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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
10 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:50AM #1
Posts: 32,868

THE GOAL......


IN 2014

10 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2013 - 11:56AM #2
Posts: 32,868

Early minor league roster predictions for 2014


Thunder Champions

Here are BBD’s predictions for next years minor league rosters. These predictions are based on who we think will occupy each position for the majority of the year.

Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre

C JR Murphy
1B Kyle Roller/Kevin Mahoney
2B Corban Joseph
SS Walt Ibarra
3B David Adams
CF Zoilo Almonte
LF Ronnier Mustelier
RF Tyler Austin
UTIL Jose Pirela

P1 Manny Banuelos
P2 Brett Marshall
P3 Nik Turley
P4 Shane Greene
P5 Jose Ramirez
Other options: Vidal Nuno, Zach Nuding, Mikey O’Brien, Chase Whitley, Caleb Cotham, Michael Pineda, and Graham Stoneburner
Relief1 Mark Montgomery
Relief2 Chase Whitley
Relief 3 Francisco Rondon
Relief 4 Dan Burawa
Relief 5 Tommy Kahnle
Relief 6 Pat Venditte
Relief 7 Jeremy Bleich

Double-A Trenton

C Gary Sanchez
1B Saxon Butler/Matt Snyder
2B Robert Refsnyder
SS Carmen Angelini/Ali Castillo
3B Peter O’Brien
CF Slade Heathcott
LF Mason Williams
RF Ben Gamel
DH Ramon Flores

P1 Bryan Mitchell
P2 Matt Tracy
P3 Jairo Heredia
P4 Mikey O’Brien
P5 Zach Nuding
Others – Scottie Allen, Sean Black

Relief1 Branden Pinder
Relief2 Charley Short
Relief3 Joel De La Cruz
Relief4 Manny Barreda
Relief5 Taylor Garrison
Relief6 Rigoberto Arrebato
Relief7 Diego Moreno

High-A Tampa Yankees

C Jackson Valera
1B Greg Bird
2B Angelo Gumbs
SS Cito Culver
3B Dante Bichette Jr/Anderson Feliz
CF Jake Cave
LF Taylor Dugas
RF Yeral Sanchez and Daniel Aldrich
UTIL/DH Reymond Nunez

P1 Rafael DePaula
P2 Jose Campos
P3 Cesar Vargas
P4 Dietrich Enns
P5 Dan Camarena
Other Options: Evan Rutckyj, Luis Niebla, Rookie Davis, Gabe Encinas
Relief1 Tyler Webb
Relief2 Ben Paullus
Relief3 Phil Wetherell
Relief4 Eric Ruth
Relief5 Fred Lewis
Relief6 John Brebbia
Relief7 James Pazos

Low-A Charleston

C Trent Garrison
1B Bubba Jones
2B Derek Toadvine/Claudio Custodio
SS Ty Afenir/John Murphy (Avelino gets called up if/when Cito Culver goes to Triple-A)
3B Eric Jagielo
CF Aaron Judge
LF Michael O’Neill
RF Brandon Thomas
UTIL Kale Sumner

P1 Gabe Encinas
P2 Rookie Davis
P3 Luis Severino
P4 Giovanny Gallegos
P5 Caleb Smith
Other options: David Palladino, Connor Kendrick, Cale Coshow, Phillip Walby

Relief1 Nick Rumbelow
Relief2 Sam Agnew-Wieland
Relief3 Dillon McNamara
Relief4 Phillip Walby
Relief5 Chad Taylor
Relief6 Tim Giel
Relief7 Stefan Lopez

The next three are obviously the hardest because so much of the roster won’t be decided until after next year’s draft.

Staten Island Yankees

C Eduardo de Oleo/Alvaro Noriega
1B Renzo Martini/Chris Breen
2B Gosuke Katoh
SS Abiatal Avelion/Tyler Wade
3B Miguel Andujar
CF Jose Figueroa
LF Nathan Mikolas
RF Yeicok Calderon

P1 Chaz Hebert
P2 Joseph Maher
P3 Jordan Cote
P4 Brady Lail
P5 Rony Bautista
Other options: Omar Luis, Erick Canela, Dallas Martinez, Ian Clarkin, Elvin Perez, Felipe Gonzalez, Angel Rincon
Relief1: Taylor Morton
Relief2 Edixon Mejia
Relief3 Samuel Garcia
Relief4 HectorBello
Relief5 Tim Flight
Relief6 Rich Mscheri
Relief7 Francis Joseph

