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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
8 years ago  ::  Sep 04, 2014 - 3:22PM #821
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Minor League Pitcher of the Year: RHP Luis Severino
It’s been quite a while since the Yankees had a young pitcher tear up the minor leagues and shoot up three levels in one year. You have to go back to Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy in 2007. Severino, 20, started the season with Low-A Charleston and ended it with Double-A Trenton, throwing 113.1 total innings across 24 starts. He pitched to a 2.46 ERA (~2.41 FIP) with 127 strikeouts and only 27 walks, a 4.70 K/BB that ranked second best in the system among pitchers with at least 100 innings. At one point from late-May through late-July, Severino had a 1.84 ERA with 71 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58.2 innings across three different levels. He was so good that he only made four starts with High-A Tampa before being promoted up to the Thunder. Severino did more than just establish himself as the best pitching prospect in the system, he emerged as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. Honorable Mention: RHP Jaron Long


Minor League Hitter of the Year: 1B Kyle Roller
The season started a little late for the 26-year-old Roller due to a minor injury, but once he returned to the field in mid-April, he started hitting and simply never stopped. Roller put up a mammoth .385/.456/.808 (241 wRC+) line with nine homers in 21 games for Double-A Trenton before being moved up to Triple-A Scranton, where he hit .283/.378/.497 (143 wRC+) with 24 doubles and 17 homeruns in his final 104 games of the year. The combined line is .300/.391/.550 (~160 wRC+) with 30 doubles and a system-leading 26 homers in 125 games. (Well, technically Pete O’Brien led the system with 33 homers, but he’s been traded away.) Roller hit five homers in the span of ten games not once, but twice this year. He mashed all summer long. Right from his first game (1-for-4 with a homer and a walk) until his last (2-for-3 with a double). Honorable Mention: Refsnyder, OF Aaron Judge


Breakout Player of the Year: OF Aaron Judge
It’s weird to call one of last year’s first round pick the Breakout Player of the Year, but Judge proved to be an even better and a more advanced hitter than expected. The 22-year-old started his pro career with Low-A Charleston, hit .333/.428/.530 (167 wRC+) with 15 doubles and nine homers in 65 games, then moved up to High-A Tampa and hit .283/.411/.442 (149 wRC+) with nine doubles and eight homers in 67 games. The final tally is a .308/.419/.486 (~158 wRC+) batting line with 24 doubles and 17 homers, the fifth most in the system. Judge also led the farm system with 89 walks, 18 more than anyone else. He was described as a brute masher who would swing and miss a bunch as a pro, but Judge showed a sound approach and the ability to drive the ball in all counts in 2014. Honorable Mention: LHP Tyler Webb, RHP Nick Rumbelow


Best Pro Debut: OF Mark Payton
Payton, 22, was the team’s seventh round pick back in June, though the start of his pro career was slightly delayed because Texas went to the College World Series. He signed early enough to appear in 48 games split between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, where he hit .320/.418/.497 (~160 wRC+) with 15 doubles, four homers, and nearly as many walks (29) as strikeouts (32). Payton reached base 87 times in 48 pro games. Quite a few draftees and debuting international signees had strong summers, but Payton’s was the best. Honorable Mention: LHP Justin Kamplain, LHP Jacob Lindgren


Comeback Player of the Year: 3B Dante Bichette Jr.
Bichette’s career has not played out as hoped since the Yankees took him with their top selection in the 2011 draft. He did not hit at all with Low-A Charleston in either 2012 (84 wRC+) or 2013 (82 wRC+), but he turned his career around and regained some prospect luster with a big 2014 season. Bichette, 21, spent most of the year with High-A Tampa and hit .271/.352/.410 (120 wRC+) with 27 doubles and nine homers, though a late-season cameo with Double-A Trenton didn’t go as well (73 wRC+). He finished the year as the owner of a .264/.345/.397 (113 wRC+) overall batting line with 30 doubles and ten homeruns in 127 games. The Yankees had a bunch of Comeback Player of the Year candidates this season, but Bichette was an easy call. Honorable Mention: LHP Manny Banuelos, RHP Nick Goody, RHP Conor Mullee, RHP Ty Hensley


Bounceback Player of the Year (started slow, finished strong): 3B Miguel Andujar
Andujar has one of the most exciting tool sets in the farm system, though he got off to a very slow start in his full season debut, hitting .212/.267/.335 (67 wRC+) with ten doubles, five homers, 16 walks, and 46 strikeouts in his first 63 games with Low-A Charleston. The 19-year-old then managed to hit .319/.367/.456 (129 wRC+) with 15 doubles, five homers, 19 walks, and 37 strikeouts in his final 64 games. That all works out to an overall season batting line of .267/.318/.397 (99 wRC+) with 25 doubles and ten homers in 127 games. That’s quite the rebound for a teenager in a full season league. Honorable Mention: OF Tyler Austin


Most Disappointing Player of the Year: OF Mason Williams
Two years ago Williams was arguably the top prospect in the system. Now he’s the back-to-back Most Disappointing Player of the Year. Williams, 23, spent the entire season with Double-A Trenton, hitting a weak .223/.290/.304 (66 wRC+) with 18 doubles, five homers, and 21 steals in 128 games. He was also benched on several occasions for not running out balls, insubordination, stuff like that. Last season was a bad season for Williams and this year was an opportunity for redemption. Instead, he only further played his way out of the team’s long-term plans. Dishonorable Mention: 2B Gosuke Katoh


Individual Level Awards (click for larger)


2014 Minor League Award Individual LevelsAll Minor League Teams


2014 Minor League Award Teams


Lifetime Achievement Award: LHP Jeremy Bleich
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoree was the team’s highest signed pick from the 2008 draft. He was their second choice between RHP Gerrit Cole and RHP Scott Bittle, neither of whom signed, and he is one of only five players from that draft class still in the organization. Hard to believe that draft was six years ago now.


Bleich, now 27, has been through it all as a pro, including major shoulder surgery that cost him most of the 2010 and 2012 seasons as well as the entire 2011 season. He returned primarily as a reliever and pitched to a 2.76 ERA in 98 innings from 2012-13 before settling into a swingman role this year. Bleich has thrown 397.1 innings across 68 starts and 37 relief appearances in his career, posting a 4.19 ERA and 7.2 K/9.


The shoulder injury derailed Bleich’s career but he is still continuing to plug away. He has helped the Yankees these last two years at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton by soaking up innings and making spot starts whenever necessary. Since he is a lefty, Bleich will continue to get opportunities and could eventually find his way to MLB, even if it’s with another organization. The injury was unfortunate but he’s been a quality organizational player since returning.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2014 - 1:27PM #822
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Lessons in prospect-hugging: A look back at the Yankees' 2010 Top 10 prospects


Here's a #HotTake: the Yankees have struggled to produce major league caliber players from their farm system for quite some time now. Yes, this is a stunning development. All the luck the Yankees seemed to have in the early '90s when they conjured up three very long careers out of mostly unheralded prospects Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera has not followed them into the new millennium. The last productive position player prospect they churned out was Brett Gardner. While since the mid-'90s they've been typically able to supplement this core with a couple universally well-regarded prospects who worked out in Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams and a plethora of free agent signings and trade acquisitions, that well is about to run dry with the retirement of Jeter, the last active player from that youth movement.


