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Random Minor League Notes: 2019 Edition
5 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2018 - 7:21AM #21
Posts: 32,868

The not top 50


Here’s a list of the guys who missed the top 50 by varying degrees. Don’t take the actual number rankings to heart, as there is very little difference between 51 and 100. Most of these guys will be in the top 50 with one big season next year.

In particular, there are a ton of pitchers on this list who would normally be a shoe-in for the top 50 list, but given the depth they just missed the cut. It’s going to be a fun year in 2019.

51. Pedro Espinola – RHP, 6-foot-4, 207-pounds, 22-years-old – Espinola had a good year in Pulaski, with a 3.77 ERA and 58 K : 32 BB in 45.1 innings. The control is still not where it needs to be, but he’s progressing nicely. Being a 22-year-old in the rookie leagues means that he will have to prove himself at higher levels, but Espinola has the stuff to make that happen. What Espinola lacks in control he makes up for with a nasty two pitch repertoire. He has a 93-96 mph fastball with a low ¾ arm angle. He also has a nasty curveball. The spin rates on both pitches are elite (2500 RPM and 3000 RPM respectively). If he can learn to control these and develop a third pitch, he could bust onto the scene.

52. Jose Villa – 3B, 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – Jose Villa had an unbelievable year statistically for the GCL Yankees. In the GCL, he had a .371/.397/.543/.940 line with two homeruns, eight doubles, and three triples in 33 games. He also played six games in the DSL. Villa is a guy who hits the ball hard all around the field and can play multiple positions. The Yankees are keeping him at third for now because he has done well there, but anything could happen going forward. Villa was not a highly touted signing, and despite his nice size, he doesn’t have crazy tools other than his ability to barrel the baseball and make consistent contact. If he keeps hitting like he has, however, none of that is going to matter much longer.

53. Daniel Ramos – RHP, 5-foot-10, 169-pounds, 23-years-old – I thought Ramos would be in line for more innings this year since he threw 52 last year. Alas, he only got 67.2 innings, although his appearances were generally spaced apart by five days, which means the Yankees still may view him as a starter. He finished the year with a 3.72 ERA and 64 K : 27 BB in 67.2 innings. He has a 92-95 mph fastball with developing secondary pitches. It’s not clear what the Yankees have planned for him next year, but he may be ready for a bigger workload.

54. Alexander Vizcaino – RHP, 6-foot-2, 160-pounds, 21-years-old – Vizcaino has an electric arm but struggles greatly with command and control. He had a 5.12 ERA and 57 K : 23 BB in 58 innings this year. With a mid-90’s fastball that has reached 97 mph, and a curveball/changeup that have plus potential, he’s a guy who could make an impact down the line. For now he is still raw. This is one of those guys who could become a household name if something clicks.

55. Deivi Diaz – LHP, 5-foot-10, 197-pounds, 19-years-old – He’s a lefty who can dial it up to the low-90’s with a curveball and changeup that are developing. He had a nice year in the GCL and DSL, with a 3.63 ERA and 52 K : 16 BB in 39.2 innings. He’s another guy with a nice repertoire and good performance in the low minors. He also still has youth on his side. He could develop into a Nestor Cortes type with more velocity.

56. Ryder Green – CF, 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – Green made his debut this year and showed some promise in the GCL. He hit .203/.316/.392/.708 which is not great. On the other hand, he also hit three homeruns, two triples, and two doubles in 2018. He is known for having big power and impressive batting practice displays. Let’s see what the Yankees can do to develop these tools.

57. Alex Mauricio – RHP, 6-foot-0, 180-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees rolled him out as a starter this year after giving him relief work in his career debut. They may have gotten him in the 27th round, but he has much more value than that now. He started 11 games this year, and had a 3.86 ERA and 49 K : 18 BB in 58.1 innings between Staten Island and Low-A. He has a mid-90’s fastball and as of last year, questionable secondary stuff. It seems like he has improved some of the secondary pitches and we will see where he goes from here. He has been up to 99 mph in the past, so there may be even more left in the tank.

58. Rodney Hutchison – RHP, 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, 22-years-old – The Yankees picked up Hutchison I the sixth round and they got a power arm. He’ll get up to the high-90’s on the radar gun and the Yankees feel they can develop him as a starter. He had 31 K : 6 BB and a 1.97 ERA in 32 innings for Staten Island this year. I suspect he’ll start with Low-A next year and be a part of their rotation.