GCL Yankees1

C Luis Torrens
1B Drew Bridges
2B Bryan Cuevas
SS Yancarlos Baez
3B Christopher Tamarez
CF Kendall Coleman
RF Sandy Brito
LF Alexander Palma
UTIL Dalton Smith

P1 Dallas Martinez
P2 Moises Cedeno
P3 Omar Luis
P4 Christopher Cabrera
P5 Ian Clarkin
Relief pitching at this level is a complete crapshoot

GCL Yankees2

C Jesus Aparicio/Brian Reyes
1B Allen Vallerio
2B Jose Javier/Junior Valera
SS Jorge Mateo
3B Christopher Tamarez
CF Leonardo Molina
LF Frank Frias
RF Sandy Brito
UTIL Pedro Urena, Wilmer Romero

P1 Alex Polanco
P2 Ty Hensley
P3 Simon De la Rosa
P4 Domingo Acevedo
P5 Manolo Reyes
Other candidates: Dayton Dawe, Jose Diaz, Christoper Cabrera, David Rodriguez, Reynaldo Polanco, and Nestor Cortes.

One thing that strikes me about this list is that there are a good amount of starting pitchers who will get squeezed out of the rotation next season, one way or the other. Some of the tightness at the top may be relieved because the Yankees have a ton of holes to fill next year. Guys like Nuno, Brett Marshall, and Michael Pineda could be a big part of that. There will also inevitably be injuries that will allow many of these situations to work themselves out. There are solid players all the way down the line who could be squeezed out though. There’s a bottleneck of talent going from Staten Island to Charleston. That does always seem to be the case, but the Yankees are going to have to find innings for guys like Palladino, Kendrick, and Coshow.

The best positions of depth in the organization are clearly pitching, catching, and outfield. They have solid players top to bottom in those categories, and they have top prospects in each of those categories as well.

Areas of developing depth appear to be at first base, third base, and shortstop, with second base slowly creeping up (almost by association with shortstop). These are positions where there is not much in the upper minors, but there’s a lot of talent in the lower minors. Drafting Jagielo at third and switching Peter O’Brien to the position has done wonders for the third base depth in this system. You can add in that one of the best international free agent signings in the organization, Miguel Andujar, is starting to come into his own.

At shortstop Cito Culver put himself back on the map with a spectacular second half in 2013. If he can carry that into 2014, it would go a long way towards the health of his system. There’s not much above him, but there’s a lot in the leagues below him in the way of talent. Abiatal Avelino is the best overall shortstop in the organization. Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade both have a ton of potential that they could tap into. Both had successful rookie campaigns and have some solid tools to build on. Finally, Yancarlos Baez will be ready to go next year, and Jorge Mateo is coming stateside. Baez was one of the big money signings last year and is a potential power hitting SS long term and Mateo has a similar toolset to Avelino. So basically it’s depth minus upper minors talent.

First base is probably one of the weakest positions in the Yankees minors. That said they do have one of the best players in the minors at that position in Greg Bird. It’s not the biggest deal yet because Mark Teixeira will be around for a few more years anyway, but it’s something the system will have to work on in the post Teixeira era, and maybe sooner if these injuries keep stacking up. At second base there’s still David Adams, Corban Joseph, Refsnyder, Gumbs, and Katoh. No real superstars in that bunch just yet, but Katoh does really look promising. The solution? Easy, resign Robinson Cano.

Overall there are a lot of things you can criticize about the Yankees farm system. Not enough superstar talent. Not doing a good enough job of extracting value from these players and at transitioning them to the major leagues. Not doing a good enough job at preventing injuries. Not enough top prospects at the upper levels. That said, the one thing you cannot say about this program is that it lacks depth. Depth is the most important thing for a system to have, so I’ll take this farm as a Yankees fan, and hopefully in a year or so it will start producing some more useful major league players.

10 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2013 - 7:29PM #3
Posts: 32,868

Minors Notes: Hensley, Katoh, Montgomery


Montgomery. (Presswire)

Montgomery. (Presswire)

The Arizona Fall League season begins next Tuesday while the various Caribbean winter leagues start a few weeks later. Until then, here are some minor league notes:

