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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
10 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2013 - 4:55PM #91
Posts: 66,015

A look at Brett Gerritse

  • 11/06/13
  • 02:09

Yankees Magazine takes a look at Yankees pitching prospect, Brett Gerritse, who has been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
10 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2013 - 6:44PM #92
Posts: 66,015

Minor league and winter ball notes: Nuno on a roll in Arizona

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve had one of these. In that time, Baseball American has released it’s annual list of minor league free agents. No one from the Yankees list should come as a surprise. It’s made primarily of guys who were signed as minor league free agents in the first place.

Of this group, Sam Demel might want to come back — kind of like David Herndon — if only because the Yankees have some bullpen jobs legitimately up for grabs, and Demel has both big league experience and strong numbers with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Walter Ibarra might also re-sign to fill his familiar organizational utility role. He’s not a bad defender.

Here are the Yankees minor league free agents, as reported by Baseball America.

RHP: Cory Arbiso (AA), Sam Demel (AAA), Yoshinori Tateyama (AAA)
C: Bobby Wilson (AAA)
1B: Andrew Clark (AA), Randy Ruiz (AAA)
2B: Reegie Corona (AA)
SS: Walter Ibarra (AAA)
OF: Fernando Martinez (AAA), Corey Patterson (AAA)

Vidal Nuno• Through his first two Arizona Fall League starts, it seemed Vidal Nuno was falling apart. Far more advanced than most of his AFL competition, Nuno struggled in his first two outings, but in his past three appearances, Nuno’s gone 13 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K. Suddenly, his Fall League ERA is down to a strong 3.20. It was up to 8.10 at one point.

• Speaking of getting on a roll in the Fall League, Mason Williams has an 11-game hitting streak. Most have been one-hit games, so his overall numbers aren’t overwhelming, but he’s hitting a solid .274/.338/.339 through 62 at-bats. He’s 3-for-4 stealing bases, but he’s had just one extra-base hit in his past nine games (not counting the game when he entered as a pinch runner and didn’t get an at-bat).

• Still a bit of a weird Fall League for Peter O’Brien, who has just 10 hits (a .196 batting average), six of which have gone for extra bases (a .471 slugging percentage). O’Brien continues to split time between catcher and third base, and he’s hit four home runs, but he’s also struck out 20 times in 51 at-bats.

• The infield experiment seems to have ended for Adonis Garcia. The Cuban outfielder is in Venezuela this winter, and it’s been more than two weeks since he got any time at third base (he played there a few times early). He’s basically rotated through all three outfield positions — mostly right field — while hitting .292/.333/.477 in 65 at-bats. He’s had seven hits in his past three games. He could absolutely hit his way into the big league picture this season, especially if Zoilo Almonte stumbles.

• Speaking of Zoilo Almonte, he’s in the Dominican, playing almost exclusively in left field, and hitting .246/.313/.344. He homered in each of his first two games this winter, but he hasn’t had an extra-base hit since. He continues to be much better from the left side of the plate. He’s hitting .300 against right-handers this winter; .143 against lefties.

Mustelier• Winter struggles continue for Ronnier Mustelier. He’s hitting .227/.333/.280 in Mexico, where he was awfully good last winter. The one positive in his numbers comes from the 12 walks against 14 strikeouts in 75 at-bats. He remains a middle-of-the-order hitter for Culiacan, but he hasn’t hit for as much power as expected. He’s coming off a down year in Triple-A as well, and for a guy like Mustelier — an older and largely untouted prospect — there’s not much margin for error. He can fall off the radar rather quickly if things turn south.

• Despite all the prospect buzz, Gary Sanchez is still very young, which means he’s not getting much playing time in Dominican. He’s gotten into seven games — one as a pinch hitter — and he’s hitting .150/.150/.150 with six strikeouts in 20 at-bats. The Dominican Winter League is pretty advanced for him. Shouldn’t expect big things from him just yet, not even in winter ball.

