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2019 Minor League Updates
9 months ago  ::  Oct 22, 2019 - 10:39AM #1041
Posts: 8,416

Oct. 21: Mesa 4, Surprise 0
Josh Stowers is batting .127 for Surprise after an 0-for-3 performance on Monday. Aaron McGarity tossed a perfect eighth inning to record his eighth straight scoreless appearance out of the Saguaros’ bullpen. The 24-year-old righty hasn’t been scored upon since his Fall League debut on Sept. 18, and, overall, he’s pitched to a 0.87 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings (nine games).

Oct. 20: Salt River 2, Surprise 1
Brandon Wagner was one of two Saguaros batters to whiff three times on Sunday, racking up the trio of strikeouts in four hitless at-bats. Things have been a bit boom-or-bust for Wagner this fall, as he has multiple grand slams and 21 RBIs in 18 games, but he’s also batting just .206. Josh Stowers served as the designated hitter for Surprise Sunday and struck out twice as a part of four hitless trips to the dish. He’s batting just .135 this fall.

9 months ago  ::  Oct 24, 2019 - 11:02AM #1042
Posts: 8,416

Oct. 23: Mesa 2, Surprise 0
Brandon Wagner recorded one of Surprise’s three hits Wednesday when he beat out an infield single to the right side in the seventh. Batting cleanup, Wagner finished the evening 1-for-3. Josh Stowers remained in a funk offensively, going 0-for-3. He last collected a hit on Oct. 9 and has gone 0-for-17 over his last seven games. Daniel Bies has made a habit of piling up strikeouts during the Fall League, but during his outing against Mesa, he utilized his defense to work around a two-out single and escape with a scoreless inning of work. The 6-foot-9 right-hander has allowed just four hits over his last six appearances.

9 months ago  ::  Oct 25, 2019 - 10:58AM #1043
Posts: 8,416

Oct. 24: Surprise 10, Scottsdale 2
Making his final start for Surprise, Glen Otto tied a bow on his impressive AFL campaign by spinning four strong frames against Scottsdale. The 23-year-old right-hander went pitch-for-pitch with Scorpions starter Spencer Howard for the first three innings, with neither hurler allowing a hit, but scuffled in the subsequent frame. After yielding his first hit of the game (a double) with one out in the fourth, Otto issued a two-out walk and then fell behind 2-0 to Patrick Mazeika, who tagged his next pitch to right field for a two-run triple. Otto retired the next batter to complete his outing, finishing with six strikeouts and four walks on 69 pitches (39 strikes). Altogether, the former fifth-round pick (2017) recorded a 1.88 ERA with a .128 opponent average and 26/13 K/BB over 24 innings.

Josh Stowers, Donny Sands and Brandon Wagner paced the Saguaros at the plate, combining for three hits, five walks and five runs. Stowers came through with a two-run single (102.6 mph exit velocity) during Surprise’s six-run fifth inning and finished 1-for-3 with two walks. Sands, who hit a double and also walked twice, and Wagner scored two runs apiece, finishing 1-for-3 and 2-for-4, respectively. Right-hander Aaron McGarity worked a scoreless sixth inning, retiring three straight batters following a leadoff single.

9 months ago  ::  Oct 26, 2019 - 10:28AM #1044
Posts: 8,416

Oct. 25: Glendale 5, Surprise 3
Donny Sands enters this offseason with a bit of momentum. Sands hit .204 in the Fall League, but he finished on a high note as he came through with a two-run single in his final at-bat of the season. Daniel Bies finished the AFL with a 3.97 ERA after spinning 1 1/3 scoreless frames Friday. Bies, who held opponents scoreless in six of his final seven outings, threw nine of his 15 pitches for strikes and gave up one hit.

9 months ago  ::  Oct 28, 2019 - 11:02AM #1045
Posts: 8,416

Yankees’ prospects provided mixed results in the Arizona Fall League

Strong pitching performances paced the Yankees’ prospects in the 2020 Arizona Fall League, while the position players struggled to gain traction.

This season’s Arizona Fall League concluded on Saturday, as members of the Yankees’ organization playing for the Surprise Saguaros dropped the championship game to the Salt River Rafters. The Yankees saw mixed performances from the seven members of the franchise who saw action in the league this fall. Yankees’ pitching prospects fared generally well, but after a fast start the hitters struggled through the season. Let’s take a look at the seven players’ results, and where they currently stand in the system.

After missing significant time for the second straight season due to injuries, Glenn Otto was sent to the AFL to get regular work and build his innings load as he continues his climb towards the upper levels of the minors. In six starts for the Saguaros, Otto was brilliant, producing a 1.88 ERA, 26 strikeouts, and a 0.96 WHIP. Otto continued to struggle with his control as he walked 13 batters in his 24 innings pitched. With this performance, Otto has strongly positioned himself to start the season with Double-A Trenton Thunder next season.

