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Random Minor League Notes: 2014 Edition
8 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2014 - 10:59AM #841
Posts: 32,868

RF Aaron Judge

Aaron Judge—ranked No. 6 and 9 among Yankees prospects by Baseball America and MLB.com, respectively, ahead of 2014—proved that he's much more than a do-or-die power hitter (don't worry, Baseball America still named Judge the South Atlantic League's best power prospect of 2014). The monster 6'7", 230-pound college outfielder (2013 32nd overall pick) split 133 games down the middle between Charleston (65 G, 167 wRC+) and Tampa (66 G, 149 wRC+) this season after missing 2013 to injury.

Prior to 2014, MLB.com noted: "With his long arms, his swing can get very long...which results in strikeouts and reduces his ability to hit for average." Judge ultimately cast doubts aside for the latter half of that statement, showing scouts and personnel that he's more than capable of hitting for average.

He finished the year at a combined .308/.419/.486 (.905 OPS) with 17 homers, 24 doubles, four triples and 78 RBI. The other added benefit for Judge's stock in the organization: patience and plate discipline. The masher walked 89 times, including 50 times in just the 66 games (outstanding 17.5 percent K rate) he logged in his promotion to High-A ball.

Judge designated hit for 16 games in 2014 but played all of his defense in right field (116 G), and Baseball America recognized him as the Florida State League's best outfield arm (four assists for Tampa). MLB.com wrote prior to the season: "Judge moves very well for a big man, with his solid speed and strong arm making him a nice fit in right field."

MLB.com now ranks Judge it's No. 5 Yankee prospect following the season, and he could be on the move quickly through the minors if he continues to hit for average and draw walks. He easily possesses the best raw power of any Yankees prospect, and he's more than likely the organization's best hitter heading into 2015. His defense only betters his case for a future in the Bronx.

Honorable Mentions (OF): Adonis Garcia (.319, nine homers, 20 2B, 45 RBI); Antoan Richardson (.271, 26 SB); Ramon Flores (.254, nine HR, 20 2B, 26 RBI); Tyler Austin (.275, nine HR, 20 2B, 47 RBI); Michael O'Neill (.256, 42 SB).

8 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2014 - 11:00AM #842
Posts: 32,868

SP Luis Serevino

If you haven't heard much of Luis Severino's name, that will all change ahead of the 2015 season—quite rapidly, too. He went from MLB.com's 10th-best Yankees prospect to its No. 1 in 2014, and his No. 9 ranking by Baseball America is sure to change soon.

MLB.com summarizes the 20-year-old Dominican's ascension: "Severino began 2013 as an unknown Yankees prospect who had yet to make his U.S. debut, and he finished it as the top right-handed pitching prospect in the system. He has made another leap in 2014, becoming the organization's top prospect, period, and [pitched] in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game."

The 6'0", 195-pound right-hander pitched 44 innings between rookie ball and Low-A in 2013, posting a 2.45 combined ERA, 1.068 WHIP and allowing only one long ball. This season, Severino started 24 games across three levels and eclipsed the 100-inning mark (113.1), finishing with a combined 2.46 ERA, 1.059 WHIP, 127 strikeouts (10.1 K/9), 2.1 BB/9 and surrendered just three homers.

He excelled at each stop: In Low-A he went 3-2 in 14 starts with a 2.79 (2.70 FIP) and 9.31 K/9; in High-A he went 1-1 in four starts with a 1.31 (1.55 FIP) and outstanding 12.2 K/9; and in Double-A he finished at 2-2 in six starts with a 2.52 (2.27 FIP) and stellar 10.4 K/9. 

His fastball sits in the mid-90s, touching 98, and has sinking action at lower speeds, while his hard slider and still-in-progress changeup both project to be solid or better offerings, per MLB.com, who note that Severino's accelerated timetable is dependent upon developing all three pitches. 

He's emerged as more than a top Yankees prospect; he's one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.