The easy excuse would be to blame management for not doing a better job at producing prospects, but the fact of the matter is that it is incredibly difficult to do so and almost unprecedented to have so many prospects work out at once the way Rivera and company did. That being said, one would expect the system to have produced homegrown products at least a little better over the past 15 years or so around the majors than Gardner, Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson, and company. Of course, it's not a problem unique to the Yankees--producing "the next Core Four" is simply expecting far too much. It's a challenge to produce homegrown players. Look at the Oakland Athletics, who have had the best run differential in baseball this year. They have precisely two homegrown players on their roster: closer Sean Doolittle and starter Sonny Gray.





I don't think I'm wrong in saying that the general feeling around Pinstripe Alley is that we enjoy prospects. I know I do. It's exciting to look toward the future and hope for the best. The harsh truth of baseball though is that the cliche is true: prospects will break your hearts. One way to bring prospect expectations back to earth is to look at old top prospects list. Baseball America has all of its Top 100s available to the public dating back to 1990. While some of those players went on to great careers, most were just mediocre or never made it at all. The same can be said of the Yankees' own top ten prospect lists from years past. While the Yankees have admittedly not had as great a system as those in other franchises, the difficulty in succeeding in the majors is still apparent.


Take a look back at Baseball Prospectus's top ten Yankees prospects as of the end of the 2009 minor league season, roughly five years ago today. These players have now had five professional seasons to define their careers. So where are they now?


1) Jesus Montero - C


The cream of the crop and so far, one of the biggest prospect busts of all time. He wasn't just the top Yankees prospect--from 2010 through 2012, both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus ranked him among their top seven prospects in all of baseball for three years in a row, reaching as high as number three overall on both lists in 2011. After the '09 season, BP's Kevin Goldstein (who now works for the Astros) wrote:


Simply put, Montero is one of the best offensive prospects in the game, and possibly the best. He's a massive slugger with the contact skills of a batting champion, with one scout classifying his ability to put the middle of the barrel on the ball "almost supernatural." His raw power is at or near the top of the charts-and he's just starting to tap into it. He has the potential for 30-40 home runs annually. He's a hard worker who puts as much work into his defense as his hitting, and he's made great strides behind the plate... though he remains a well below-average catcher.

Goldstein said that Montero was possibly the best offensive prospect in a class that included Giancarlo Stanton and Buster Posey, just to name a couple players. That is heavy praise.


Of course, Montero never made it as a catcher. He was so dreadful behind the plate that after trading for him in 2012, he only caught 85 major league games for them before the Mariners ended the experiment. Even more damning is that his bat has not translated to the majors at all. Despite promising numbers in a 2011 September call-up with the Yankees, he has hit only .251/.291/.378 in Seattle with an 89 OPS+ in 170 games. He was suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis PED scandal, and he showed up to spring training 40 pounds overweight this year and told reporters that he basically did nothing all off-season. He thus spent all but six games this year in Triple-A, and he was not called up in September, partially I'm sure as a result of the now-infamous ice cream sandwich incident.


Oy.


2) Arodys Vizcaino, RHP


It wasn't long after this was released that the Yankees sent Vizcaino to the Braves along with Melky Cabrera and Mike Dunn in exchange for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan. (Austin Jackson, a rare success story, is not on this list because he was traded for Curtis Granderson before the list came out.) Although the Braves liked Melky, who didn't pan out for them at all, the key to this deal for them was Vizcaino. He had just turned 19 that November, and Goldstein was glowing about him:


Vizcaino's combination of stuff and refinement is rarely found in a teenager. His clean arm action leads to effortless 92-94 mph fastballs that get up to 97 when he reaches back for a bit more, while his smooth mechanics allow him to harness his pitches and pound the strike zone. His power curveball already grades out as big-league average with the projection of becoming a true wipeout offering.

When Javy flopped for the Yankees, fans rued losing Vizcaino. Fortunately for them I suppose, Vizcaino has turned into nothing. He has not pitched in the majors since his major league debut in 17 games out of the bullpen for the Braves in 2011. He fell victim to the Tommy John surgery plague and missed all of 2012 and 2013 recovering, and in the meantime was traded to the Cubs in a 2012 deadline deal involving Paul Maholm. Now a reliever only, the righty pitched nicely in Double-A but not in Triple-A. He was recently recalled in September, but if he pitches for the Cubbies, it will be his first MLB action in almost three years.


3) Manny Banuelos, LHP


Sigh. In addition to his ranking on the pre-2010 list, ManBan was such an exciting pitching prospect as recently as spring training 2012. The small lefty rose quickly through the Yankees' system in 2010 and 2011, reaching Scranton by the end at age 20. He was the consensus top prospect after the Montero trade and among the overall top 30 by BP, BA, and MLB.com (who ranked him 13th overall). Then, he began having elbow problems and his shaky stats in Scranton early in 2012 were evident that something wasn't right.


The Yankees tried desperately to have him avoid Tommy John surgery, but eventually, ManBan went under the knife and missed the entire 2013 season. This current season felt like another year of rehab, as Banuelos worked his way up in abbreviated starts from Tampa to Trenton to Scranton again. He's certainly not a bust yet and will only be 24 next March, but he has a lot to prove in 2015.


4) Zach McAllister, RHP


A third round high school pick in 2006, Goldstein liked what McAllister had to offer, calling him "a finesse pitcher hiding in a power pitcher's frame," while also noting "two quality breaking balls and a solid changeup." The Yankees sent him to Cleveland at the 2010 trade deadline in exchange for Austin Kearns, though it was basically a bigger trade that also involved Kerry Wood coming to the Yankees for Andrew Shive and Matt Cusick, if not officially.


Although Wood helped them down the stretch out of the bullpen, it appeared that this deal would hurt since McAllister pitched effectively for Cleveland in 2012 and 2013 with a 3.99 ERA and 4.13 FIP in 46 starts. The fact that this year has been an absolute nightmare for Z-Mac has made it easier to swallow as he pitched so badly in Cleveland that he was demoted to Triple-A. While his FIP is okay at 3.92, he has a miserable 5.89 ERA and 1.536 WHIP on the year, and is no longer in the rotation. Yuck.


5) Austin Romine, C


Romine has pretty much always been regarded as a guy who would turn into an all-field, no-hit catcher. There was more hope for his bat back at the end of the '09 season, when he hit .276/.322/.441 with a 119 wRC+ in High-A Tampa. He was even roughly league average in 2010 and 2011 with Trenton and Scranton, respectively. A back injury-shortened 2012 season did not help his stock though, and when he was effectively made the big league backup catcher to Chris Stewart (barf) in 2013 following Francisco Cervelli's season-ending injury, he was awful. Romine hit .207/.255/.296 with a 48 wRC+ in 60 games. How he actually hit his one home run in Petco Park is beyond me.