• My inclination is to make very little of it, but it’s certainly worth noting that Jose Pirela continues to rake in Venezuela. Playing both second base and left field, Pirela is hitting .308/.409/.538 through 91 at-bats. He’s started getting a lot of at-bats in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the order. Pirela’s been a pretty good Double-A hitter as well, but there’s never been any indication that the Yankees have high expectations for him (as evidenced by keeping him in Trenton for three years). Maybe he can hit his way on the radar, but I’m not sure he’s there yet.

Maruszak• Since replacing Tyler Austin in the Arizona Fall League, Addison Maruszak is hitting .222/.440/.278 through six games. He’s walked seven times in 18 at-bats, which is pretty much the only way to explain such an unusual slash line. Able to play literally any position except pitcher, Maruszak has gotten all of his time at first base, third base and DH which makes sense considering he’s filling in for Austin.

• The other Yankees pitchers in the Fall League: Lefty Fred Lewis has yet to allow a run. He has a perfect 0.00 ERA through nine relief appearances, however he’s allowed eight hits and five walks. Lefties have had more success against him than righties. … You see some ugly Fall League pitching lines every year, and right-hander Brett Gerritse has one at the moment. Through 8.2 innings, he’s allowed nine hits, nine walks and 10 earned runs. He was charged with a blown save in each of his past two appearances. … James Pazos was pitching pretty well in Arizona before back-to-back three-hit outings. He still has a strong 2.45 ERA out of the bullpen, but it’s more telling that opponents are hitting .313 against him. He has a 2.18 Fall League WHIP.

Associated Press photo of Nuno; headshots of Mustelier and Maruszak

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
10 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2013 - 6:58PM #93
Posts: 32,868

2014 Breakout Candidate: Rookie Davis

Rookie Davis2

The Basics:

Name: Rookie Davis
Age: 20
Draft: 2011 14th round pick out of Dixon High School in Holly Ridge, NC
Size: 6-foot-3, 235-pounds
Fastball: 95 mph
Other Pitchers: Fastball, Curve, Change
BBDP Ranking: 17
Position: RHP

The 2011 draft’s lot of starting pitchers looks better and better with each passing year. The Yankees were able to draft and sign Jordan Cote, Dan Camarena, Matt Tracy, Chaz Hebert, Joey Maher, and Rookie Davis. Imagine if they had managed to sign their 10th round draft pick that year (Jonathan Gray). Anyway, that’s besides the point. While no one from this class has stepped forward and become a star, all are making good progress and seem to be solid picks.

This year might be the year where one guy steps forward and garners top prospect attention. If I had to place a bet on which player that would be, my money would be on Rookie Davis.

Davis didn’t get to play much in 2012. In fact, he had a flu-like illness which sapped him of all of his energy just as the GCL season was about to start. Because of that he only pitched 17.0 innings in his debut season. He did manage 17 K and a 2.65 ERA during that small stretch, but the velocity was down from when he was drafted (low 90′s in 2011) and the secondary stuff took a bit of a hit.

Davis took the off season to work back to full strength and it showed in 2013. As the Penn League Report pointed out, his fastball sat anywhere between 92-95 this season and he was able to locate it on either side of the plate.

Davis was back to his old self and then some, and the statistics bear that out. The Yankees had enough confidence to boost Davis to Staten Island where he boasted a 2.36 ERA on the season. In total, between Staten Island and Low-A Charleston, he had a 1.90 ERA with 47 K in 52.0 innings. He walked just 13 on the season. For the record, his ERA in 10.0 Low-A innings was 0.00.

After that kind of season as a 20 year old, if you don’t know Rookie’s name it’s time you learned it.

The Stuff:

As mentioned above, Davis will sit anywhere between 92-95 with the fastball and has the ability to locate it wherever he wants. He has good, simple mechanics and repeats his delivery well. He gets some solid movement on the fastball.

His second pitch is the change up. He throws it at 82-84 mph and has good fade on his better days. His change up is still a work in progress but he is able to throw it for strikes, which is half the battle at this age.