8 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2014 - 11:01AM #843
Posts: 32,868

Honorable Mentions: Shane Greene (13 GS, 5-2, 4.61, 3.40 FIP, 7.7 K/9); Ian Clarkin (16 GS, 4-3, 3.12, 1.253 WHIP, 9.0 K/9); Nik Turley (13 GS, 5-3, 4.43, 1.600 WHIP, 6.6 K/9); Manny Banuelos (25 GS, 2-3, 4.11, 1.239 WHIP, 8.3 K/9).

8 years ago  ::  Sep 10, 2014 - 11:05AM #844
Posts: 32,868

RP Jacob Lindgren

The Yankees' first selection of the 2014 draft (second round) impressed mightily in his first professional experience. Jacob Lindgren closed ballgames for Mississippi State in his final season, a role he very well may hold for the Yankees in the future. Writes MLB.com, who ranks the lefty as the No. 9 Yankees prospect: "Lindgren helped pitch Mississippi State to the College World Series as a starter in 2013, then dominated after a shift to the bullpen this spring."

When he switched to the pen, Lindgren's fastball jumped from 87-91 to 91-95 and his slider went from secondary pitch to "a true wipeout pitch at 82-84 mph, with late bite," per MLB.com.

Though the 5'11", 180-pounder tossed just 25 innings, he was absolutely lights-out with a 17.3 K/9. He struck out 48, walked 13 and failed to give up the long ball, finishing with a 2.16 ERA. 

"When batters manage to make contact against Lindgren, they struggle to put the ball in the air," says MLB.com, and The Journal News' Jennings believes he "immediately" looks like a big league option for next year. 

Considering his NCAA experience and dominance, as well as his early track record and lightning-quick climb to Double-A, Lindgren should be a vital left-handed—and late-inning—piece of the Bronx bullpen moving forward.


Honorable Mentions: Tyler Webb (12 SV, 68.2 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.180 WHIP, 12.3 K/9); Nick Rumbelow (eight SV, 58.1 IP, 2.62 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, 12.5 K/9); James Pazos (10 SV, 67 IP, 2.42 ERA, 1.134 WHIP, 10.9 K/9); Cesar Vargas (14 SV, 69.2 IP, 2.58 ERA, 0.962 WHIP, 9.8 K/9). 

8 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2014 - 12:24PM #845
Posts: 32,868

Chasing wild card, Yankees once again have no answers in farm system for major issues


8 years ago  ::  Sep 11, 2014 - 3:56PM #846
Posts: 32,868
A Minor Review of 2014: Yankees

The Graduate: Shane Greene, RHP: Greene is proof that scouting is not an exact science. The right-hander flew under the radar for five minor league seasons due to inconsistent results. His stuff took a step forward in 2014 and he could be in the Yankees’ starting rotation for years to come thanks to his combination of velocity, movement and sink on his offerings.

The Riser: Luis Severino, RHP: Severino’s mix of velocity and above-average control allowed the 20-year-old hurler to fly through three minor league levels in 2014: Low-A, High-A and Double-A. I was big on this pitching prospect prior to the 2014 season and ranked him as the 11th best prospect in the system but I definitely didn’t expect him to take such a huge step forward. He could reach the Majors in 2015.

The Tumbler: Mason Williams, OF: Williams’ light was shining bright after the 2012 season but he stumbled in 2013 while splitting the year between High-A and Double-A. He returned to Double-A in 2014 and saw him OPS bottom out at a paltry .593 in 128 games. Interestingly, strikeouts are not a major issue for Williams; rather, it’s his lack of hard contact, as well as poor pitch selection.

The ’14 Draft Pick: Jacob Lindgren, LHP: Lindgren won’t be the first 2014 draftee to the Majors (the Royals Brandon Finnegan took care of that) but he likely will be one of the first three to five players to arrive — assuming he stays healthy. His nasty stuff could make the Yankees’ bullpen very scary in less than a year’s time when he complements David Robertson and Dellin Betances.

The Lottery Ticket: Luis Torrens, C: Torrens, 18, was on my radar at the beginning of 2014 when I ranked him as the 15th-best prospect in the system and he’s attracted even more attention after a solid offensive season in the New-York-Penn League. He needs additional polish behind the plate but he threw out 42% of runners trying to steal on him at that level.