Romine returned to Triple-A in 2014 with the big league catching situation set with Brian McCann and Cervelli, and when Cervelli missed time, the Yankees instead elected to go with John Ryan Murphy as the backup to McCann instead of Romine. He wasn't doing himself any favors in Scranton by hitting .242/.300/.365 with an 82 wRC+ anyway. Maybe Romine turns into a big league backup after all due to his defense, but that appears to be his ceiling.


6) Gary Sanchez, C


A baby when this prospect list was written, Sanchez was only 17 and in Rookie Ball at the time. His bat was impressing people even then. His story has yet to be told, as he will only be 22 in December. However, while he was probably the team's top prospect at the start of both 2013 and 2014, it seems likely that Luis Severino or possibly Aaron Judge will pass him on most pre-2015 lists, though he could possibly still make it on top.


While rising through the minors, he's continued to hit pretty well for a catcher, including a .270/.338/.406 triple slash with a 108 wRC+ this year. However, he's also battled questions about his maturity and was even suspended by Trenton manager Tony Franklin for a week this year. His defense is also in doubt despite a good arm. We'll see how Sanchez turns out, but his 2014 has made me less optimistic than before.


7) Slade Heathcott, CF


The Yankees' top pick in the 2009 draft, Goldstein mentioned that Heathcott has "plenty to dream on" with scores throughout the scouting scale, especially in natural talent. Of course, Heathcott's biggest problem has been staying on the field since joining the Yankees five years ago. He has yet to play a full season at the minor league level, topping out at 103 games last year. The soon-to-be 24-year-old made it into only nine games this year with Trenton before undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. How fun. Slade still plenty of talent, but until he can actually figure out how to maintain his health for a season, it will be difficult to see him as anything other than another bust.


8) Kelvin De Leon, RF


If you said, "Who?" don't feel silly. I had no idea who this was, either. Another international signing, De Leon made his way onto this list by virtue of a .269/.330/.438 season in Rookie Ball at age 18. He never had a year like that again, struggling throughout A-ball in the four years afterward, hitting .226/.286/.351 in Low-A Charleston with even worse numbers in a 21-game Tampa stint in 2012. He was released at the end of minor league camp this year.


9) John Ryan Murphy, C


Like Sanchez, Murphy has made great strides on his prospect status since '09, when he a second-round pick out of high school. The book is still being written on him, even after a somewhat-disappointing follow-up to his superb 2013 campaign that saw him rise from Trenton to the majors by season's end.


10) Mark Melancon, RP


Another of the Yankees' sneaky late reliever draft picks to eventually flourish, Melancon unfortunately did not quite get there in pinstripes. He was terrific in '09 and '10 with Scranton, but in his 15 MLB cameos with the Yankees, he couldn't seem to find the plate and was battered around by big league hitters. They traded him and Jimmy Paredes at the deadline in 2010 for Lance Berkman. Since then, he's had a very weird career.


Immediately placed on the Astros, Melancon pitched better at the end of 2010 then served capably as Houston's closer in 2011 with a 2.78 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, and 20 saves. The Red Sox saw promise there and acquired him in the 2011-12 off-season, and he promptly bombed upon joining Boston, pitching dreadfully with a 6.20 ERA and 4.58 FIP, even getting demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. Boston gave up on him and sent him to Pittsburgh in the somewhat-ill-fated Joel Hanrahan deal after the season that actually did get them Brock Holt as well. Melancon immediately became better than ever and made the NL All-Star team with a tremendous season for a surprising Pirates team that broke their 20-year drought of both playoff and winning seasons, and while he's regressed in 2014, he's still been quite effective. Not a bad turnout for a relief prospect at all, though I'm still not losing sleep over losing him.


***


Please do continue to become excited about the Yankees' future with the prospects they have in their system, especially Severino and Judge, among others. Just keep in mind that so often, the kids don't pan out, so if a very intriguing trade opportunity comes along, don't be too afraid to part with them.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 05, 2014 - 4:32PM #823
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

A Good Year for Development in Yankees System


Sep 4th, 2014 | By | Category: Analyzing the Future, Features
Tags: , , , ,


Earlier this week, comments were made about the Yankees system being “depleted.”


Had the individual making these comments even took a look at what went on in the system during the 2014 season, he might have had reason to reconsider.


Let’s start with an overview from veteran Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin, who expressed his desire to return to the Yankees’ Double-A club in 2015. Franklin has won three Eastern League championships in his eight years with the Thunder.


“The (Yankees) system is really recovering,” said Franklin. “You can see it in how the upper levels of the system are getting younger. There are a lot of good players at those levels, with the stuff to play in the majors.”


So who are some of these players, in no particular order?


RHP Luis Severino – With a fastball that reached 97 mph – and sits between 93-95, a solid slider and changeup that has come a long way, Severino finished 6-4, 2.46 in 14 starts at Charleston, 4 at Tampa and 6 at Trenton. He’s equally effective against right- and left-handed hitters. Will start at Trenton in 2015 and will continue to move quickly.


OF Aaron Judge – The whole package at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds with immense power potential and an advanced approach at the plate. Hit .308 (131-for-467) with 17 homers and 78 RBIs between Charleston and Tampa. His OPS was .903. Defensively, he has enough speed to play CF, but will be a corner outfielder. He has been compared to Giancarlo Stanton and will start at Trenton in 2015 after a stint in the Arizona Fall League.


LHP Jacob Lindgren – Has just filthy stuff. Future closer. Was 2-1, 2.16 in 19 games with the Gulf Coast Yankees, Charleston, Tampa and Trenton after signing out of Mississippi State. Threw a lot of innings both in college and the Yankees system. Getting a needed break. Could start 2015 at Triple-A Scranton and quickly move to The Bronx.


RHP Jaron Long – The son of Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long (“I stay out of everything with Jason”) established himself by going 12-6, 2.18 in stops at Tampa, Charleston and Trenton. He made 18 starts, 10 at Trenton in which he went 7-2, 2.35 and had a 50-11 strikeout/walk ratio. A sinker-slider guy who has a nasty dipping two-seamer, he will start at Trenton in 2015.


3B Eric Jagielo – After missing time due to injury, the former Notre Dame star batted .259 (85-for-332) with 18 homers and 58 RBIs and an OPS of .811 between a Rookie League rehab and time at Tampa.. After a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he will start 2015 in Trenton. He projects to hit 20-25 homers in the majors and is working to sharpen his defense.


1B Greg Bird – The reason Yankees were able to trade Peter O’Brien to Arizona for Martin Prado. Has both an advanced plate approach and power batting from the left side. Also plays excellent defense. He hit .271 (100-for369)  with 14 homers and 43 RBIs between Tampa and Trenton. He also had 30 doubles and an OPS of .848. After a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he will start at Trenton in 2015 and could be Mark Teixeira’s successor at 1B in 2016.


1B Mike Ford – Jersey guy burst into the scene by hitting .292 (109-for-373) in 105 games with Charleston and Tampa. Hit 16 homers, 26 doubles and had an OPS of .842.