  • Chad Jennings reports RHP Dellin Betances has asked the Yankees for permission to pitch in winter ball in the Dominican Republic. He wants to stay sharp and continue throwing following a very successful transition to the bullpen. Betances will be out of minor league options next season and is a super-early favorite for the Opening Day bullpen, so his workload is worth monitoring. You don’t want the kid pitching ten months out of the year.
  • RHP Ty Hensley is done with physical therapy, according to his Twitter feed. He started a throwing program last month but probably hasn’t progressed to the point of throwing off a mound yet. I imagine the Yankees are taking it slow with last summer’s first rounder. Hensley missed the entire season after having surgery to correct an impingement in his right hip.
  • According to Sanspo (translate article), 2B Gosuke Katoh recently tore a finger ligament during Instructional League in Tampa. He saw a specialist in New York and the recovery time is four weeks, but he can continue taking batting practice with his finger taped. The article says Katoh may head to Instructional League at the Dominican Republic complex later this month if the finger is healed.
  • RHP Mark Montgomery has recently started throwing off a mound, according to his Twitter feed. His season ended in mid-August due to continued shoulder problems. The team’s top relief prospect coming into the season had a 3.38 ERA (4.00 FIP) with a lot of strikeouts (11.03 K/9 and 28.0 K%) and a lot of walks (5.63 BB/9 and 14.3 BB%) in 40 innings for Triple-A Scranton this summer. I wonder if Montgomery will play winter ball.
  • Ben Badler (subs. req’d) named Cuban LHP Omar Luis one of ten sleepers from the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League. “Luis didn’t pick up a baseball for eight months in Haiti [because of visa problems], which led to considerable rust … He showed swing-and-miss stuff with his 89-95 mph fastball, slider and changeup,” wrote Badler of the $4M southpaw. Luis had a 5.68 ERA (~3.08 FIP) with a good strikeout rate (12.22 K/9 and 26.2 K%) and an awful lot of walks (8.24 BB/9 and 17.7 BB%) in 31.2 innings.
10 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:38PM #4
Posts: 32,868

2014 Draft: Yankees have 18th overall pick


By going 85-77 this year, the Yankees hold the 18th overall pick in next summer’s draft. They finished with the same record as the Orioles, but because Baltimore had the worse record last season, they get the 17th pick while New York gets the 18th. The full draft order is right here, and note that tonight’s tiebreaker game between the Rays and Rangers is technically a regular season game, so the 22nd and 23rd picks could flip.

Slot money for the 18th overall pick was $2,109,900 this year, and the slots are expected to increase in 2014. The Yankees haven’t picked this high since taking C.J. Henry with the 17th pick in 2005. That was compensation from the Phillies for Jon Lieber (!), not their natural pick. The Bombers could end up forfeiting their first rounder to sign a qualified free agent (Brian McCann? Matt Garza? Ervin Santana?), of course, and they could also add picks by losing their own qualified free agents (Hiroki Kuroda? Robinson Cano?). It’s still too early to know exactly how deep the draft class is, but there are always quality players available at 18.

10 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2013 - 10:44PM #5
Posts: 32,868

Yankees' 2013 Roster Report Card: Zoilo Almonte


Zoilo Almonte made his major league debut this season, but how did the young outfielder fare in his limited experience in the Bronx?

Grade: C

2013 Statistics: .236/.274/.302, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, .257 wOBA in 113 plate appearances

2014 Contract Status: Controlled by Yankees, pre-arbitration

In an effort to inject some youth and speed into an aging outfield and an injury-depleted lineup, Zoilo Almonte was called up in June of this season. Almonte, 24, spent the past five years working his way up the minor league ladder, impressing with his speed on the base paths and his switch-hitting power at the plate. After pinch-hitting for his first few games, Almonte finally broke into the starting lineup on June 21 against the Tampa Bay Rays, taking the place in the outfield of the incomparable Vernon Wells.

He made an impact immediately, starting his career off with a bang by going 3 for 4 with a home run in his first start. He had shown quite a bit of pop in the minors, as he hit 21 home runs with 70 RBI in 106 games for Trenton last year. After his 3 for 4 performance, Almonte became a regular starter for the rest of the month, and he took advantage of this opportunity, hitting .303/.351/.485 with 5 RBI in nine games started. Part of this success (and part of the reason he was successful at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .297/.369/.421 in two stints this year) was his increased plate discipline. He lowered his strikeout percentage from over 20% in 2012 to around 16% (both in AAA and the majors) this season. While his performance in June was certainly a small sample size, it seemed like, after a couple weeks of hot hitting, Almonte might be a perfectly productive and palatable replacement to man the outfield until Granderson returned.