8 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2014 - 1:18PM #847
Posts: 1,485

Hey Major... is there ANY infield help available from one of the minor league teams for the Yankees ? They are so injured I'm not sure they can field a team...even with the expanded roster.

i know the minors are done but is there anyone ?

Life is better when the Yankees win !
8 years ago  ::  Sep 12, 2014 - 9:14PM #848
Posts: 32,868

Sep 12, 2014 -- 1:18PM, cookback444 wrote:

Hey Major... is there ANY infield help available from one of the minor league teams for the Yankees ? They are so injured I'm not sure they can field a team...even with the expanded roster.

i know the minors are done but is there anyone ?

Scott Sizemore

Robert Refsynder

Jose Pierla

Carmen Angelini

All the above, but they are not all the 40 man roster.  Why bother anyway, this team is not going to the playoffs.  Even though Ryan and Drew

are not hitting, at least they can play defense.

Nobody on the 40 man roster.

33 Stephen Drew L-R 6'0" 190 Mar 16, 1983
12 Chase Headley S-R 6'2" 220 May 9, 1984
2 Derek Jeter R-R 6'3" 195 Jun 26, 1974
14 Martin Prado R-R 6'1" 190 Oct 27, 1983
13 Alex Rodriguez Restricted ** R-R 6'3" 225 Jul 27, 1975
17 Brendan Ryan R-R 6'2" 195 Mar 26, 1982
25 Mark Teixeira S-R 6'3" 215 Apr 11, 1980
45 Zelous Wheeler R-R 5'10" 220

Jan 16, 1987

8 years ago  ::  Sep 13, 2014 - 2:17PM #849
Posts: 32,868

Yankees minor leagues in review: The worst storylines of 2014

As great as this season was for the Yankees farm system, there were still a few unfortunate breaks along the way. Even the best stories are going to have some bad arcs every now and again, so here's a look at some of the worst the Baby Bombers had to offer in 2014.

Mason Williams is still terrible

Mason Williams has been really bad for a few years now, but we may have finally reached an all-time low. In 2014, the 23-year-old had his worst offensive season to date. Scouts and evaluators alike had nothing good to say about the former top prospect's abilities on the field or even his body language, often citing his lack of effort, indifference, and constant look of defeat. Toward the end of the season Jake Cave started taking over center field because not even Mason's glove could save him from being passed over. We're at a point where the Yankees can no longer sit around and wait for him to fix everything himself. Talk to him, sit him down, demote him, trade him – do something, because he's closer to falling out of the game than he is to turning things around. I'm not even mad anymore, I'm morbidly curious to see how bad it can get. I'm not actively rooting for him to fail, but I'm not going to look away from the mess that has yet to be made.

Ramon Flores falls down

Ramon Flores was off to a great start to the season. In his first year at Triple-A, the 22-year-old hit .261/.352/.447 through June 1. With the struggles of Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki, along with the injury to Carlos Beltran that prevented him from playing the field, it was easy to see how a strong season from Flores could eventually land him a major league job, even if only as a backup. Unfortunately his year was cut short when he suffered a devastating ankle injury. While the team announced he would only miss a month, Flores didn't return to Scranton until the end of August, which left him little time to recover for a September call up. To make matters worse, he didn't hit very well when he made it back, but hopefully he can take his early-season surge and translate it into a successful spring next year.

The great Gary Sanchez benching incident of 2014

It's no secret that Gary Sanchez has been depreciating in value since his 2011 peak. It's not that he's necessarily struggled, it's just that he has yet to take the next step that so many have been waiting for him to take. His defense is still questionable, his offense is solid, if not spectacular, but he hasn't exactly had the standout season that top prospects need to get the hype train going. In fact, not only did he put together another unspectacular year, but he also ran into some disciplinary problems with the organization when they benched him for an entire week because of some unknown issue. The worst part of the benching was that it seemed to have no impact on his performance at the plate whatsoever, so all we can hope for is that it helped him in some other way. Maybe. While his overall game is not necessarily a problem right now, it's going to get a lot more attention next year if he makes it up to Triple-A and he still can't regain any of his lost value.

