks have been an issue, though the strikeouts are there (16 BB, 19 K, 15.2 IP).

Kyle Zurak tossed 3.2 scoreless innings over his past three games, and that only lowered his ERA to 11.57. That’s how his time in Arizona has gone. Opponents are batting .381 against him. Woof. Meanwhile, Hobie Harris has been about average. Through 15 innings, he issued seven walks, notched 16 strikeouts, and surrendered seven earned runs.

Matt Wivinis ended up being one of the better pitchers in the league, though. Over 11.2 innings, he only gave up six hits, issued six walks, and surrendered two earned runs. He’s set to finish the AFL with a 1.54 ERA (if he doesn’t pitch again), and 1.03 WHIP. The Glendale Desert Dogs didn’t present much of a challenge, but opponents hit just .150 against Wivinis.

23 hours ago  ::  Nov 14, 2018 - 8:15PM #33
Posts: 29,726

Prospect Profile: Anthony Seigler


Anthony Seigler | C

Seigler, 19, grew up outside Atlanta in Cartersville, Georgia, and his father named him after former big leaguer and longtime friend Tony Phillips. As a senior at Cartersville High School last spring, Seigler hit .421 with 13 home runs while posting a 1.90 ERA with 29 strikeouts and six walks in 25.2 innings.

Prior to the 2018 draft Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked Seigler as the 25th best prospect in the class. Baseball America (subs. req’d) ranked him 41st and MLB.com ranked him 46th, though mock drafts consistently put Seigler in the back half of the first round. The Yankees selected Seigler with their first round pick, the 23rd overall selection. He was at the MLB Network studios for the draft broadcast.

Pretty cool. Seigler was committed to the University of Florida but there were never questions about his desire to turn pro. “There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m definitely going to sign with the Yankees. This is a no-brainer for me,” he said the night of the draft. Five days later, the Yankees signed him to a straight slot $2,815,900 bonus.

Pro Debut
Seigler played 12 games with the rookie Gulf Coast League Yankees and another 12 games with the rookie Pulaski Yankees after signing. He hit .266/.379/.342 (108 wRC+) with one home run and more walks (14) than strikeouts (12) in his 24 games. A hamstring issue sidelined him for two weeks in July and his season ended a week early after he took a foul tip to the face mask and suffered a concussion. Seigler was healthy enough to be a full participant in Instructional League after the season.

Scouting Report
Widely considered the most defensively advanced high school catcher in the 2018 draft class, Seigler is build solidly at 6-foot-0 and 200 lbs., and he’s a very good athlete who should have no trouble moving to third base or the outfield should the catching thing not work out. That said, Seigler is considered a no-doubt long-term catcher because he receives well — he caught all those big velocity low level arms the Yankees have with no trouble in his pro debut — moves well behind the plate, and has a good arm.

In fact, Seigler has two good arms. He’s an ambidextrous thrower a la Pat Venditte. Seigler pitched with both arms as an amateur. From the right side, he sits in the low-90s and features a slider. He’s a bit more crafty from the left side, working in the mid-to-upper-80s and lulling hitters to sleep with a changeup. The Yankees intend to keep Seigler behind the plate. It wouldn’t be fair to call him a novelty act on the mound — Seigler would’ve been a two-way player with the Gators — but he wasn’t much of a pro prospect as a pitcher. Catcher was always his long-term home.

Seigler is a true switch-hitter with more power from the left side — or, more accurately, he hits the ball in the air more often from the left side — but a line drive stroke with good strike zone discipline from both sides. He is expected to hit for average and get on base down the road while racking up doubles more than dingers. Then again, power is hard to project these days, so who knows. Weird home run things happen with the MLB ball. Here’s some video.

Seigler is more of a “he does everything well but nothing exceptionally” guy rather than “wow look at that standout tool” guy. He’s well-rounded and he projects to remain at the hardest position to fill in the sport. Seigler also draws rave reviews for his makeup and work ethic — “(He’s) consistently referred to as one of the toughest players in the prep class,” said Baseball America’s pre-draft scouting report — and he even asked for a Spanish-speaking roommate this summer so he could work on learning the language. Pretty cool.

“The thing that attracts you to Seigler is that he has the tools to catch, and he’s a switch-hitter, which makes him a unique commodity,” said scouting director Damon Oppenheimer on draft night. “He’s showing power from both sides of the plate, has really great instincts for baseball, a plus arm and runs well for a catcher. On top of that, he’s proven to be versatile, with his ability to play other positions. Seigler’s got top-of-the-line makeup. We’re very happy about him.”

2019 Outlook
Catchers, especially high school catchers, tend to be moved slowly early in their careers because there’s so much to learn defensively. Over the last few years nearly every high school catcher drafted in the first three rounds started his first full professional season in Extended Spring Training before joining a short season league in June. Seigler might be one of the exceptions. He’s advanced enough offensively and defensively that the Yankees could send him right to Low-A Charleston to begin next season. We’ll see. Either way, ExST or Charleston, I don’t expect Seigler to play above Low-A in 2019. High school catchers generally aren’t the fastest risers, you know?

My Take
Switch-hitting catchers are my jam and I love Seigler. He is pretty much everything the modern front office looks for in a player. He’s athletic, he has two-way ability, high-end baseball smarts, and he’s tough as nails. I don’t know whether the Yankees would do it, but a team like the Dodgers or Rays might have Seigler play some outfield in addition to catcher, just to increase his versatility and make him more flexible in the three-man bench era.

The Yankees are very good at developing catchers (Francisco Cervelli, Kyle Higashioka, John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez, etc.) so Seigler is in good hands. That doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to work out. But I feel pretty good about the chances of a kid with this skill set under this development staff turning into a big leaguer. With Justus Sheffield poised to graduate to the big leagues next season, Seigler is the early favorite to be the Yankees’ top prospect at this time next year.

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