But, as with the Yankees' season, a great start was not to be maintained Almonte's hitting fell off dramatically during the first part of July; he hit just .236/.276/.255 for the month, with no home runs and 4 RBI. Then, on July 19 in Fenway, he injured his ankle (because of course he did, it's the 2013 Yankees). Almonte spent the rest of July and all of August rehabbing his injury before finally making it back to the big leagues in September. However, with the Alfonso Soriano trade and the return of Curtis Granderson, the Yankees now had quite a lot of outfielders, and Almonte struggled to find playing time. Even after Brett Gardner went down with a rib cage strain, Girardi stuck with Ichiro Suzuki instead of giving Almonte a chance to get some experience, and maybe give the lineup a lift (which Ichiro certainly wasn't doing). Almonte only snuck into the lineup once the Yankees' fate was sealed, starting the last four games of the season, in which he went 2 for 17.

Expectations weren't sky-high for the rookie, but the Yankees did recognize his potential to be a good contributor, both at the plate and in the field (hence his promotion in June). And in his limited play in the big leagues, he met these expectations - he showed his potential, but he also showed that he still has a long way to go being a productive everyday player. While he posted good numbers during his stints this year in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and had a hot start to his major league career in June, he was awful at the plate after that. Still, this was his first trip to the majors and he barely got a chance to get his feet wet, so his season certainly can't be called a disaster. He's not quite there yet, but Almonte certainly has the potential to become a productive hitter on a good team if he's given the chance. Although, with a crowded Yankee outfield next season (Granderson, Soriano, Gardner, and another year of Ichiro for some reason), he might not get it.

At least not in the Bronx.

10 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2013 - 1:19PM #6
Posts: 66,015

Jagielo ranks sixth on Baseball America’s top NY-Penn League prospects list


Baseball America’s look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league continued today with the Short Season NY-Penn League. OF Harold Ramirez (Pirates) grabbed the top spot despite being only 18 years old in a league mostly full of experienced college draftees. The Yankees landed only one player on the list: 3B Eric Jagielo at number six. That’s not surprising; the Staten Island squad was littered with fringe prospects this summer.

Jagielo, 21, hit .266/.376/.451 (153 wRC+) with six homers in 218 plate appearances after being the team’s first of three first round picks in June. “He has a smooth lefthanded swing with good rhythm, and he can turn on a fastball or wait back for an offspeed pitch,” said the subscriber-only scouting report. “His swing can get long at times, but he projects as a solid-average hitter with plus power potential … He’s a below-average runner, and he doesn’t figure to have the mobility to be a standout at third, but most evaluators give him a chance to stick at the position. He has enough arm strength and good accuracy.”

The Yankees had six players on the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League list. The next list of interest is the Low-A South Atlantic League, which will be released tomorrow. 1B Greg Bird is a lock and so is RHP Rafael DePaula, assuming he has enough innings to qualify. I’m pretty sure he does. RHP Jose Campos has a decent chance to make the list, OF Jake Cave, 2B Angelo Gumbs, and LHP Dan Camarena less so.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
10 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2013 - 5:36PM #7
Posts: 32,868

Yankees prospects: Pinstriped Bible's post-season Top 10 list


Before the 2013 season began the site editors came up with a collaborative Top 10 prospects list for the site. Andrew Mearns, Jason Cohen, and I have re-evaluated our lists now that the minor league season is over to come up with a similar list with another season of performance to judge.

None of us claim to be experts on the topic of scouting, so our lists are purely based on what we see, read, think, and hear about Yankees prospects. Finding a balance between potential and performance is not always easy and it's unlikely that two prospect lists will ever be the same, even among experts. That being said, here is the list the three of us have come up with for our post-2013 Pinstriped Bible Top 10. Our individual ranks of each player are beside our names in the explanations below.

1. Gary Sanchez, C
Pre-season PB rank: 1
Level at the end of 2013: Double-A Trenton
2013 Statistics: (High-A and Double-A) 117 games, .253/.324/.412, 15 HR, 27 2B, 3 SB

Tanya (#1): Hopes still lie with Sanchez being the Yankees' answer at catcher for the future. He didn't have a fantastic season by any means, but he was solid enough to remain the top prospect in the system, if only for the fact that his main competition really struggled in 2013. Sanchez still has the potential to be a special player if he continues to improve his defense.
Jason (#1): He's proven that he can hit and walk in the upper levels, but it would be nice if he showed some more power and overall offense. Mark Newman basically said they were unhappy with his defense and there have been numerous reports that he's taken a step back behind the plate. If it appears that he can't stay back there his prospect value is going to plummet into oblivion.
Andrew (#1): Still the best prospect in the Yankees' system, Sanchez notched solid but not unspectacular numbers between Tampa and Trenton. He still reportedly needs plenty of work on defense, but he has yet to have a sub-100 wRC+ at any level.