59. Austin DeCarr – RHP, 6-foot-3, 218-pounds, 23-years-old – DeCarr seems to have found a niche in the bullpen and had a nice year pitching for Charleston. He threw 36 innings, had 39 K : 25 BB, and a 3.5 ERA. The biggest blemish is the walks, and he will need to get much better if he wants to continue to rise. In the past, he had a mid-90’s fastball and nasty curveball.

60. Evan Alexander – OF, 6-foot-2, 175-pounds, LHB, 20-years-old – Alexander is an athletic kid who had a nice statistical season for Pulaski this year. He hit .278/.399/.503/.902 with five homeruns, one double, and nine triples. He also had 10 SB in 47 games. This was a nice little breakout for him, and it will be interesting to see where this puts him next year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start in Charleston, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they held him back one more year and put him in Staten Island. Either way, he is developing some power to a game that already includes speed. With time, he could turn into a good one.

61. Mickey Gasper – 1B, 5-foot-10, 205-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Another 27th round draft pick, Mickey Gasper is a crowd favorite at Pulaski. He had nine homeruns and six doubles with a .257/.393/.493/.886 line. This is what he should be doing in the rookie leagues at his age, but you can’t fault him for doing just that. He is pretty maxed out physically, but as you can see by the numbers he generates a ton of power from his relatively short stature. He’s most likely an organization guy but you never know when one of these guys can turn into something more.

62. Isaiah Pasteur – CF, 6-foot-2, 182-pounds, RHB, 22-years-old – Yankees got Pasteur in the 13th round this year out of GWU. He transferred there this year and the Yankees took the opportunity to draft him given his great tools. He finished with a .295/.347/.568/.915 line between the GCL and Pulaski this year. He had six homeruns, six doubles, and six stolen bases. Pasteur is another athletic kid with a power and speed combo. He played 3B in college but the Yankees love his athleticism so much they put him in CF. His career merits watching closely.

63. Shawn Semple – RHP, 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, 22-years-old – He was the 11th round draft pick in 2017 and he’s a hometown boy from Voorhees, NJ. He has a low-90’s fastball, along with a curveball and a changeup that he has a good feel for. He pitched 61 innings between Staten Island, Low-A, and one start in High-A this year. Semple had a 2.95 ERA and 62 K : 14 BB on the season. Overall these are excellent stats and hopefully he can expand on his first full season in the minors in 2019.

64. Reiver Sanmartin – LHP, 6-foot-2, 160-pounds, 22-years-old – Reiver came to the Yankees in the Ronald Herrera trade, and his performance has been great. He has an 88-90 mph fastball, so he’s not gonna light up the radar gun, but he has pinpoint control and a nice curveball that he can locate at will. He pitched over four levels this year from Staten Island to Trenton, and had a 2.81 ERA in 67.1 innings, with a 58 : 4 strikeout to walk ratio.

65. Carlos D. Rodriguez – RHP, 5-foot-10, 155-pounds, 19-years-old –Rodriguez apparently has some pretty good stuff for his size. It seems to be showing up in the numbers too. He had 49.2 innings pitched in the DSL and GCL this year, and finished with a 3.08 ERA, 51 K, and 12 BB. In time we will find out if he becomes a true prospect or not.

66. Alexander Palma – RF, 6-foot-0, 201-pounds, 22-years-old – Palma was well on his way to his best career season when he went down with an injury that ended his season. He hit .299/.348/.459/.806 with seven homeruns, eight doubles, and one triple in 52 games this season. Palma has a great hit tool and some burgeoning power. He’s a long shot to stick in right field in the majors but he took a big step in the right direction this year.

67. James Reeves – LHP, 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, 25-years-old – Reeves had another successful season with a 2.88 ERA, 56.1 IP, and a 72 : 34 K : BB ratio. He has a low-90’s fastball he locates with the best of them, and a nasty slider/changeup combo. He’s one of a few upper level lefties who might be able to help the major league team next season.