His third pitch is a curveball, which ranges 70-75. It’s a bit loopy now, but he has worked hard on sharpening it up and it has already seen improvement since 2012. He’ll look to gain some velocity and tighten the spin on that curveball in 2014.


After the uptick in velocity and improvement in stuff in 2013, Rookie’s ceiling has improved vastly to a possible front of the rotation starter. He has the velocity, now all he has to do is refine his secondary stuff and he’ll be sitting pretty as one of the top prospects in baseball.

His floor improved vastly along with his velocity. He now profiles at worst as a late inning reliever provided that he doesn’t get injured and ruin his arm. This is obviously no guarantee in the Yankees hard luck system.

2014 Outlook:

Davis will start the 2014 season in Charleston. From there, as long as he performs well, he should be in High-A Ocala before the end of the season. With his stuff and control, there’s no reason he shouldn’t get that promotion at some point.

Davis has put himself on the prospect radar with his performance in 2013, and now his job in 2014 will be to launch himself into top prospect status. He has the talent, he just has to continue to show it in games. The earliest I could see Davis arriving in the MLB would be 2016.

Rookie is probably the best of the breakout candidates for 2014. If he is able to play to his ability it will go a long way towards elevating the Yankees farm system status.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2013 - 3:30PM #94
Posts: 32,868

Yankees Prospect Interview: Derek Toadvine


Derek Toadvine was drafted by the Yankees in the 22nd round of the 2013 MLB draft. The right-handed hitting second baseman batted a fairly decent .237/.329/.279 (93 wRC+) with seven stolen bases in his pro debut with the Staten Island Yankees. He committed only nine errors with a .965 fielding percentage over 54 games in the field.

How was your first professional season with the Yankees?

My first professional season with the Yankees was really a great opportunity! It's been a dream of mine to play professionally and now I am.

What was the best part of the season?

The best part of the season was just actually getting to play and making friendships with my teammates.

How has the Yankee coaching staff helped you improve your game? What advice have they given you?

The yankee coaching staff has helped me a lot! They video out at-bats so it's nice to be able to come in and talk with our hitting coach while watching the at-bats.

What is the biggest difference you have noticed between playing in college and pro ball?

The biggest difference between pro ball and college I would say is the grind! We play a lot more games and it's pretty much every day.

What did you improve on the most in 2013?

I feel like my offensive game has improved, I tried to be a really good leadoff hitter and work the count and battle with two strikes.

What are you looking to improve on in 2014?

In 2014 I'm actually looking to switch-hit, I worked all this past pro season drilling it and all this offseason I'm spending a lot of time hitting left-handed and hopefully I can manage to make that a part of my game

What is your offseason work regime like as you prepare for 2014?

I'm spending it at Kent State where I attended college and working out and training with past teammates that are now playing pro ball and, like I said before, trying to perfect my switch-hitting.

Thanks Derek and good luck on your switch to switch-hitting. You can follow him on Twitter @dtoad2KSU while you wait for the 2014 season.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2013 - 6:49PM #95
Posts: 32,868

Prospect Park: Aaron Judge


The Basics:

Name: Aaron Judge
Position: CF
Handedness: Bats and throws right-handed
Age: 21
Draft: 2013, 1st round, 32nd pick out of Fresno State
Size: 6-foot-7
Best Tool: Power, Arm
BBDP Rank: 18

The Yankees snuck away with three excellent first round draft picks this year. Aaron Judge is the only of the three who didn’t play a single inning this season. He also has more potential than any other pick the Yankees made this year in the draft. It was a difficult path for Judge and the Yankees this year, as he didn’t sign right up until the deadline. When he finally did sign, he had a nagging injury that held him out of the lineup for the entire season.

Despite the tumultuous first season, Judge is still drawing comparisons to players like Giancarlo Stanton. At 6-foot-7 those comparisons were bound to surface. He is physically massive and has a cannon for an arm. He has also shown that he can hit for power in college. Overall he is a high risk, high reward type of player who could end up being one of the best the Yankees’ system has to offer.