C Gary Sanchez – Had a solid season at Trenton. His defense and calling of a game took major jumps. Offensively, he hit . 270 (116-for-429) in 110 games, belting 13 home runs and driving in 65 runs. Will start 2015 at Tripe-A Scranton.


OF Jake Cave – After missing the entire 2012 season due to a right knee injury, Cave, after a solid 2013 season at Charleston, batted .294 (165-for-561) with Tampa and Trenton. An excellent leadoff hitter, he is compared to Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner at that stage of his career.


LHP James Pazos – Emerged as a strong late-inning relief possibility. Can hit 95 mph with his fastball.  Was 0-3, 2.42 between Tampa and Trenton and 10-for-10 in save opportunities. He held hitters to a .209 average and had a strikeout/walk ratio of 75-25.


IF Rob Refsnyder – Had a breakout offensive season, batting .317 (163-for-515) with 14 homers, 38 doubles and 65 RBIs.  His OPS was .881. His defense at 2B needs to improve and that will be worked on over the winter and in spring training.


The above are not the only players who impressed. Relievers Danny Burawa, Nick Rumbelow and Tyler Webb showed stuff that can play at the major-league level. Starting pitcher Ian Clarkin advanced. Outfielder Taylor Dugas battled his way to Triple-A Scranton. Infielder Dante Bichette Jr. saved his career and will start at Trenton in 2015.  First baseman Kyle Roller hit for average and power at Trenton and Scranton and could be a backup with the Yankees in 2015.


There are some what-ifs as well. If OF Slade Heathcott could stay healthy. If OF Tyler Austin could finally put it all together. If infielders Gosuske Katoh and Cito Culver, so solid with the glove, would hit.


Yet, there is nothing “depleted” about the Yankees system at present.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2014 - 10:23AM #824
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

MLB Prospect Review: Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees




Luis Severino of the Trenton Thunder - Andrew Mearns (@mearnspsa) of Pinstripe Alley



Luis Severino went from a completely unranked prospect at the start of the season to a top 50 overall fantasy prospect and the likely top prospect in the Yankees' organization. What has changed, and what can we expect from Severino going forward?


Probably the most meteoric riser that appeared on our midseason top 50 fantasy prospects was Luis Severino, who was not ranked in the top 200 before the season, and, frankly, wasn't even in our top 10 for the Yankees only. Yet there he was, #48 in the midseason list. To give you an idea of how far away we thought Severino was from the top 10 for the Yankees, it's worth noting that we didn't even include him in the discussions for our top 10. With that though, the Dominican right hander has jumped into the picture for both the Yankees and fantasy owners, and that time could be coming sooner than previously anticipated.


Severino was signed as an international free agent at the end of 2011, and debuted with the Yankees' Dominican Summer League team in 2012. He produced a solid line that season (45 K, 17 BB in 64 innings pitched), but statistics from that level generally tell us even less than stateside minor league numbers. The Yankees moved him quickly in 2013, sending him stateside to the Gulf Coast League, and then to finish the year in full-season Charleston, their Low-A affiliate. The performance was solid again (53 K, 10 BB in 44 innings pitched), and early reports on how that performance was achieved led him to appear near the back end of the top 10 for both John Sickels and Baseball America this past offseason. Sickels had this brief note on him in his rankings:






Fast-rising right-hander showed mid-to-upper-90s fastball and improved slider and changeup along with very good 53/10 K/BB ratio in 44 pro innings (despite reports of shaky command). Just 20, could be some shiny-new-toy syndrome pushing him up lists ahead of guys closer to the majors, but he has legitimate mid-rotation potential, or could develop into a fine reliever.



While there was definitely some helium surrounding him at the start of the season, Severino went out and showed what made that helium last. He returned to Low-A Charleston to start his year, making 14 starts and throwing 67 innings before a promotion to High-A Tampa. That stop wasn't long, though, as he made just four starts before moving up heading to AA Trenton to finish the year. Overall, Severino finished the season with 127 strikeouts against 27 walks, allowed just 93 hits, and finished with a 2.46 ERA in 113 innings pitched.


The reports on Severino find a pitcher who uses three pitches, all of which have the potential to be at least average or better. His fastball is considered above-average to potentially elite, with mid-90's velocity that can be dialed up a bit more at times. Both his slider and changeup are expected to be at least useful offerings, with potential to be even better and capable of providing a decent amount of missed swings and weak contact. He gets a ton of ground balls (53% this season per MLB Farm), which definitely bodes well for his long-term outlook when combined with his repertoire and ability to throw his pitches for strikes.


The questions surrounding Severino coming into the season stemmed from whether Severino could stick in a rotation on a long-term basis, or whether he would end up as a high-leverage reliever instead. While the questions weren't extremely loud then, his performance this year has really cemented the likelihood that he will pitch in a major league rotation rather than the pen. He set a career high in innings this year, so the team may decide to try to build up his innings further in 2015 before using him in the majors.


In terms of ETA to the majors, Severino seems likely to return to AA to start the 2015 season, but could see time in the Bronx before the end of next year. Once in the majors, Severino has the potential to be a mid-rotation starting pitcher, both for the Yankees and for fantasy purposes, providing excellent ratios and a solid strikeout total.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2014 - 6:35PM #825
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Looking back at the Yankees minor league season


Yankees Spring Baseball


This is not meant to be a complete minor-league year in review, more a collection of thoughts on what took place in the Yankees system this year. As always, I tend to focus on Triple-A and Double-A just because lower-level numbers carry a lot less meaning. They’re interesting, but I tend to think you really find out a player once he gets into the upper levels. Now that the minor league season has ended, here are a few trends and notable performances from the Yankees system. On the whole, I actually thought it was a solid year. None of the affiliates had a particularly good year, but the Triple-A roster saw a ton of home-grown guys, and enough players emerged — or solidified their status — to make up for the disappointment of some other big names.


Judge Severino (2)HIGH-END TALENT
Prospect rankings are relatively meaningless, but they’re still interesting. And the very top of Yankees’ Top 10 lists could have a very different look this winter. Luis Severino was certainly in the mix last winter, but he’s now emerged as a clear choice as the Yankees top pitching prospect. At 20 years old, the kid pitched his way from Low-A to Double-A, and he put up dominant numbers every step along the way. It’s hard not to focus on the extreme ceiling of a guy like that. Big outfielder Aaron Judge also turned in a standout year and likely rates as the team’s top hitting prospect at this point. Again, he was in that mix last winter, but he seems to have played his way into one of the top two spots for any offseason Yankees prospect rankings. He’s not all raw power. He hit for average and showed impressive patience in his first full season. This year’s first-round pick Jacob Lindgren also delivered in his first taste of pro ball, getting to Double-A and immediately looking like a big league option for next year. Hard to consider a future left-handed reliever to be a particularly high-end prospect, but the Yankees have struggled to develop their own lefty, and Lindgren might change that. And of course there’s Rob Refsnyder, who’s second base transition seems to be going well. He hit in Triple-A this year and, just like Lindgren, he could make a case for a big league job as soon as spring training.