68. Nestor Cortes – LHP, 5-foot-11, 205-pounds, 23-years-old – It was another fine year for Cortes, with a 3.68 ERA and 99 K : 38 BB in 115 innings. He also turned in 4.2 major league innings, and an 8 innings shutout performance in the playoffs, giving him a total of 127.2 innings overall this season, with 106 K. His fastball is high-80’s, low-90’s, and he has a curveball, changeup, and slider. He is tough to hit, at least for minor leaguers. I think there’s no doubt at this point he will get a chance to pitch in the majors for an extended period. The question becomes in what role, and for how long? Only time will tell, but for now it’s clear the Yankees do have a major league asset.

69. Oswald Peraza – SS, 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – Peraza had a “hold your own” kind of year in Pulaski, with a .250/.333/.321/.655 line. He had one homer, three doubles, and two triples, while stealing eight bases. It was his first time playing under the lights, and he did hold his own. Peraza has above average speed and a good hit tool. Scouts feel he will have gap power but could develop more in the future. He’s a solid defender at shortstop and should stick there long term.

70. Zack Zehner – OF, 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, RHB, 26-years-old – The only thing preventing Zehner from being higher on the list is his age. He has good power with solid exit velocity, and he’s good in the outfield. He’s pretty good at everything, but not great at anything yet. He had a .270/.339/.459/.798 line this year between Double-A and Triple-A, with 14 homeruns, 25 doubles, and six triples. Overall it was a successful season for Zehner. He should be rule five eligible after this year, so some team might grab him there and give him a shot to play every day. If not, he’s gonna have a tough time finding playing time with the Yankees.

71. Phillip Diehl – LHP, 6-foot-2, 180-pounds, 24-years-old – Diehl has had nothing but success since signing with the Yankees in 2016. This year, between High-A and Double-A, he threw 75.1 innings and struck out 108, while walking 23. He had a 2.51 ERA. His fastball sits in the low 90’s, and he has slider and changeup to go along with it. The strikeout numbers are profound, so he has a real shot at the major leagues.

72. Alexander Vargas – RHP, 6-foot-4, 203-pounds, 21-years-old – Vargas has a low-90’s fastball that tops out at 93 with hard sink that causes batters to pound the ball into the ground. He also has a curveball and changeup. This season he had a 4.01 ERA with 50 K : 16 BB in 83 innings. Sinkerball pitchers tend to be better in the upper minors because the defense behind them improves, so don’t be surprised if this is the observed pattern with Vargas.

73. JP Sears – LHP, 5-foot-11, 180-pounds, 22-years-old – Sears has a 92-93 mph fastball, which is fine for a lefty. What’s best about his fastball though, is the deception and spin rate (2350). He also has a curveball and changeup which are average pitches. JP only managed to pitch 54 innings this year but was excellent. He had 54 K : 11 BB, a .191 average against, and a 2.67 ERA. He was placed on the disabled list after his 6/21 start and hasn’t been back since, which is disconcerting. The best thing you can hope for next year is a full, healthy season where he is back to his old self.

74. Oswaldo Cabrera – 2B/SS, 5-foot-10, 145-pounds, 19-years-old – You could say that Cabrera had a disappointing season and you wouldn’t be wrong. Especially given the fact that he had a career low OPS at .592. That said, he is just 19-years-old in Low-A, which means he has plenty of time to right the ship. He has great tools, including a plus hit tool, smooth fielding, a good arm, and above average speed. The Yankees are high on him, but he clearly has a few adjustments to make for next season. He finished the year with a .229/.379/.320/.529 line with six homeruns, 24 doubles, and one triple.

75. Wilkerman Garcia – SS, 6-foot-0, 176-pounds, SH, 20-years-old – Speaking of disappointing seasons, Wilkerman Garcia finished with a similarly bad line of .218/.274/.305/.580 with six homeruns, 20 doubles, and two triples. Garcia has a ton of talent and good long-term power projection, but he will have to start making big strides soon if he ever wants to be a legitimate major league shortstop.

76. Daniel Alvarez – RHP, 6-foot-3, 228-pounds, 22-years-old – Now that he has been moved into the bullpen, Alvarez could become a fast mover of the Giovanny Gallegos ilk. In his first season as a reliever he had a 1.3 ERA and 53 K : 8 BB in 34.2 innings. He had a .194 average against. Prior to this season, he was in the 90-93 range with his fastball as a starter. I’d wager a guess that he throws harder now. He also has an above average curveball and an average changeup.