Judge had a prolific college career after being drafted and going unsigned in the 32nd round by the Oakland A’s out of high school. As a freshman, Judge hit .358 with a .433 OBP. He had 2 HR, 12 doubles, and one triple. He went through a bit of a sophomore slump, hitting .308/.441 with four homeruns, 14 doubles, and two triples. His junior year he had a breakout season. He hit .373 with a .460 OBP, 12 HR, 15 doubles, and four triples. That was good for a .663 slugging percentage and a 1.123 OPS. These are college numbers so don’t expect them to translate 100%, but it’s safe to say he put up video game numbers in 2013.


Physically, Judge is one of the finest specimens the entire draft had to offer. He also has unmatched raw power. At his size he is most likely going to struggle with contact. He has a large strike zone and it takes him a bit longer to get to the ball than others. That said, for his size he has quick hands.

His power is about as good as it gets in this draft. His batting practice produces majestic bombs left and right. He won the homerun derby in college.

He is a relatively fast runner, although he probably profiles best in RF long term. His range is solid but not great, and he has plus arm strength. His speed is above average and will allow him to steal some bases but he’s no Brett Gardner.

The main question with Judge will be whether he can hit for a good average to supplement his power, and whether the power will show up in games or not. If so, he could be a beast.


The ceiling is Giancarlo Stanton, nuff said. The floor is a low average, high strikeout, power hitter. He has a vast ceiling for the Yankees, and they were lucky to gobble up a guy with that type of ceiling where they got him in the draft.

2014 Outlook:

Judge will likely start out in Charleston. There is speculation by some that he will start in Staten Island because he didn’t play there last year, but I consider that doubtful given his age and his talent level. From there his talent could make him a fast mover. If he does what he should in Charleston he will move up to Tampa right quick. From there it’s anyone’s guess. He could be in the majors as soon as 2016 but could take as long as 4-5 years to reach that point. At this point 2016-2018 would be the ETA.

Judge has a lot of people excited for 2014, including myself. Depending on who the Yankees choose to send to Charleston, it could be packed with possible future stars. Personally, I will be watching closely to see if Judge could be that type of player.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2013 - 6:51PM #96
Posts: 32,868
Update: Yankees will make no changes to player development staff

By Nov. 12th: Hal Steinbrenner told reporters the team will make no changes to the player development staff, so Newman will remain in his current role. They are making changes to their player development system that Hal called “procedural.” So nothing. They’re doing nothing, basically.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2013 - 9:23PM #97
Posts: 32,868
Crasnick: Yankees sign Antoan Richardson to minor league contract

By Via Jerry Crasnick: The Yankees have signed outfielder Antoan Richardson to a minor league contract. The Bahamas-born and Florida-raised switch-hitter also received an invitation to Spring Training and will be with the big league squad in camp.

Richardson, 30, hit .285/.402/.371 (126 wRC+) in 523 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A with the Twins this past season. He received a brief cup of coffee with the Braves in September 2011. Richardson is a classic leadoff hitter, drawings lots of walks (15.9%) with not many strikeouts (17.8%) or much power (two homers (!) and .064 ISO) over the last three seasons. He can steal bases (83-for-100 since 2011) and old scouting reports indicate he’s a very good defensive outfielder.

If nothing else, Triple-A Scranton will have one helluva leadoff hitter next season. Richardson could get an opportunity to make the team in a fifth outfielder’s role if the Yankees dump both Ichiro Suzuki and Vernon Wells this winter, but that seems unlikely. If New York manages to sneak back into the postseason in 2014, I suppose Richardson could be considered for the honorary Freddy Guzman role of pinch-running specialist.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2013 - 1:01PM #98
Posts: 32,868

Predicting the Biggest 2014 Breakout Prospect in Each MLB Team's System

Jose Ramirez, RHP, New York Yankees


After three seasons between both Class-A levels, Jose Ramirez, 23, finally put everything together this past year.

Nobody ever questioned the quality of his stuff or ability to miss bats, but a lack of control and consistency always held him back. This year, however, the 6’3” right-hander was a different pitcher, as his fastball-slider combo proved to be deadly against minor league hitters and he made noticeable strides with the changeup.

