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Random Minor League Notes: 2015 Edition
7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 2:23PM #1
Posts: 32,868

THE GOAL......


IN 2015

7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 2:23PM #2
Posts: 32,868
2015 Draft: Yankees have 19th overall pick

By Now that the 2014 regular season is over, the 2015 amateur draft order has been finalized. The Diamondbacks had baseball’s worst record at 64-98 and will pick first overall for the second time in team history. They selected Justin Upton with the top pick back in 2005. J.J. Cooper looked a possible first overall pick candidates earlier this month. There is no Upton/Stephen Strasburg/Bryce Harper-esque slam dunk prospect for next year’s draft, at least right now. Lots will change the next few months.

The Yankees finished the season with the 12th best record in baseball at 84-78 and will pick 19th overall next June. Here’s the full draft order. The Astros have a compensation pick (second overall) for failing to sign top pick LHP Brady Aiken this year, pushing everyone else back a slot. That’s why the Yankees are set to pick 19th instead of 18th. The last time the Yankees picked as high as 19th was 2005, when they took Oklahoma HS SS C.J. Henry with the 17th pick. The 19th pick came with a ~$2.1M draft pool value this year and the slots are expected to go up next year. It goes without saying the Yankees may forfeit this pick as free agent compensation.

7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 2:26PM #3
Posts: 32,868

Yankees' prospects: Austin Romine enjoyed learning first base in 2014

Austin Romine

Austin Romine during the New York Yankees major league spring training woirkout at Steinbrenner Field. Tampa, FL 2/19/13 (John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

Prospect Austin Romine, a lifelong catcher, had caught 70 times for the Yankees and DH'ed in three other games in his three-year big-league career. Then came the Yankees' final contest of the season Sunday at Fenway Park.

That day, all the extra work paid off and manager Joe Girardi sent him out to first base for the last three innings of the season.

Romine, a 2007 second-round pick, made a significant change in 2014. Coaches at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre asked him to play first base. It was an effort to keep Romine and fellow catcher John Ryan Murphy both in the lineup there.

We talked with Romine about the switch recently.

Had you played first base before?
I did a little bit in high school, but that was like seven or eight years ago. So, the first couple of games, I didn't know where to be exactly (considering) placement and stuff like that. It was a little awkward, but after four or five games it becomes something that is comfortable.

Who helped with your development?
Oh, dang, all of them helped me. The first baseman's down there. Kyle Roller helped me out down there. We had infield coordinators coming in to help other people. So I just asked some questions and stuff. First is pretty basic. You just make sure it doesn't get by you and catch it when it's thrown at you. It's much like catching. I don't know how much of a fielder I was but I had a lot more blocks at first base than catches. But it didn't get by me. That was the thing. I was just told, don't let it get by. So I didn't.

Was learning to scoop difficult? 
I pick when I catch, so it's pretty similar in a couple of ways. You've got a lot more time to react. I think it's fun. It's hard. It's very hard. But it's also fun to try to pick the ball up.

Had playing first base come up in other seasons?
I always messed around at first wherever I was, whatever affiliate I was at. Then they would stop me and I thought it was was weird at first.

Well, because I'm a catcher. I could get hurt — a throw too far down the first-base line and I could hurt my shoulder and stuff. It's dangerous when you think about it.

But you understand the shift now?
In order to get me in the lineup down there and this year, with Murphy there and I was splitting time, it was just a way to get in me in the lineup.

What was your reaction when they first asked you to do it this year?
I was excited. I was the first out there, getting ready to work and figure it out. Like I said, it was a way to get into the lineup. So I was excited about it. It was fun getting to go out there and wear a hat for a change.

And it doesn't beat you up as much, either.
Right. Actually, you know what, I had more muscles hurting when I was playing first than when I was catching because I wasn't used to using the muscles and stuff. But it was a lot more moving, running, driving and stretching and stuff. It's definitely not as easy of a position as people think. But it's fun.

What about next year?
Oh, I honestly don't know. I don't even know where next year's going to be. I don't know what they're going to do. I'm just ready to catch. That's what I'm ready to do. Catching is my passion. But if they threw me at first, so be it. I can do it if it gets me in the lineup.

7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 2:27PM #4
Posts: 32,868
Yankees outright Josh Outman to Triple-A Scranton

By The Yankees outrighted left-hander Josh Outman to Triple-A Scranton, the team announced. He was designated for assignment last week to clear a 40-man roster spot for Eury Perez. I believe Outman will become a minor league free agent after the World Series but the Yankees were probably going to non-tender him in November anyway. He had a decent year with the Rockies last season (3.25 FIP) and earned a nice salary as an arbitration-eligible player this year ($1.2M). Outman, 30, did not allow a run in 3.2 innings across nine appearances for the Yankees in September.

7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 2:30PM #5
Posts: 32,868

Luis Torrens ranks fourth among Baseball America's top 20 NYPL prospects

7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 7:15PM #6
Posts: 32,868

Quick Hit: Baseball America’s 2014 Top Prospects Lists Are Rolling Out

I’m a little late on this, but Baseball America is in the process of releasing its 2014 “Top 20 Prospects” rankings for each Minor League.  They posted the top 20 for the Gulf Coast League last week and the NY Penn League earlier this week.  Yankee farmhands nabbed 2 spots on the GCL list, shortstops Jorge Mateo and Angel Aguilar at #4 and #15 respectively, and catcher Luis Torrens came in at #4 on the Penn League list.