2. Greg Bird, 1B
Pre-season PB rank: Not ranked
Level at the end of 2013: Low-A Charleston
2013 Statistics: (Low-A) 130 games, .288/.428/.511, 20 HR, 36 2B, 1 SB

Tanya (#2): Putting Bird this high after his first 100+ game season is ambitious, but what he did this year was an accomplishment worthy of a lofty ranking in a system that didn't accomplish much this year. His power and walk rates are easy to dream on and his lefty swing could fit perfectly in Yankee Stadium. First base prospects are often overlooked, but another season like '13 from Bird will make it hard for anyone to ignore his potential.
Jason (#2): It's hard to get excited about a first base prospect in the lower levels, but this one was one of the best hitters in the minors and he led everyone in walks. Everyone. The best part about it was that he was young for the level at only 20 years old, so hopefully this is only the beginning for him.
Andrew (#5): Now established at first base, Bird destroyed SAL pitching and won a ton of fans in 2013. His hitting will be what brings him higher in the system, so he just has to continue it at higher levels, though Tampa and Trenton's ballparks will challenge him.

3. Eric Jagielo, 3B
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Short Season-A Staten Island
2013 Statistics: (Short Season) 51 games, .266/.376/.451, 6 HR, 14 2B, 0 SB

Tanya (#4): Jagielo got the most playing time of the three first round picks this season with good results out of the gate. The Yankees need a third baseman desperately and Jagielo can move through the system quickly if the offense is there. Better still is the fact that most experts believe that he will actually be able to stick at his defensive position.
Jason (#4): He didn't play much, but he had pretty good numbers for his first taste of pro ball. The third base landscape in the Yankees system is wide open, so he represents their best chance at a regular third baseman at some point in the future. If he can expand on what he showed in 2013, he'll be able to easily climb up the system.
Andrew (#2): The star of the 2013 draft's value will depend on whether or not he can stay at third, but the early returns on his NCAA-polished bat were strong in Staten Island. Although he needs to cut down on his strikeouts, Jagielo's impressive start inspires hope that he can quickly rise through the system.

4. Tyler Austin, OF/1B
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Double-A Trenton
2013 Statistics: (Double-A) 83 games, .257/.351/.378, 6 HR, 17 2B, 4 SB

Tanya (#3): Austin burst onto the scene in 2012 before a mixture of playing half his games at Arm & Hammer Park and a wrist injury really took a toll on his production. Trenton's home ballpark is not friendly to hitters, but even Austin's road numbers were down in the power department from what he saw the year before. The Yankees have been aggressive with him and he likely ranks as the prospect outfielder closest to the majors, but he'll need to be more 2012 than 2013 going forward if there's any real hope of making it as a starter.
Jason (#5): He had an absolutely terrible season, though he did OPS .758 in the first two months of the season. Everything fell apart after that until it ended with a wrist injury. It shouldn't be a problem next season, but he really needs to turn things around or his meteoric rise as a prospect will look like a mistake.
Andrew (#3): He took an understandable step back after a monster 2012, and a wrist injury kept him out of action for a couple months. Nonetheless, he had decent numbers during the season for Trenton and played well upon his return for the Eastern League playoffs. Positional versatility is certainly a plus for prospects, and if Austin can add first base to his repertoire in the Fall League as the instructional league assignment seems to dictate, it could accelerate his rise to the big leagues.

. Mason Williams, OF
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Double-A Trenton
2013 Statistics: (High-A and Double-A) 117 games, .245/.304/.337, 4 HR, 24 2B, 15 Sb

Tanya (#5): Williams has tools for days that make scouts drool, but he has been unable to prove that he can master High-A pitching so far. He finished the 2013 season in Double-A, thanks to injuries to other outfielders, where he struggled even further. Of the Big Three outfield prospects, he's lagging behind. It wouldn't be that much of a shock to see him back in Tampa to start 2014 until he can prove that more advanced pitching doesn't conquer him.
Jason (#6): He finally made it to Double-A this season, but there's no certainty he should start next season with Trenton. He hit for no power, though he was still good on the base paths and hit for average. It was a disappointing season for him, but he did hit .319/.360/.434 in June and July, but still only one home run. It's clear that he'll never be a power hitter, but if he's going to be a speedy, gold glove caliber outfielder, he's going to have to show more. There have been questions about his work ethic this season, so if that continues he could find himself off prospect lists in a hurry.
Andrew (#4): Mason took a huge step backward this year from perhaps the Yankees' best prospect. His power dropped and he couldn't even hit above Florida State League-average. He'll need a big year in 2014 (hopefully in Trenton) to reclaim his top prospect status.