Greene MitchellOVERLOOKED PITCHERS STILL EMERGING
At no point was Shane Greene considered a star of the Yankees minor league system, but he started throwing more strikes last season, made a strong impression in big league camp this spring, and now he looks like a pretty bright piece of the Yankees future. Maybe not a future ace, but certainly a guy who can generate ground balls and work his way through a big league lineup. That’s nothing new for the Yankees. In recent years they’ve seen Ivan Nova, David Phelps and Adam Warren emerge as quality big league pitchers. Not that those three were no-names in the system, but they certainly weren’t headlining any prospect rankings when they made their debuts. Now it’s worth wondering if a guy like Bryan Mitchell could follow a similar path. His potential has always outweighed his results, but Mitchell pitched pretty well after a bump up to Triple-A this season and got into his first big league game last month. Chase Whitley also made a case for being a useful piece just one year after being exposed to the Rule 5 draft.


LongTHE DRAFT IS FOR SUCKERS
The Yankees didn’t draft their hitting coach’s son, they simply signed him as a non-drafted free agent and watched him immediately lead their minor league system in ERA. Right-hander Jaron Long signed out of Ohio State in 2013, and in his first full season of pro ball he had a 2.18 ERA while pitching at three different levels from Low-A to Double-A. And it’s not as if he did all of that damage against the lower-level hitters. Even in Trenton he went 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and 1.06 WHIP through 69 innings. First baseman Mike Ford also went undrafted in 2013, signed with the Yankees, and this year he hit .292/.383/.458 while splitting his season between Charleston and Tampa. He got up to High-A for just 12 games but made the most of them by hitting .354/.404/.563 with 10 RBI and six multi-hit games.


Clarkin JagieloEXCEPT FOR THE 2013 CLASS
Long and Ford make it easy to joke that the draft doesn’t matter, but clearly it does, and the Yankees 2013 class had a nice year. Top pick Eric Jagielo had just over 300 at-bats because of an injury, but he showed good power (.460 slugging) and patience (.354 on-base) during his first full season in Tampa. Compensation pick Aaron Judge emerged as likely the top hitting prospect in the system by batting .308/.419/.486, and another compensation pick, Ian Clarkin, returned from injury to deliver 75 encouraging innings with a 3.12 ERA and exactly a strikeout per inning. Even second rounder Gosuke Katoh, who got off to a horrible start, finished with a .382 on-base percentage in the second half. Overall numbers weren’t nearly as good as last season, but they weren’t a total mess in the end. College relievers Nick Rumbelow and Tyler Webb made it all the way to Triple-A in their first full season, and 19-year-old shortstop Tyler Wade had a solid year in Charleston. Lefty Caleb Smith was a South Atlantic League all-star, another lefty, Ethan Carnes, had a solid year out of the Staten Island bullpen, and yet another lefty, Nestor Cortes, was pretty good in rookie ball . Third-rounder Michael O’Neill, fifth-rounder David Palladino and 18th-rounder Dustin Fowler each had better seasons than last year.


Bird RollerFIRST BASE DEPTH
While the Yankees struggled to find a suitable backup first baseman in New York, their minor league system was loaded with strong performances at the position. Start in Triple-A where largely unheralded eighth-round pick Kyle Roller put up the best numbers of his career, finishing second in the system with 26 home runs and 74 RBI (some of each came in Double-A where he played his first 21 games this year). The team’s top prospect at the system is Greg Bird, who built on last year’s strong numbers by hitting .271/.376/.472 between High-A and Double-A. He homered seven times in 27 games for Trenton, good for a .558 slugging percentage in his final month of the season. Previously mentioned Mike Ford was also a pleasant surprise while spending most of his year in Charleston, and this year’s eighth-round pick Connor Spencer made a strong first impression by hitting .364/.389/.444 (the system’s highest batting average) in Staten Island. All of that’s to say nothing of the traded-away slugger Pete O’Brien, who shifted to first base and led the system in homers despite being out of the organization for the final month of the minor league season.


Bichette PirelaBACK ON THE MAP
Just when it seemed time to write off former first-round pick Dante Bichette Jr., he put himself back on the map with a solid season. Bumped up to High-A Tampa despite consecutive disappointing years in Charleston, Bichette hit .271/.352/.410 before a late promotion to Double-A. His power numbers came and went, and he wasn’t nearly as good late in the year, but he showed some legitimate improvement in his third full season of pro ball. Utility man Jose Pirela also became a name worth knowing again. He was a Triple-A all-star while playing first, second and the outfield corners (plus a little shortstop and center field late in the year). That said, hitting .305/.351/.441 wasn’t enough for a September call-up, so he clearly wasn’t too heavily on the radar. Most significant of the rebounds might be Tyler Austin, who had a disappointing 2013 and got off to a slow start this year, but ultimately hit .336/.397/.557 in the second half, which is probably good enough to get him onto the 40-man this offseason when he needs to be Rule 5 protected. By the way, one other encouraging second half came down in Charleston where third baseman Miguel Andujar hit .319/.367/.456 after the break. Not that he was ever really off the map, but his first half was pretty bad.


HeathcottWilliamsFALL FROM THE TOP
Pretty easy to make the case that each of the Yankees top three preseason prospects — according to Baseball America — underperformed this season. At the top of the list was Double-A catcher Gary Sanchez, whose numbers were basically stagnate in his return to Trenton. He’s still just 21 years old, and a .270/.338/.406 isn’t bad, but the year was underwhelming for such a touted hitter. Right-handers held him to a .255/.320/.332 slash line, and he missed some games for disciplinary issues. His Trenton teammates Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott also disappointed, but each for different reasons. Williams simple didn’t hit, and even a solid August wasn’t enough to get his season numbers any higher than .223/.290/.304. Heathcott remains a high-potential talent, but he played just nine games this year because of yet another surgery. Health has always been a concern with him, and that’s certainly true after this season. No. 4 on Baseball America’s list was John Ryan Murphy, whose season was certainly not a bust, but it wasn’t necessarily robust. He played pretty well during his stint as the big league backup, but the vast majority of his at-bats came in Triple-A where he hit .246/.292/.397. Not a terrible year, and he finished strong, just didn’t do much to take that next step toward looking like a future everyday player. Still might be, but this year didn’t really make that case one way or the other.


Cave DugasTHE OTHER LEFT-HANDED OUTFIELDERS
In a year when Heathcott was hurt again and Williams underperformed again, other left-handed outfielders made a stronger case that they deserve more prospect attention. Jake Cave had some injury problems early in his career, but he has really performed the past two seasons. He’s more table-setter than run-producer, and this year he spent most of the year hitting .304/.354/.395 in High-A Tampa. He bumped up to Double-A for his final 42 games and hit .273/.344/.455. Cave was a sixth-rounder in 2011. In 2012, Taylor Dugas was an eighth-round pick out of Alabama, and he had a monster season. Outshining some bigger names in the Trenton outfield, Dugas basically forced a mid-season call-up by hitting .294/.403/.424 in Trenton, then he got to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and hit .305/.394/.356. Neither Cave nor Dugas is a huge power threat, but they’ve shown an ability to get on base, hit for average and run a little bit while playing all three outfield spots. Another lefty, Ramon Flores, had a nice Triple-A season but he got fewer than 300 at-bats because of an ankle injury. Also, 2014 draftee Mark Payton — another left-handed center fielder — got to High-A and hit .320/.418/.497 in his first taste of pro ball.