Mateo is a 19-year-old shortstop who hit .276/.354/.397 with 14 R scored and 11 stolen bases in 15 games for the GCL Yanks 1 team (65 PA).  Aguilar, also 19, hit .311/.373/.536 with 7 HR, 34 R, and 31 RBI in 39 games for the GCL 2 team (167 PA).  Torrens hit .270/.327/.405 in 202 PA for the Staten Island Yanks after an early appearance in Low-A Charleston and a shoulder injury.  He’s still only 18 years old and arguably the Yankees’ best low-level prospect.

7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2014 - 7:21PM #7
Posts: 32,868
Torrens ranks fourth among Baseball America’s top 20 NYPL prospects

By Baseball America continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league today with the short season NY-Penn League. The list is free but the scouting reports are not. Mets RHP Marcos Molina, Nationals RHP Reynaldo Lopez, and Mets SS Amed Rosario claim the top three spots. C Luis Torrens is the only Yankees farmhand on the list and he ranks fourth after playing 48 games with the Staten Island Yankees.

Torrens, 18, hit .270/.327/.405 (115 wRC+) with two homers in 48 games with SI. “He continued to stand out for his show-stopping arm,” said the scouting report, which lauds his other defense skills as well. “Offensively, Torrens has intriguing life in his bat and flashes some pull power … He recognizes spin out of the pitcher’s hand and does a good job staying back on breaking balls. He drives balls from gap to gap and handles velocity well … He is confident and poised beyond his years.”

The SI Yanks had the least amount of high-end talent among Yankees’ affiliates this year — RHP Ty Hensley didn’t throw enough innings to qualify for the list — and Torrens was far and away the best prospect on the team. The next relevant list is the Low-A South Atlantic League, which is a few days away. OF Aaron Judge and RHP Luis Severino are locks for that list. Other possibilities include 3B Miguel Andujar, SS Abi Avelino, SS Tyler Wade, LHP Ian Clarkin, and RHP Brady Lail.

7 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2014 - 10:19AM #8
Posts: 32,868

Breakout Candidates for 2015


Thairo Estrada, SS, Yankees (Short-season Staten Island)
The Venezuelan shortstop has an advanced feel for the game with an adept approach in the field and at the plate. While he did not receive a full season of playing time with Staten Island, he is likely advanced enough to begin next year with Low-A Charleston in his age-19 season. Estrada has a strong chance to stick at shortstop. His footwork is fluid and fleet, displaying plus range. His instincts and baseball IQ are high, and he was repeatedly able to improvise on plays that required above-average arm strength. At the plate, Estrada shows an uncanny ability to barrel pitches, showing a clean bat path through the zone with above-average bat speed. There are slight timing issues still with his footing and ability to stay balanced, which will be my only concern moving forward. I believe Estrada has the package to provide average to plus tools across the board, outside of power. With such an advanced approach, it will not shock me to see a promising performance at Low-A next season. In a shallow Yankees system, this will be a great boost. –Tucker Blair

7 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2014 - 10:22AM #9
Posts: 32,868

We're there any other Yankees close to making the NYP Top 20 list? Would Ty Hensley have made it if he had enough IP to qualify? Thanks!
Aaron Fitt: No other Yankees were really that close. Hensley might have made the list if he qualified — he was up to 96 at Staten Island, pitched at 90-93, and showed a plus curveball. When he had his fastball command, he looked very good, from what I heard. Other arms of interest: Andury Acevedo was way too old for the league, but he has a huge arm, with a 93-96 fastball and a power slider in the high 80s. Jordan Foley is a big physical righty who touches at least 94 (I heard one report of a 96) and threw some nasty sliders. He’s a two-pitch bullpen guy, but I liked him in the Cape League last summer, ranked him in the Top 30 in that league. Andy Beresford is another older guy with a big arm, like Acevedo; I heard he was up to 95 with plus sink and good control from a three-quarters slot, but lacks secondary stuff. Two position guys to watch (in addition to Spencer): Thairo Estrada, a slick-fielding 18-year-old shortstop with enough contact skills to give him a chance at the plate, though doesn’t seem like an impact hitter at this stage. And Christopher Breen, an outfielder with some power, arm strength, sneaky athleticism and ability to recognize spin. I am particularly intrigued by him.

7 years ago  ::  Oct 01, 2014 - 7:03PM #10
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Jagielo out 4-6 weeks with broken bone in face following hit-by-pitch

By 3:44pm: Jagielo had to undergo surgery to repair the fracture, he announced on Instagram. (The picture isn’t gross.) Everything went well.

1:01pm: Third base prospect Eric Jagielo is out 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his face, VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed to Josh Norris. Jagielo took a fastball to the face during an Instructional League game over the weekend. He will be replaced on the Arizona Fall League roster, according to Newman.

Jagielo, 22, was the Yankees’ first round pick in the 2013 draft. He hit .259/.354/.460 (132 wRC+) with 16 homers in 85 games around an oblique injury with High-A Tampa this year. The broken bone stinks but that seems like the best case scenario whenever you talk about a pitch up around the head. Jagielo could have suffered a concussion or serious eye damage. All things considered, this is good news. Heal up and get ready for 2015.

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