6. Rafael De Paula, RHP
Pre-season PB rank: Not ranked
Level at the end of 2013: High-A Tampa
2013 Statistics: (Low-A and High-A) 113.1 IP, 4.29 ERA, 146 K, .232 average against

Tanya (#6): De Paula's Yankee career got off to a bumpy start when his arrival was delayed due to identity and visa issues. He got his first taste of pitching in the United States this season, rewarding the Yankees' patience with a strong showing with Charleston. His numbers fell off after his promotion to High-A, but he'll get another crack at adjusting to more selective hitters next season. If he can get back to the dominance he had against Low-A hitters, the sky is the limit.
Jason (#3): He took the Sally League by storm this season with a 13.43 K/9, but when he went up to High-A the strikeouts went down and the walks went up. Hopefully, adjusting to a higher level of competition just proved a little difficult and with more time he'll be able to adjust because he's the Yankees best chance at finding a frontline starter.
Andrew (#8): The excitement of an amazing first half with Charleston was tempered by a return to earth with Tampa. Regardless, De Paula has an electric repertoire, and more experience against the FSL hitters should help him in 2014.

7. Slade Heathcott, OF
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Double-A Trenton
2013 Statistics: (Double-A) 103 games, .261/.327/.411, 8 HR, 22 2B, 15 SB

Tanya (#7): Slade managed to play more games than he ever has as a professional this season, but, like his fellow outfield prospects, he struggled a bit in the offensive department. Playing half his games in a pitcher-friendly ballpark certainly didn't help his case, but he is still moving through the system rather slowly because of all his injuries. Hopefully 2013 was the beginning of the end of his trend of being seriously injured.
Jason (#7): He probably ended up having the best season out of the three outfielders. After a very poor April, he OPS'd .771 for the rest of the season. His speed and fielding will get him through to the majors, so hitting for average would make him a star. This is the most he's played in his professional career, so injury could still derail him from here.
Andrew (#6): The tools are still there for excellence from Slade, but he badly needs to shake that injury bug.

8. Manny Banuelos, LHP
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
2013 Statistics: Did not pitch

Tanya (#8): ManBan didn't pitch at all in 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but the fact that he'd already made it to Triple-A as one of the Yankees' best prospects before his injury at a young age for the level means that he didn't derail his prospect status beyond repair. He won't be young for his level anymore but he still has the potential to be a solid starter for the Yankees in the near future if all goes well in his recovery process.
Jason (Not ranked)
Andrew (#7): He hasn't pitched since early 2012, but ManBan's talent as a southpaw continues to inspire hope. He's still young; as long as he can recover from Tommy John surgery, he will be on the doorstep to the majors.

9. JR Murphy, C
Pre-season PB rank:
Not ranked
Level at the end of 2013: MLB
2013 Statistics: (Double-A and Triple-A) 108 games, .269/.347/.426, 12 HR, 29 2B, 1 SB (MLB) 16 games .154/.185/.192, 0 HR, 1 2B, 0 SB

Tanya (#9): Murphy put together a strong season between Double-A and Triple-A before finally getting the call to the majors in September. The Yankees have little in the way of a catcher with strong offensive potential in the system aside from Sanchez, who isn't quite yet ready for the majors. Murphy could get a shot to be the starter in 2014 if he can be less terrible than the alternatives, which shouldn't be difficult at all.
Jason (#9): He got his first taste of the majors this season after having a very solid season between Double-A and Triple-A. The Yankees need catchers, and he gives them the best, and cheapest, bet at the position moving forward. He has a shot to make the team in 2014, but that's more to do with the lack of alternatives. He could easily leap over Austin Romine to become the future backup catcher, or more.
Andrew (Not ranked)

10. Jose Ramirez, RHP
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
2013 Statistics: (Double-A and Triple-A) 72.2 IP, 3.67 ERA, 78 K, .221 average against

Tanya (Not ranked)
Jason (#8): His season ended in July, but he blew hitters away in Double-A. It appears he might have been brought up to Triple-A a little too early because he was beat up pretty bad, but the potential is still there. Scouts say he's fated for the bullpen, but he showed what he could do as a starter. As long as he's healthy there's a good chance he could be up in the majors at some point in 2014.
Andrew (#10): Like De Paula, Ramirez had a terrific first half in one league, then struggled upon his promotion. Ramirez has some work to do in Scranton before he's ready for the pros, mostly on his shaky control and his ability to stay healthy.