77. Mike Ford – 1B, 6-foot-0, 225-pounds, LHB, 26-years-old – Ford had a decent season, but after the year he had in 2017 it has to be viewed as a disappointment. He finished with a .251/.326/.433/.759 line with 16 homeruns and 22 doubles in 108 games. Ford has excellent patience and decent power, although for a first baseman it’s not as impressive. At this point Ford has been passed over for several marginal prospects for a major league promotion, and I have a hard time believing the Yankees will keep him much longer. I hope he catches on with another organization.

78. Anyelo Gomez – RHP, 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, 25-years-old – Gomez went out with a mystery injury in May and has been out ever since. He only threw 7.1 innings this year and struck out eight while walking three. He finished with a 2.45 ERA. Gomez had an excellent season in 2017 though, and he has a low to mid-90’s fastball with secondary offerings that get the job done. He was taken in the rule 5 draft last year by the Braves and returned to the Yankees. If he can get back to being fully healthy he’s probably a major league caliber reliever soon.

79. Gosuke Katoh – 2B, 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, LHB, 23-years-old – Katoh had a disappointing year with a .229/.327/.335/.662 line, five homeruns, 27 doubles, and two triples. He also stole 11 bases. After a somewhat breakout year in 2017, this is a letdown. Next year is the last year of team control for Katoh. It’s looking unlikely that the Yankees will get anything out of drafting him. In the words of Yogi Berra, “It’s getting late early” for Katoh.

80. Canaan Smith – OF, 6-foot-0, 215-pounds, LHB, 19-years-old – Smith had a rough year, finishing with a .191/.281/.316/.596 line. He was generating a ton of buzz in the offseason with some huge exit velocities and dropping quite a few bombs. While the statistics weren’t there, the potential is still there for Smith to make a couple of adjustments and has a monster year in 2019. This wasn’t his breakout, but next year could be.

81. Ryan McBroom – 1B, 6-foot-3, 235-pounds, RHB, 26-years-old – McBroom catapulted himself ahead of Mike Ford on the depth chart this year with an excellent season, but now he’ll have a long way to go to catch Luke Voit. He finished with a .302/.348/.458/.806 line. He launched 15 homeruns with 23 doubles and two triples. He will serve as nice depth to Voit and Bird next year if he doesn’t get taken in the rule five draft.

82. Raynel Espinal – RHP, 6-foot-3, 199-pounds, 26-years-old – Espinal had another nice year, with a 3.09 ERA and 95 K : 26 BB in 67 innings. That’s an impressive K-rate, and it’s backed up by a low-to-mid-90’s fastball and a good slider. I’d like to see what he can do against major leaguers.

83. Joe Harvey – RHP, 6-foot-2, 235-pounds, 26-years-old – Harvey owns a career ERA of 1.75 in the minors over 144 innings, all in relief. This year, he had a 1.67 ERA and 68 K : 25 BB in 59.1 innings mostly in Triple-A. Over the years he has increased his velocity and improved his stuff, and at this point he is knocking on the doors to the majors. There is little doubt that he will pitch in the majors at some point, and when he does there’s an outside shot he could stick and carve out a nice career. His fastball is now in the mid-90’s.

84. Mandy Alvarez – 3B, 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, RHB, 24-years-old – Alvarez was also drafted in 2016, but he was in the 17th round. He had his best season as a pro this year. Alvarez finished with a .256/.314/.458/.751 line with 13 HR, 25 doubles, and three triples. Alvarez has power and can play the hot corner. If he can learn to either be more patient or hit for better average, we could be looking at a major leaguer.

85. Chris Gittens – 1B, 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, RHB, 24-years-old – It was a rough year for Gittens. When he wasn’t injured, he was ineffective. He finished the year with a .193/.294/.330/.624 line with six homeruns and nine doubles in 57 games. There’s a significant possibility that Gittens’ season was only bad because he was injured the whole year. It is possible he will return to form next year when fully healthy. At his best, he has a ton of power and patience.

86. David Sosebee – RHP, 6-foot-2, 220-pounds, 25-years-old – Sosebee had success at the highest level of the minors this year. He had a 2.3 ERA and 75 K : 24 BB in 62.2 innings this year between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. He’s always been a softer tossing guy but has great control and movement with his pitchers. As his strikeout total suggests, he does a nice job of missing bats. He’ll need the right set of circumstances to get a real shot in the majors, but I wouldn’t count him out.