Austin MontgomeryLITTLE RULE 5 CLARITY
Here’s the short version of which players are newly Rule 5 eligible this winter: It’s the high school guys from the 2010 draft and the college guys from 2011. Plus all the guys who were eligible in the past. Of all those options, the only one who seems like a relatively safe bet for protection is Tyler Austin, and that’s because of a strong second half. Some of his fellow 2010 high schoolers — Cito Culver, Angelo Gumbs, Mason Williams, Gabe Encinas — have either been stuck in A-ball or failed to produce in Double-A. I came out of spring training expecting big things from Williams, but he just didn’t hit in Double-A. His speed and defense might make him a Rule 5 candidate as a fifth outfielder with upside (and I’m not sure the Yankees are ready to give up on him just yet) but his star has fallen. The college guys from 2011 are headlined by pitchers Mark Montgomery, Branden Pinder and Matt Tracy. Montgomery was once a pretty big name, but he seems to have regressed. Pinder had a pretty solid but injury limited season. Tracy had an OK season in Triple-A and might be helped by the fact he throws left-handed. Chase Whitley was left exposed to the Rule 5 last year and pitched his way onto the roster, but other interesting guys who were left exposed last winter — Danny Burawa, Zach Nuding, Fred Lewis — couldn’t stick in Triple-A this year. Best year of all the previously exposed guys might have belonged to Kyle Roller, who’s surely more appealing after a strong Triple-A season, but is a team really going to give him an everyday job or carry such a defensively limited player on the bench? Otherwise, did a guy like Nik Turley do enough to get back on the 40-man? Are the Yankees going to add Jose Pirela after not giving him a September call-up? Just weren’t a lot of long-time minor leaguers who made a great case for a roster spot.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 08, 2014 - 6:39PM #826
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868


Sep

08



Yankees outright Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton


By


The Yankees have outrighted outfielder Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A Scranton, according to the official league transactions. That means he went unclaimed on waivers. Almonte can not refuse the assignment since this is his first outright, but I believe he is due to become a minor league free agent in a few weeks anyway. I would expect him to sign elsewhere since it’s pretty obvious he won’t get much of an opportunity in New York.


Almonte, 25, hit .261/.311/.436 (103 wRC+) with 18 homers in 105 Triple-A games this season. He’s had several unsuccessful (39 wRC+) big league cameos over the last two seasons. Almonte is a switch-hitter in name only — he absolutely can not hit left-handers — but he has some pop against righties and can play good defense in the two corners. I thought he could be a useful platoon/fourth outfielder, but the fact that every other team could have had him for free off waivers but passed is telling.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2014 - 7:26AM #827
TheStripes
Posts: 2,169

Sep 5, 2014 -- 4:32PM, MajorYankFan wrote:


A Good Year for Development in Yankees System


Sep 4th, 2014 | By | Category: Analyzing the Future, Features
Tags: , , , ,


Earlier this week, comments were made about the Yankees system being “depleted.”


Had the individual making these comments even took a look at what went on in the system during the 2014 season, he might have had reason to reconsider.


Let’s start with an overview from veteran Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin, who expressed his desire to return to the Yankees’ Double-A club in 2015. Franklin has won three Eastern League championships in his eight years with the Thunder.


“The (Yankees) system is really recovering,” said Franklin. “You can see it in how the upper levels of the system are getting younger. There are a lot of good players at those levels, with the stuff to play in the majors.”


So who are some of these players, in no particular order?


RHP Luis Severino – With a fastball that reached 97 mph – and sits between 93-95, a solid slider and changeup that has come a long way, Severino finished 6-4, 2.46 in 14 starts at Charleston, 4 at Tampa and 6 at Trenton. He’s equally effective against right- and left-handed hitters. Will start at Trenton in 2015 and will continue to move quickly.


OF Aaron Judge – The whole package at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds with immense power potential and an advanced approach at the plate. Hit .308 (131-for-467) with 17 homers and 78 RBIs between Charleston and Tampa. His OPS was .903. Defensively, he has enough speed to play CF, but will be a corner outfielder. He has been compared to Giancarlo Stanton and will start at Trenton in 2015 after a stint in the Arizona Fall League.


LHP Jacob Lindgren – Has just filthy stuff. Future closer. Was 2-1, 2.16 in 19 games with the Gulf Coast Yankees, Charleston, Tampa and Trenton after signing out of Mississippi State. Threw a lot of innings both in college and the Yankees system. Getting a needed break. Could start 2015 at Triple-A Scranton and quickly move to The Bronx.


RHP Jaron Long – The son of Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long (“I stay out of everything with Jason”) established himself by going 12-6, 2.18 in stops at Tampa, Charleston and Trenton. He made 18 starts, 10 at Trenton in which he went 7-2, 2.35 and had a 50-11 strikeout/walk ratio. A sinker-slider guy who has a nasty dipping two-seamer, he will start at Trenton in 2015.


3B Eric Jagielo – After missing time due to injury, the former Notre Dame star batted .259 (85-for-332) with 18 homers and 58 RBIs and an OPS of .811 between a Rookie League rehab and time at Tampa.. After a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he will start 2015 in Trenton. He projects to hit 20-25 homers in the majors and is working to sharpen his defense.


1B Greg Bird – The reason Yankees were able to trade Peter O’Brien to Arizona for Martin Prado. Has both an advanced plate approach and power batting from the left side. Also plays excellent defense. He hit .271 (100-for369)  with 14 homers and 43 RBIs between Tampa and Trenton. He also had 30 doubles and an OPS of .848. After a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he will start at Trenton in 2015 and could be Mark Teixeira’s successor at 1B in 2016.


1B Mike Ford – Jersey guy burst into the scene by hitting .292 (109-for-373) in 105 games with Charleston and Tampa. Hit 16 homers, 26 doubles and had an OPS of .842.


C Gary Sanchez – Had a solid season at Trenton. His defense and calling of a game took major jumps. Offensively, he hit . 270 (116-for-429) in 110 games, belting 13 home runs and driving in 65 runs. Will start 2015 at Tripe-A Scranton.


OF Jake Cave – After missing the entire 2012 season due to a right knee injury, Cave, after a solid 2013 season at Charleston, batted .294 (165-for-561) with Tampa and Trenton. An excellent leadoff hitter, he is compared to Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner at that stage of his career.


LHP James Pazos – Emerged as a strong late-inning relief possibility. Can hit 95 mph with his fastball.  Was 0-3, 2.42 between Tampa and Trenton and 10-for-10 in save opportunities. He held hitters to a .209 average and had a strikeout/walk ratio of 75-25.