Aaron McGarity was a late add to the AFL roster, but he made the most of his opportunity to perform on this stage. McGarity posted a 0.79 ERA and 0.62 WHIP, with 15 K in 11.1 innings during his time in the league. McGarity has been a strong performer across the three levels of A-ball the last two seasons for the Yankees, and should cross into the Double-A level early next season. 

After logging 92 innings during the regular season as a starter and long reliever, Daniel Bies was used mostly in a one-inning role during the AFL. Bies pitched 11.1 innings in ten appearances during his time with the Saguaros. After allowing runs in his first three outings, Bies settled in, allowing only only six baserunners and one earned run over his last seven games while striking out nine. The 6-foot-9 righty throws in the mid 90s, and if converted to the bullpen full-time, he is the type of power arm that could rise quickly through the system. He will likely start next season with High-A Tampa.

Derek Craft struggled through his AFL experience. Another tall right-handed pitcher, the 6-foot-8 Craft only logged three appearances and 2.1 innings during the fall league. He gave up two runs, four hits, and a two walks. Craft, a 16th-round draft pick in 2018, started the season with the Rookie Advanced Pulaski Yankees this season, before reaching Short-Season A-Ball Staten Island at the end of the regular season. Craft is likely heading to Low-A Charleston to start the 2020 season.

Brandon Wagner started off well, winning AFL hitter of the week by smashing two grand slams, and holding the league lead in RBI heading into October. Unfortunately, Wagner slumped down the stretch, and finished with a .214/.333/.357 slash line. More alarming is that Wagner struck out 27 times in 82 plate appearances. Wagner is likely heading back to Double-A Trenton to start next season.

Josh Stowers got the bump from Low-A Charleston to the AFL after finishing the season red-hot with a .386 OBP. Stowers struggled through 20 games, hitting just .131 and striking out 27 times. One skill that the Yankees were hoping to see Stowers improve was his base stealing ability. During the regular season he stole 35 bases, but was only successful on only 68% of his attempts. His struggles on offense limited his chances to steal, and he was successful four out of seven times in the AFL. Stowers passed his regular season test, but coming off a disappointing fall league, he will have a lot to prove at High-A Tampa next season.

Catcher Donny Sands also struggled through his 16 games in the AFL, hitting only .204 on the campaign. A few years removed from being one of the Yankees’ top-30 prospects, he has struggled for two straight seasons, and will likely be heading back to High-A Tampa to start next season.

The Arizona Fall League provided the Yankees with a clear line between success and failure. While the league’s schedule provides a small sample size and can’t be used as a definitive judgment of a player’s skill or future potential, it is a snap shot that adds to the young player’s resume. Otto, McGarity, and Bies built off their strong regular seasons and re-enforced the notion that they are ready to face bigger challenges next season. After playing the season at the lower level of Class-A ball, Josh Stowers and Derek Craft appear to have been put in a league that exceeded their current ability level. Brandon Wagner and Donny Sands saw their struggles from the regular season carry over to the AFL with no significant breakthrough.

9 months ago  ::  Oct 29, 2019 - 7:45PM #1046
Posts: 8,416

Surprise Sagueros … They went 17-12 before losing in the AFL Championship Game

RHP Glenn Otto: 6 starts, 24 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 13 BB, 26 K, 2 HR — Otto displayed his talent in his AFL stay, finishing seventh in strikeouts and 10th in ERA in the prospect-laden league. His 13 walks were tied for the league-high though. After missing plenty of time in 2019, this gives him a needed boost into next season.

RHP Daniel Bies: 10 G, 11.1 IP, 14 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 14 K — The strikeout and walk numbers are encouraging, just as they were when the 6-foot-8 righty floated between levels this season.

RHP: Aaron McGarity: 10 G, 11.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 15 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP — After pitching mostly in the low minors, this was impressive. McGarity could find himself a quick riser as another Yankee college reliever.

RHP: Derek Craft: 3 G, 2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR — Craft came to the AFL late and barely got a chance to pitch. The 2018 16th-round pick pitched for Pulaski and Staten Island this year.

C Donny Sands: 16 G/62 PA, 11-for-54, 3 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 8 BB, 12 K — Sands batted.204/.306/.315 overall with both his ISO and walk rate going up from the regular season.

1B Brandon Wagner: 20 G/84 PA, 15-for-70, 4 2B, 2 HR, 21 RBI, 12 BB, 27 K, 0-for-1 on SB — Wagner’s line from the AFL reads .214/.333/.357, which is much better than his .570 regular season OPS. The 2018 breakout player in the system took a step back in Trenton in 2019, so the 24-year-old New Jersey product got a chance to prove himself after a tough season.

OF Josh Stowers: 20 G/77 PA, 8-for-61, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 13 BB, 27 K, 4-for-7 on SB — Stowers clearly didn’t hit, either for power or average, yet he maintained his walk rate at 16.9 percent. The 2018 draft pick missed time at midseason, yet he still played in 105 games, so there’s a chance he was just tired from the long year as happens to plenty of AFL players.

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