Surprise, Gosuke Katoh is bad!

After finding a surprising amount of success in 2013, despite scouts mostly panning the second-round pick, it seems that everything caught up with Katoh in 2014. Not only did he not put up good overall numbers, but there was also a large amount of debate over whether or not he was overmatched at Low-A. Perhaps the silver lining was that he still took more than his fair share of free passes, but he still struck out at an alarming rate. The main area of concern is strength and conditioning. As a stick figure, Katoh lacks the arm strength to catch up to the higher velocity in A-ball and, while his baseball instincts are still intact, he's not really able to do much with them because he lacks the physical ability to, not only drive the ball, but also even catch up to it. Many evaluators said he would need to strengthen his wrists in pro ball and that seems to be very, very accurate. The ship hasn't sailed on him yet, but he has to improve himself physically if he's ever going to show off his talent.

The Yankees' terrible use of the 40-man roster

The injuries to Slade Heathcott and Jose Campos were painful by themselves as each had been struggling to stay on the field for several years now, but the Yankees really compounded the issue by placing them both on the 40-man roster at the beginning of the season. Sure, both were eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, but it was highly unlikely that either player would be taken since Campos hadn't gotten out of A-ball yet and Heathcott has yet to stay healthy for an entire season. Putting one of them on the roster might make sense, but both sounded like a logjam waiting to happen. Of course, within a matter of months, Campos finally needed Tommy John surgery and Slade re-injured his knee and neither could be added to the 60-day DL. Both were disappointing stories that were made worse when the Yankees decided to willingly put them in the way. Now they've finally had to place Slade on the 60 and his MLB service time has begun, though at this point it probably doesn't matter much anyway.

Others: Rafael De Paula isn't very good, Jorge Mateo and Thairo Estrada disappear for two months, Luis Torrens gets demoted, Eric Jagielo's injury fun.

What was the worst storyline of 2014?

8 years ago  ::  Sep 14, 2014 - 1:44PM #850
Posts: 32,868



Minor League Notes: Newman, AzFL, Higashioka


A few days ago we learned the Pulaski Yankees of the rookie Appalachian League will be joining the organization as the Yankees’ eighth domestic minor league affiliate starting next season. The club will serve as a stepping stone between the two rookie Gulf Coast League affiliates and Short Season Staten Island. Here are some more minor league notes with the Arizona Fall League still more than three weeks away.

  • According to George King, the Yankees have known about the impending retirement of VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman since February. He’s been with the team since 1988 and has been running for the running the farm system for the last 15 years now. King adds that special assistant Trey Hillman, who was tabbed as Newman’s likely replacement, may not be interested in the job. Hal Steinbrenner will conduct a “total evaluation” of the player development system after the season and it may result in a “complete overhaul.”
  • C Kyle Higashioka has been re-signed after becoming a six-year minor league free agent, according to Matt Eddy. Josh Norris adds Higashioka has been assigned to the Arizona Fall League as the team’s last position player. He missed most of these season following Tommy John surgery. The Yankees are sending several top prospects to the desert this year, including OF Aaron Judge, 3B Eric Jagielo, 1B Greg Bird, and OF Tyler Austin.
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder was named the second baseman for Baseball America’s Triple-A International League All-Star Team. No other Yankees’ farmhands made their classification All-Star Teams. SS Angel Aguilar, UTIL Bryan Cuevas, and OF Alex Palma all made the official GCL postseason All-Star Team.
  • Marc Hulet of FanGraphs reviewed the year the was in the team’s farm system. RHP Shane Greene and RHP Luis Severino understandably earned praise for their rises this season, albeit at very different levels.
  • And finally, Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs put together a super early look at the 2015 draft class. Lots of names and lots of information. Make sure you check it out. The Yankees are currently slated to have the 18th overall pick.
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