Also receiving votes:

Ian Clarkin, LHP
Pre-season PB rank:
Level at the end of 2013: Rookie ball
2013 Statistics: (Rookie) 5 IP, 10.80 ERA, 4 K, .263 average against

Tanya (#10): Clarkin's debut was delayed a bit by injury and the results weren't immediately there, but the potential he possesses as one of the best left-handed prep arms in the 2013 draft is worth dreaming on. He's a ways off still, but it will be exciting to see what he can do in a full season of professional ball next year.
Andrew (#9): An ankle injury limited Clarkin's time in the minors after the draft, but lofty pre-draft praise about the lefty prep star makes him the Yankees' best high school pitching prospect in years.

Peter O'Brien, C/3B
Pre-season PB rank:
Not ranked
Level at the end of 2013: High-A Tampa
2013 Statistics: (Low-A and High-A) 119 games, .291/.350/.544, 22 HR, 39 2B, 0 SB

Jason (#10): He had a great season, OPSing over 1.000 for Charleston before going up to Tampa and continuing to hit. The reason he's not ranked higher is that, though he's a catcher, he isn't expected to stay there going forward. He was given a chance to play third, but he made 18 errors, showing that he doesn't really have a position. On top of that, he's already 23, so he's not young for the levels he's seen. Time will tell what value he can actually bring, and where he can play.

10 years ago  ::  Oct 02, 2013 - 10:10AM #8
Posts: 66,015

Yankees Prospects: six minor league free agents re-signed

After spending six seasons in the minor leagues, players can become minor league free agents and sign with any team. The Yankees have re-signed Manny Barreda, Kelvin Castro, Jairo Heredia, Diego Moreno, Francisco Rondon, and Francisco Arcia to prevent them from becoming minor league free agents.

Barreda has pitched within the Yankees' system for seven years. As a 24-year-old, he pitched to a 4.02 ERA with a 10.1 K/9 in 62.2 innings between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.

Castro has been with the Yankees for eight seasons now and as a 25-year-old, he pitched to a 3.21 ERA and an 11.8 K/9 in 33.2 innings between Short-Season-A and Low-A Charleston.

Heredia has spent six years in the Yankees organization and as a 23-year-old, he pitched to a 3.39 ERA and an 8.9 K/9 in 69 innings between Staten Island, Tampa, and a brief stint in Triple-A.

Moreno has six years of service time in the minor leagues, five with the Pirates organization and one in the the Yankees organization after being traded in the A.J. Burnett deal. He missed all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but returned for his age-25 season and pitched to a 3.89 ERA and 9.0 K/9 in 27 innings between Tampa and Trenton.

Rondon has been in the Yankees system for eight years now. He was designated for assignment during his age-25 season, but went through waivers and returned to the team. He had a 3.92 ERA with a 9.3 K/9 in 82.2 innings between Trenton and Scranton.

Arcia has been in the system for seven seasons and hit .213/.286/.305 with four home runs in his age-24 season.

Only Rondon is likely to get a chance to play for the 2014 Yankees out of spring training. With Boone Logan leaving in free agency, the lefty could become very valuable and prove to be a left-handed option out of the bullpen. The others will likely remain in the minors as they slowly work their way up the system.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
10 years ago  ::  Oct 02, 2013 - 12:33PM #9
Posts: 66,015

DePaula makes Baseball America’s top South Atlantic League prospects list


Baseball America’s journey through the various minor leagues continued today with a look at the top 20 prospects in the Low-A South Atlantic League (no subs. req’d). Two high-end pitching prospects — RHP Eddie Butler (Rockies) and RHP Tyler Glasnow (Pirates) — topped the list and deservedly so. The Yankees only had one player make the top 20: RHP Rafael DePaula at #17.

“DePaula has premium velocity with a 91-93 mph fastball that frequently touched 96-97. When his delivery was in sync, he also showed a potentially average breaking ball and fringy changeup. But more often than not, delivery issues would make it hard for him to develop consistent feel for his breaking ball,” they said in the subscriber-only scouting report. One scout dubbed him a future reliever. The 22-year-old DePaula had a 2.94 ERA And 2.03 FIP in 64.1 innings for Low-A Charleston before being promoted.

