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Random Minor League Notes: 2020 Edition
3 days ago  ::  Apr 01, 2020 - 7:12AM #131
Posts: 5,655

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: MLB announced on Tuesday that teams will be paying minor leaguers $400 per week until May 31 or until the minor league season starts, whichever comes first. The previous agreement was to pay them through April 8. According to Ackert, “there is an exception for players who are already receiving housing, food or other services from Clubs.” The Yankees are housing and feeding minor leaguers who weren’t able to return home because of the travel restrictions implemented to try to prevent further coronavirus spread.

3 days ago  ::  Apr 01, 2020 - 12:10PM #132
Posts: 369

We had the chance to talk to ESPN's Kiley McDaniel about the 2020 MLB Draft and how the agreement affects the Yankees.


1 day ago  ::  Apr 02, 2020 - 9:30PM #133
Posts: 5,655

Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2020: Michael King (RHP, #25)

Today we continue our Yankees Top-30 Prospects Countdown for the 2020 season with RHP Michael King.

Coming to the Yankees from the Miami Marlins in 2017, the Yankees bought in with King at the perfect time after a great 2017 season. King’s breakout came in 2018 where he broke into the Yankees Top-Prospects lists, but an injury to start 2019 helped bring about a drop to his stock. He did make his MLB debut at the end of the 2019 season and is looking to play in Triple-A again this season before hoping to play well again to get a long-term shot in the big leagues.

Michael King, RHP (#25):

Age/Date of Birth: 24 Years Old (05/25/1995)

2019 Team(s): Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple-A) and Trenton Thunder (Double-A)

2019 MiLB Statistics: 3-2 Record, 5.48 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 46.0 Innings, 47 Hits, 44 Strikeouts, 10 Walks (11 Games, 8 Games Started)

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height/Weight: 6’3”/210 Pounds

Acquired: Traded to the New York Yankees by the Miami Marlins on November 20th, 2017

MLB ETA: 2020

Michael King Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):

Fastball/Slider: 60/50

Changeup: 50

Control: 60

Overall: 40

What to Know:

  • Coming out of Boston College, the Miami Marlins drafted Michael King with the 353rd Pick (12th Round) of the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft. He was a successful pitcher in college, pitching to the second best career ERA in team history at 3.14, along with setting records for innings pitched (104.0) and games started (16) for Boston College in 2016. After signing that season, King spent time in the Gulf Coast League (Rookie) for 4 games, New York-Penn League (Class A Short Season) for 10 games, and made it up to the South Atlantic League (Class A) for 1 game at the end of the season. Totaling 30.2 professional innings that year, he pitched to a collective 4.11 ERA, a good showing for a college pitcher from a non-top baseball program.

  • Michael King spent his next season in the South Atlantic League, starting 25 games (pitching in 26 total) to a fantastic 3.14 ERA over 149.0 innings, with a 1.09 WHIP, 106 strikeouts and 21 walks alongside an 11-9 record. It was after this season that the New York Yankees traded 1B Garrett Cooper and RHP Caleb Smith to the Miami Marlins to clear up 40-Man Roster space and in return received Michael King along with international bonus pool money (in hopes to get the top talent, Shohei Ohtani).

  • In his first season as a New York Yankee, Michael King really made himself into a prospect with his best season to date, boosting himself to the 22nd Yankees prospect ranking after previously being unranked. He again played with 3 teams this season, pitching with each of the then-Tampa Yankees, now Tampa Tarpons (Class A Advanced), Trenton Thunder (Double A), and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Triple A). Over this season he pitched to a combined 1.79 ERA over 24 starts (25 games) and 161.1 innings with a K/BB rate of 152/29 and a WHIP of 0.91.

  • In 2019, Michael King pitched in 11 games, mostly with Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but was kept on the shelf from April 4th to July 11th with a stress reaction in his right elbow, which contributed towards his prospect stock drop from 12th in the preseason to 19th at mid-season. This didn’t mean all was lost for King as he spent time in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues on rehab assignments, but did see very poor performance with the Trenton Thunder (9.95 ERA) and much higher numbers with the RailRiders (4.18 ERA). The Yankees did see through this though, and on September 27th, Michael King made his Major League debut with a 2 Inning, 2 Hit, 1 Run (unearned), a 1 Strikeout performance against the Texas Rangers.

  • Overall, Michael King’s key to success comes in with his fastball, which he commands very well and sits around 90-95 MPH depending on if he is throwing a 2-seam, 4-seam, or a cutter. He won’t get high strikeout rates with this pitch, but it does generate good groundout percentages. He does have three pitches in his repertoire including a slider and changeup, along with the best control and command of all pitching prospects that the Yankees have. He’s expected to be a back-end rotation piece or middle reliever given his high floor, but his low ceiling keeps his stock low.

What Will the Future Hold?