IF Rob Refsnyder – Had a breakout offensive season, batting .317 (163-for-515) with 14 homers, 38 doubles and 65 RBIs.  His OPS was .881. His defense at 2B needs to improve and that will be worked on over the winter and in spring training.


The above are not the only players who impressed. Relievers Danny Burawa, Nick Rumbelow and Tyler Webb showed stuff that can play at the major-league level. Starting pitcher Ian Clarkin advanced. Outfielder Taylor Dugas battled his way to Triple-A Scranton. Infielder Dante Bichette Jr. saved his career and will start at Trenton in 2015.  First baseman Kyle Roller hit for average and power at Trenton and Scranton and could be a backup with the Yankees in 2015.


There are some what-ifs as well. If OF Slade Heathcott could stay healthy. If OF Tyler Austin could finally put it all together. If infielders Gosuske Katoh and Cito Culver, so solid with the glove, would hit.


Yet, there is nothing “depleted” about the Yankees system at present.




It's been quite some time since I felt this good about the Yankees system. Ironically it comes on the heels of last season which I felt little positive happened.


We also witnessed the Yankees being all in on the international market which was a great move to inject needed talent into the system.



Salute to the USMC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1gTdbL83e4

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

and with his stripes we are healed
8 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2014 - 10:11AM #828
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

September 6 Prospect Watch: Best individual performances of 2014


The 2014 minor league regular season is over. The playoffs are in progress but no player will improve or hurt their prospect stock with a handful of postseason at-bats or innings, barring injury. The game's top prospects have already played out their seasons and we know who had great years, who had disappointing years, and who was somewhere in the middle.


Now that the season is over, it's time to look at the best individual minor league performances at each position. We're emphasizing prospects, so you won't find any older minor league lifers who beat up on younger competition here. We want to look at the best seasons by young players who are expected to be long-term big leaguers if not outright stars. Consider this EOB's All-Star Prospect Team for the 2014 season.


CATCHER: Blake Swihart, Red Sox


Swihart, 22, emerged as the best all-around catching prospect in baseball this season. The 26th overall pick in the 2011 draft hit .293/.341/.469 with 26 doubles, 13 home runs, 31 walks and 80 strikeouts in 110 games at Double-A and Triple-A, plus he threw out 46 percent of attempted base-stealers. Mets backstop prospect Kevin Plawecki gave Swihart a run for his money this summer, but Swihart had the superior season both at the plate and in the field despite being a year younger and playing at the same minor league levels.


FIRST BASE: Matt Olson, Athletics


Very easy call at first base. The 20-year-old Olson had a monster season at High Class-A, hitting .262/.404/.543 with 31 doubles, 37 home runs, 137 strikeouts and a minor league leading 117 walks. Olson's production was certainly helped by playing in the hitter friendly California League, but no minor league first baseman age 21 or younger was within 99 points of his .947 OPS (min. 400 PA). The A's selected Olson with the 47th overall pick in the 2012 draft and he's done nothing but hit as a pro.


SECOND BASE: Dilson Herrera, Mets


The Mets acquired Herrera from the Pirates last August as part of the Marlon Byrd/John Buck trade. The 20-year-old rewarded New York with a breakout 2014 season, finishing fourth in the minors with 169 hits. He put up an overall season batting line of .323/.379/.479 with 33 doubles, 13 home runs, 23 stolen bases in 30 attempts, 47 walks and 96 strikeouts in 128 games split between High-A and Double-A. Herrera's reward for such a strong season? A September call-up and an everyday lineup spot while second baseman Daniel Murphy is on the disabled list. Mookie Betts of the Red Sox would have been an easy call here had he not played more games in the outfield (49) than at second base (46) this year. Jose Peraza of the Braves also deserves an honorable mention.


SHORTSTOP: Corey Seager, Dodgers


This call was even easier than Olson at first base. Seager, 20, was more than just the best hitting shortstop in the minors this summer, he was one of the best minor league hitters period. He led the minors in both batting average (.349) and doubles (50) while also posting a .402 on-base percentage and .602 slugging percentage. Seager, who is the younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, also hit 20 homers, stole six bases in eight attempts, walked 40 times and struck out 115 times in 118 games at High Class-A and Double-A. He was the 18th overall pick in the 2012 draft and while his future at shortstop is a question -- he could wind up at third long-term -- there are few doubts Seager will be an impact hitter.


THIRD BASE: Kris Bryant, Cubs


Another easy call as the 22-year-old Bryant led the minors with 43 home runs this year. In addition to all those dingers, the second overall pick in last summer's draft hit .325/.438/.661 with 34 doubles, 15 stolen bases in 19 attempts, 86 walks and 162 strikeouts in 138 games split between Double-A and Triple-A. Some feel Bryant may wind up a corner outfield spot when it's all said and done, though that won't matter given his elite right-handed power. Rangers third base prospect Joey Gallo finished second in the minors with 42 home runs, but his overall .271/.394/.615 batting line in 126 games at High-A and Double-A is slightly less impressive than Bryant's body of work.


OUTFIELD: Aaron Judge, Yankees; Joc Pederson, Dodgers; Steven Souza, Nationals


Pederson, 20, became the first 30/30 player in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in 80 years this summer, hitting .303/.435/.582 with 17 doubles, 33 home runs, 30 steals in 43 attempts, 100 walks and 149 strikeouts in 121 games overall. Like Herrera, his strong season was rewarded with a September call-up. Pederson was an 11th round pick in 2010, so give the Dodgers' scouting department some credit for digging up a hidden gem.


The 25-year-old Souza is the oldest player in this post, but he earned his spot here by leading the Triple-A International League in batting average (.350), on-base percentage (.432) and slugging percentage (.432) this summer. The 2007 third round pick also hit 25 doubles, 18 home runs, stole 26 bases in 33 attempts, and drew 52 walks against 75 strikeouts. Souza played in 96 Triple-A games this year and briefly made his MLB debut in April before resurfacing in August and September.


The Yankees selected Judge with the 32nd overall pick in last year's draft and he was billed a big, strong guy with contact problems, but he showed a more advanced approach and better all-around hitting skills than expected this year. The 22-year-old put up a .308/.419/.486 batting line with 24 doubles, 17 home runs, 89 walks and 131 strikeouts in 131 games split between two Single-A levels this summer. Only Bryant had a better statistical season among 2013 position player draftees.


STARTING PITCHERS: RHP Tyler Glasnow, Pirates; RHP Jimmy Nelson, Brewers; LHP Daniel Norris, Blue Jays; LHP Henry Owens, Red Sox


As always, there were a ton of truly outstanding pitching performances in the minors this year. Norris, 21, rebounded from rough 2012-13 seasons to pitch to a 2.53 ERA with 163 strikeouts and only 43 walks in 124 2/3 innings while climbing from High Class-A to Double-A to Triple-A. The 2011 second rounder led all qualified minor league pitchers by striking out 32.5 percent of batters faced. Norris was rewarded with a September call-up to Toronto.