Ramirez got off to an excellent start with Double-A Trenton, registering a 2.76 ERA and .192 BAA with a 50-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 42.1 innings, and the organization felt good enough about his development to promote him to Triple-A.

Making eight starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League, Ramirez posted a 4.88 ERA and a 28-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 31.1 innings before landing on the disabled list in late July. Despite the injury, the right-hander is likely to open the 2014 season back at the level and could reach the major leagues by the All-Star break with a hot start.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2013 - 1:04PM #99
Posts: 32,868

Yankees prospects gain seasoning in winter ball


Just because the major league season is over doesn’t mean baseball is done. Several of the Yankees’ top prospects are honing their skills in winter ball, both in the United States and abroad. Here are some of the more notable performers and performances:

Vidal Nuno

The 26-year-old lefthander appeared in five games, starting three, for the Yankees in 2013. His calling card is excellent control. Nuno walked six in 20 MLB innings and issued two walks in 25 minor league innings in 2013. He owns a career 1.7 walks per nine innings rate in 428 minor league innings.

Nuno has carried that trademark accuracy into the Arizona Fall League. He’s pitched 19.2 innings (five games, four starts), walking three and striking out 18. He has a 3.20 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

Tyler Austin

At the outset of 2013, Austin, 22, appeared to be one of the Yankees’ more promising prospects. And while he didn’t totally sink during his first extended taste of Double-A baseball, hitting .257 with a .344 on-base percentage and six home runs in 83 games, he didn’t exactly star either.

Austin has only had 12 at-bats in the Arizona Fall League, but has four hits, including a triple, and has walked twice. He’s struck out just once.

Gary Sanchez

The power-hitting catcher , who turns 21 in December, hit 15 home runs in 2013 at Class-A advanced and Double-A. It was his third consecutive season with a double-digit home run total. Still, his .253 average, .324 OBP and .412 slugging percentage weren’t anything to write home about.

Playing in the Dominican Winter League for Toros del Este, Sanchez has struggled. In 23 at-bats, he’s batting just .130. He has only three hits – none for extra bases – and hasn’t drawn a walk. He’s struck out seven times.

Zoilo Almonte

The 24-year-old corner outfielder received 113 major league plate appearances in 2013, batting .236 with a home run.

The switch-hitter has been playing in the Dominican Winter League for Aguilas Cibaenas. Almonte is hitting .305 with a .352 OBP and two home runs in 82 at-bats.

Mason Williams

Much like Austin, the 22-year-old Williams came into the 2013 season a highly-touted outfielder that ultimately failed to impress. In 117 games split between Class-A advanced and Double-A, Williams hit .245 with a .304 OBP and four home runs. He particularly struggled after his promotion to Double-A.

He’s performed only marginally better in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .267 with a .330 OBP and no home runs in 86 at-bats.

10 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2013 - 6:25PM #100
Posts: 66,015

Yankees sign infielder Zelous Wheeler


Wheeler should provide some infield depth down in Triple-A for the Yankees.

According to Matt Eddy, the Yankees have signed infielder Zelous Wheeler to a minor league contract. There's no official word if he got an invite to big league camp, but I would have to assume so, though, of course, I could be wrong.

Wheeler, who turns 27 in mid-January, played primarily at third base last year (59 games), but also appeared at second (36 games), DH (13 games), and shortstop (five games) split between Double-A and Triple-A in the Baltimore Orioles' system. Wheeler hit .275/.354/.414 in 461 total plate appearances in 2013 with no real platoon split. Over the course of his seven-year career in the minors, Wheeler is a .271/.366/.414 hitter in 3101 PA's. Wheeler has also yet to appear in the Major Leagues.

If anything, Zelous has a really cool name. I would suspect Zelous to provide some infield depth down at Triple-A Scranton next year if/when he doesn't break camp with the big league team. Obviously, a lot of things would have to go horribly wrong if Wheeler is the team's Opening Day third baseman on April 1 in Houston.

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
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