  • Unfortunately, not starting the 2019 season until July made King’s season look much worse than it truly was and has again led to a drop from 22nd at the end of last year to 25th in the Yankees system at this preseason. The Yankees already optioned him back down to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders along with INF Thairo Estrada and RHP Ben Heller, so he’ll obviously start the season there. However, with the injury to Luis Severino and unknown from James Paxton and Jordan Montgomery, there is a good chance that King could be a rotation piece for the Yankees in 2020.

  • At this point, I’m expecting King to lose his prospect status in 2020 as I believe he will accumulate either over 50 innings pitcher or 45 days on the Yankees active roster. If this doesn’t happen, King will probably see his ranking stay the same given his near certainty for being a an average big-leaguer.

15 hours ago  ::  Apr 03, 2020 - 10:36AM #134
Posts: 5,655

New York Yankees Prospects: Nick Nelson

There is another New York Yankees starting pitching prospect that is getting ready to knock on the door of the major league rotation. Right-hander Nick Nelson has progressed a lot over the last couple of seasons and is inching closer and closer to the majors. Nelson was drafted in the fourth round by the Yankees in 2016 and is currently the 16th ranked prospect in the New York Yankees system. Nelson has worked his way up to AAA over the last couple of years with a dominant fastball and ever-developing breaking balls. Nelson has a fastball that just explodes out of his hand usually sitting between 92-96 MPH topping out as high as 98. Nelson had a very impressive 2019 that has a lot of scouts thinking he could be ready for the majors sooner than later.

Impressive 2019

Despite missing the beginning of 2019 with shoulder issues, Nelson bounced back to have a fantastic season. Across three levels in the minors, Nelson posted an 8-3 record with a 2.81 ERA. In 89.2 innings, Nelson struck out an impressive 114 batters and walked 43. The walk number was encouraging because it went down from the previous year and Nelson threw one more inning than he did the year before. Walks have been one of the concerns about Nelson due to his lack of consistency with his offspeed pitches. While Nelson’s fastball is very good, his offspeed pitches need a little work. His curveball currently is his best offspeed pitch, but again he struggles to throw it for strikes. Over the last year, Nelson really worked on the development of his slider. If he can turn those two pitches into consistent plus pitches, Nelson could develop into a really good starter at the major league level.

Moving Forward

When the season gets underway, I want to see Nelson continue to develop his slider and curveball. I watched a couple of his outings last year, and his curveball was really good when it’s on. He’s still figuring out the slider since it was a pitch he really didn’t at to his repertoire until last year, but I think he’s coming along well with it. I have confidence that he will be able to get that pitch to the point where it is a consistent threat. The Yankees have a very deep farm system when it comes to starting pitchers. I’m very curious to see if the Yankees continue to progress Nelson down the starter path or alter him to the bullpen. The sooner he’s in the majors, he’s more than likely going to be pitching out of the bullpen unless injuries force the hand of the Yankees. Either way, I think Nelson is a very valuable piece that the Yankees have in their farm system, and I’m curious to watch him progress over the next year.

14 hours ago  ::  Apr 03, 2020 - 11:25AM #135
Posts: 5,655

New York Yankees Prospects: Everson Pereira

One of the most dynamic prospects in the New York Yankees farm system is stud outfielder, Everson Pereira. Pereira was signed by the Yankees in 2017 and the Yankees gave him a $1.5 million signing bonus. Pereira has a lot of tools that make the front office very excited when watching him play. Pereira has shown great maturity for his age and seems more seasoned as a baseball player than the normal 18-year-old prospect. Pereira comes in ranked as the 13th best prospect in the Yankees system but has a lot of room to grow into being one of the best prospects in the system. Pereira possesses one of the best pure swings in the system. Do not be fooled by his numbers this early in his career.

Advanced for his age

Back in 2018, Pereira really showed the New York Yankees a lot when they had him in rookie ball. In 41 games, Pereira hit .263 and drove in 26 runs. Pereira opened a lot of eyes considering he was just 17 years old. The Yankees moved him up to A- for the 2019 season and he did struggle a little. In 18 games, Pereira only hit .171 and struck out 26 times. In looking at the tape, a lot of the mistakes that Pereira was making at the plate seem to be coming from a lack of experience. While he has advanced skills, he can appear to be anxious at times and chases a lot of bad pitches. As he continues to get more experience, I believe that his eye will get better and those strikeout numbers will go down. Pereira has tremendous speed but hasn’t shown it as much as he should. He’s only stolen six bases in 59 minor league games. Pereira’s speed is one of the things that can take him to the next level, so I would like to see him become more aggressive on the bases.

Where to go from here?

Pereira is a really solid prospect for the Yankees. He is very good in the outfield, he has really good speed, and he does show promise with his approach at the plate. I think in a couple of years, Pereira has the potential to turn into a really solid MLB contributor for the Yankees. Whenever the season gets underway, I want to see Pereira cut down on the number of times he’s swinging at bad pitches. A lot of his strikeouts are avoidable with a better eye. I really want to see Pereira also become more aggressive when it comes to running. He’s got really good speed, and I would like to see him utilize it more.