The 21-year-old Glasnow shook off a subpar start to the year to finish with a 1.74 ERA in 124 1/3 High Class-A innings. He struck out 157 and walked 57 overall -- he fanned 31.9 percent of batters faced, second behind Norris -- including 85 strikeouts in his final 59 1/3 innings. Glasnow was a fifth round pick back in 2011 and he's a bit of a project as a 6-foot-7 right-hander, so this year was a major step forward in his development.


Owens, 22, lagged a bit behind Norris and Glasnow in the strikeout rate department (26.2 percent), but because he threw 159 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, his 170 strikeouts were the fourth most in the minors. The 36th overall pick in the 2011 draft also pitched to a 2.94 ERA and walked only 59 batters. During one stretch from mid May through mid June, Owens allowed two runs in 43 2/3 innings.


The Brewers called Nelson up to the big leagues just before the All-Star break, and at the time of the promotion he was leading qualified minor league starters with a 1.46 ERA and a .179 opponent's batting average. He managed that despite pitching in the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League. Nelson, 25, was a second round pick in 2011, and he finished his time in the minors with 114 strikeouts and only 32 walks in 111 innings.


RELIEF PITCHERS: LHP Dario Alvarez, Mets; RHP Cam Bedrosian, Angels


Alvarez, 25, has a rather unique back story. He originally signed with the Phillies and spent the 2007-09 seasons in their farm system before being released. He spent 2010-12 pitching in unaffiliated leagues in Panama and Venezuela before the Mets scooped him up and sent him to Low Class-A last season. Alvarez pitched well last year (3.10 ERA) as a starter but took off following a move to the bullpen this year, posting a 1.10 ERA with 114 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 73 1/3 across three levels. That earned him a September call-up. Pretty great story.


Bedrosian's name may sound familiar because his father Steve spent parts of 14 seasons in the big leagues. Cam, 22, is a reliever like his father, and this summer he struck out 82 batters while walking only 18 in 45 innings across three different levels. Like Alvarez, he climbed from High Class-A to Double-A to Triple-A, and then to MLB late in the season. Bedrosian had a 2.00 ERA during his time in the minors this season. He was the 29th overall pick in 2010 and has found a niche in relief after spending his early career struggling as a starter.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2014 - 4:28PM #829
BigGuy
Posts: 66,015


Yankees minor leagues in review: The best storylines of 2014








While the Yankees major league team has been largely disappointing, the minor league system has actually shown a lot of promise this year. There were multiple breakout stars and an overall solid showing from the team's top prospects. Let's take a look back at the best storylines to come out of the 2014 minor league season.


Luis Severino tops the list


After several years of having Gary Sanchez on top of the Yankees prospect list, we finally have a new number one contender in Luis Severino. Practically immediately after Sanchez was crowned as the top prospect in the system he began dropping in value season-after-season. This year, multiple prospect outlets ranked the up-and-coming Severino as the best the Yankee farm system had to offer, and at just 20 years of age and at Double-A it was an exciting thing to see. Severino pitched to a 2.46 ERA with an awesome 10.1 K/9 and solid 2.1 BB/9, while also only surrendering three home runs over 113.1 inning over three levels. Not only is he getting results, but he's being considered as a legitimate top prospect, ranking high on top prospect lists and being considered one of the best pitchers in the minors. It's been awhile since the Yankees have had a prospect that got positive reviews from both evaluators and scouts and it's going to be exciting to see what he can do in 2015.


Aaron Judge is more than meets the eye


After missing the 2013 season due to injury, Aaron Judge finally got a chance to play professional baseball and he did not disappoint. Many people considered Judge to be a lumbering, all-or-nothing power hitter, but he proved everyone wrong when he proved he could basically do just about anything with the bat. Judge showed he had an advanced approach at the plate, and despite his gigantic size, he could control himself and make solid contact with the ball without having to obliterate it. In fact, there was some worry that his home run power was lagging behind the rest of his skill set, but the 22-year-old ultimately ended up with a respectable 17 dingers. He finished the season in High-A Tampa and will get more playing time in the Arizona Fall League, so he still has plenty of time to impress. Many have said that Judge had the best overall season in the organization, so it's probably safe to say that he's ready for Double-A next year.


The resurrection of Tyler Austin


Remember the halcyon days when Tyler Austin hit .322/.400/.559 with 17 home runs across three levels back in 2012 to put himself on the prospect map? Well that player has been non-existent in the year and a half since, leaving many to believe that his prospect status had peaked and it was all down hill from there. It seems, though, that the 23-year-old outfielder just needed time to recover from the wrist injury he suffered in 2013 and in the second half of the 2014 season he came back to life, hitting .302/.353/.483 from July 1 on. Austin will get another chance to perform in the AZL this year and maybe if he continues his hot hitting he could end up in Triple-A next season. It's hard to figure out where Tyler Austin will ultimately end up, but he's shown a propensity to hit at a non-stop rate, despite not having the power of a corner outfielder or the speed and athleticism of a center fielder. If he can hit, the Yankees will find a place for him.


Rob Refsnyder is ready


Refsnyder actually built off of his impossible .293/.413/.413 2013 season in A-ball and came up with something even more impressive this year, hitting for more power with 17 home runs and a .318/.387/.497 batting line. Over the span of one calendar year, he went from intriguing trade chip to possible second baseman of the future and he did not disappoint. While his bat made him a fan favorite, his glove made him an organizational project, as the Yankees neglected to give him a call up to the majors, despite clearly deserving one. The hope will be that they give him a fair shot to win the second base job in 2015, and given the lack of free agent depth at the position and their other needs, there's a really good chance that Refsnyder could lock down the job in spring training. After years of criticism for lacking major league-ready position players, the Yankees finally have one and he looks ready.


The bullpen rises


We've learned that if it's one thing the Yankees organization knows how to do, it's develop relievers. This year was no different as a slew of potential high-leverage relief pitchers made their mark on the system and likely deserved a call up in September. The Yankees drafted the major league-ready arm of Jacob Lindgren, the Strikeout Factory. He didn't disappoint when he struck out 13.9 batters per nine innings and likely could have seen major-league action if not for the excessive workload he had put on his arm between college and pro ball. 2013 draft picks Tyler Webb and Nick Rumbelow also dominated the minor leagues this year and both deserved a September call up that just never materialized. Both pitchers made it to Triple-A this year with a 12.3 and 12.5 K/9, respectively. Between the three of them, the Yankees have a chance to have an elite bullpen filled with closer-level arms and two lefties (Lindgren and Webb) who are more than just LOOGYs. Hopefully next year will be their year and the Yankee bullpen will be ridiculous, and cheap, for years.


Others: Dante Bichette is alive again!, Jake Cave is legit, Ty Hensley actually pitches, Jaron Long might actually be good, Peter O`Brien and the dingers, Jose Pirela tears up the minors





"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."
8 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2014 - 5:01PM #830
MajorYankFan
Posts: 32,868

Good to see the Big Guy back...but he is getting cheaper as the years roll by, now he only wants to give us his two cents worth of input instead of his usual three cents.

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