1B Greg Bird did not make the top 20 and that surprised me because Baseball America can be very performance-driven at times, and Bird absolutely mashed this year (170 wRC+). The bar is really high for first base prospects though. The Yankees had six players make the Rookie Gulf Coast League and one player make the Short Season NY-Penn League lists. The High-A Florida State League will be posted Monday and C Gary Sanchez will surely make an appearance. OF Mason Williams, C/3B Peter O’Brien, and RHP Bryan Mitchell also have a shot.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
10 years ago  ::  Oct 02, 2013 - 1:55PM #10
Posts: 32,868

Yankees' 2013 Roster Report Card: Dellin Betances


For the first part of the offseason the Pinstriped Bible staff will be grading 35 of the Yankees' main contributors to the 2013 roster. Their entire season will be taken into account, even if part of it came at the minor league level. We continue this series with Dellin Betances.

Grade: C-

2013 Statistics: 6 G, 5.0 IP, 10.80 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 38.5 K%, 7.7 BB%, 5.0 K/BB

2014 Contract status: Controlled by Yankees, pre-arbitration

Dellin Betances....a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma with bad pitching mechanics. Betances was drafted in the 8th round of the 2006 amateur draft. But his draft position had less to do with his talent, and more to do with the assumption that he would be a tough sign away from Vanderbuilt. He was one of the rare players to spurn Vandy, although it took a cool $1 million to get him to break that commitment. He started seven games that summer for the GCL Yankees, posting a 1.16 ERA, 2.47 FIP, 10.4 K/9, and 3.86 K/BB. That was a very strong performance, justifying the large signing bonus, and pushing him into top-5 status in most Yankees prospect rankings.

Over the next three years, he continued to show high-octane stuff, but also showed that he had trouble commanding and controlling his pitches. His big breakout came in 2010, when he put up a 2.11 ERA, 2.19 FIP, 11.4 K/9, and 4.91 K/BB over 85.1 inning split between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. This again pushed him into top-5 status for Yankees prospects and he became part of a prospect trio known as the Killer B's, along with Manny Banuelos and Andrew Brackman. Now Brackman is gone and Banuelos is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, leaving Betances the best bet at providing value to the Yankees in the short-term.

Since 2010, Betances's control issues have derailed his progression as a pitching prospect. Many scouts have pointed to his mechanics as the likely culprit, as he does not have a smooth, repeatable delivery. Because of this, his mechanics can fall apart, and his performance along with it. After years of trying to work through these issues and keep him a starter, the Yankees decided after six starts this year to move him to the bullpen. They wanted to see how he could do because if he doesn't make the major league team next spring, he will have to be placed on waivers and will be taken by another team.

So how did he do? In one word - amazing. After posting a 6.00 ERA as a starter in 2013, he put up a 1.35 ERA as a reliever, along with 12.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, and a 3.19 K/BB ratio. Dellin in the bullpen mitigates the mechanics issues, as I'd expect him to focus solely on pitching from the stretch out of the bullpen, which involves less moving parts and should help him repeat his delivery. His performance earned him two calls to New York. His first call up resulted in only one appearance on August 13 against the LA Angels. In 0.2 innings, he gave up five hits, four earned runs, a walk, and a home run. At that point, he had a 54.00 ERA, although on the bright side both of his outs were by strikeout. He got called back up when rosters expanded in September.

He made five appearances in September, and was only scored on in one appearance, when the Rays scored two against him in 0.1 innings on September 26th. His final appearance of the season was the best, pitching 2.1 perfect innings, with four strikeouts, against the Astros in the fourteen inning marathon in game 162. On the season, Dellin had terrible surface numbers for the Yankees, albeit in a very small sample size of five innings. Four of those innings were scoreless. If we assume his .615 BABIP was more bad luck than lack of skill, we see he had a 2.85 FIP. This lines up much better with his strikeout and walk rates.

He is a three-pitch pitcher, with a four-seam fastball he throws 44% of the time, a cutter he throws 18% of the time, and a knuckle-curve he throws 35% of the time. Both of his fastballs average 95.5+ mph, and his knuckle-curve averages 82 mph. His fastballs were negatively valued over those five innings, but his curveball posted a very good +2.41 runs per hundred pitches.

Next season, I expect Dellin to have a spot in the Yankees bullpen. He could quickly become one of their top bullpen arms, just given the type of stuff he brings. Or he could flame out, be demoted, picked up by another team on waivers, and join a long line of Yankees prospects who haven't lived up to their potentials. But if I were betting, I'd bet he gets at least 50 innings out of the Yankees bullpen next season.

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