9 hours ago  ::  Apr 03, 2020 - 4:21PM #136
Posts: 5,655

Yankees Top 30 Prospects for 2020: Trevor Stephan (RHP, #24)

At one time, Stephan was the Yankees #7 overall prospect, which he earned from jumping from college to Double-A ball less than a year after signing to go professional. However, after a command and control-less season in 2019 with back injuries and a demotion, Stephan’s stock dropped rapidly. He still has a potential MLB future, but it’s looking more and more like that will be in a relief role than anything else.

Trevor Stephan, RHP (#24):

Age/Date of Birth: 24 Years Old (11/25/1995)

2019 Team(s): Trenton Thunder (Double-A)

2019 MiLB Statistics: 4-7 Record, 4.73 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 80.0 Innings, 86 Hits, 91 Strikeouts, 29 Walks (20 Games, 19 Games Started)

Bats/Throws: Right/Right

Height/Weight: 6’5”/225 Pounds

Acquired: Drafted by the New York Yankees with the 92nd Pick (3rd Round) of the 2017 MLB Draft

MLB ETA: 2021

Trevor Stephan Scouting Grades (20-80 Scale):

Fastball/Slider: 60/55

Changeup: 40

Control: 50

Overall: 40

What to Know:

  • Coming into the 2017 MLB Draft, Trevor Stephan was the 87th ranked draft prospect coming out of the University of Arkansas. Originally a first baseman in High School, Stephan only had 2 years of experience as a pitcher before being originally drafted in 2016 by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th Round. A year later, after opting to transfer from Hill College, the Yankees used their 3rd Round (92nd Overall) pick to draft him, signing to an above slot bonus of $797,500 (slot value of $588,700). A day after signing, Stephan began his professional career.

  • As with many college players the Yankees sign, they first get sent to the Gulf Coast League where they get to show their stuff in a low stress environment against younger and less developed players. Stephan spent 2 innings there, and just 3 days after going professional was headed to the New York-Penn League wih the Staten Island Yankees (Class A Short Season). He spent 10 games there, pitching 32.1 innings to a 1.39 ERA and a 0.80 WHIP over 32.1 innings. This great start propelled Stephan to his first prospect list, ranking #28 at seasons end.

  • After the offseason, Stephan’s stock was greatly increased to 15th in the farm system as he started the season with the Tampa Tarpons (Class A Advanced). It didn’t take long for Stephan to continue to dominate where he was playing, and after 7 games in which he threw 41.0 innings to a 1.98 ERA and 0.78 WHIP he was promoted to the Trenton Thunder (Double A). In just under a year since signing, Stephan spent 17 games with the Thunder where he found his first real challenge as a professional. He pitched 83.1 innings to a 4.54 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, and was promising enough to pump up to being the #7 prospect in the Yankees farm system.

  • His 2019 season started out with a non-roster invite to Spring Training, but quickly took a turn for the worse as after 4 games he ended up on the IL with a back injury which kept him out from April 23rd to May 17th. Spending another 6 games through the rest of May and most of June, Stephan showed lack of control and command as he had a 6.27 ERA at the time of his demotion to the Tampa Tarpons. In 8 games there, Stephan continued to struggle until the end of July when he threw a 7 inning no-hitter. This helped him drop a 7.88 ERA to 4.01 in 3 straight games, earning him a spot back with the Thunder for his final two games of the season where he allowed only 1 run over 9 innings before going back on the IL. Improvements at the end of the season couldn’t help his prospect stock from dropping as he went from #8 to #15 after the draft, and has now ended up at #24.

  • Overall, Trevor Stephan is a fastball-oriented pitcher, sitting around 91-96 MPH, with a good mid-80s slider and a still developing changeup. While he was seemingly on a path to a future as a rotation piece, his 2019 season helped confirm to many that his future seems brightest as a reliever. If his command and control comes back to pre-2019 form, Stephan could surprise, but he needs to really develop his changeup if he wants to stay in a rotation for the long-term.

What Will the Future Hold?

  • It’s telling that the New York Yankees didn’t offer a non-roster invite to Spring Training to Trevor Stephan this year. Previously seen as one of the best prospects the Yankees had, Stephan’s story goes to show that TINSTAAPP is partially true (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect), although scouts from the beginning were wondering about his future as a starter before 2019. He has a lot to prove in 2020, but very well could make it as a bullpen piece in Triple-A, and from there maybe be a potential big league shuttle-arm. It truly depends on if the Yankees think they can keep him in the rotation for the long-term or not. This may be the season that that gets determined.

  • Stephan is definitely going to continue to sit around the lower ends of prospect rankings, as his floor is nothing incredibly special and his ceiling is continuing to drop. He has a potential big league future ahead of him but may not see that career for many years if he is just a middling relief arm. As the Yankees continue to bolster one of the best bullpens in baseball, it’s seeming more and more like Stephan’s MLB future may be destined by being a throw-in trade piece or a Rule 5 pick.

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