87. Trevor Lane – LHP, 5-foot-11, 185-pounds, 24-years-old – Lane had a decent year between High-A and Double-A, with a 3.97 ERA and 82 K : 20 BB in 68 innings. He has a low-90’s fastball, a slider, and a changeup, and he too has a knack for missing bats. Lane has done a nice job climbing up the ladder for the Yankees and is getting close to being able to contribute in the majors.

88. Matt Wivinis – RHP, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, 25-years-old – Wivinis had an excellent statistical season this year. He had a 2.41 ERA and 77 K : 15 BB in 56 IP. He has a .184 average against. He’ll sit low-90’s with his fastball, which is deceptive and gets swings and misses. He also has one of the best sliders in the system, and that’s coming from a nondrafted free agent. Looks like he was a good find.

89. Jio Orozco – RHP, 6-foot-1, 210-pounds, 21-years-old – Orozco had a down year, and the stuff is not coming around like the Yankees had hoped just yet. He had a 4.5 ERA and 36 K : 13 BB in 46 innings this year in Low-A. He has a 92-95 mph fastball with sinking movement, a curveball, and a changeup. He is still incredibly young and has a great arm, so there’s time for improvement.

90. Andres Chaparro – 3B, 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, RHB, 19-years-old – Chaparro had a rough season but he did show that he can do one thing well, and that is hit for power. He had a .191/.249/.348/.597 line with seven homeruns and 11 doubles. He’ll need major work on his hit tool and making hard contact going forward if he wants to start succeeding. He’s got some tools though, so time will tell if he can develop into something more.

91. Kyle Gray – 2B, 5-foot-10, 175-pounds, LHB, 21-years-old – Gray is a patient, power hitting second baseman. He hit .374/.462/.677 with 15 homeruns and 10 SB this year for West Virginia. He didn’t hit nearly as well for the Staten Island Yankees, but he did show his power. He hit seven homeruns and six doubles in 48 games but hit just .170/.281/.346/.627 on the season. I believe he’s better than that, and we will see more from him next year.

92. Roberto Chirinos – SS, 5-foot-11, 172-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – He’s a toolsy shortstop with a plus arm, above average speed, and high makeup by all accounts. He struggled in his debut, with a .238/.289/.337/.626 line, but he has a ton of potential and is a guy to look out for next year.

93. Aaron McGarity – RHP, 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, 23-years-old – McGarity didn’t get many innings this season, but he made the most of them. He had 32 K : 3 BB and a 0.35 ERA in 25.2 innings for Staten Island. McGarity had a mid-90’s fastball in the past and the Yankees are hoping they can get him to return to that. Time will tell.

94. Daniel Bies – RHP, 6-foot-8, 245-pounds, 22-years-old – The Yankees took Bies in the 7th round out of Gonzaga. He fared pretty well in his first taste of professional baseball, finishing with a 3.3 ERA and 43 K : 7 BB in 30 innings. He already hits the mid-90’s with his fastball and has an average curveball. With the Yankees development team I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the upper 90’s by the time he’s done developing. Another power arm in a system full of them.

95. Tanner Myatt – RHP, 6-foot-7, 220-pounds, 20-years-old – Myatt struggled in his debut, with a 5.4 ERA and 22 K : 9 BB in 18.1 innings. Myatt has already pitched up to 100 mph this past year. He also has a loopy curveball and struggles with control. This is not surprising given his size, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees development team turned him into a monster.

96. Austin Gardner – RHP, 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, 23-years-old – The Yankees took Gardner in the 9th round last year, and he has done nothing but perform since then. This year he finished with a 1.27 ERA and 48 K : 8 BB in 35.1 innings in Staten Island. He’ll throw in the low 90’s with the fastball, and merits following as he advances.

97. Jesus Severino – RF, 6-foot-0, 186-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – In his first year in the states, Severino made an impression. He hit .248/.368/.394/.762 with three homeruns, five doubles, and three triples. He also stole 18 bases. Severino has a ton of athleticism and some surprising pop.

98. Alexander Santana – OF, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, RHB, 18-years-old – He had a tough time in his first year stateside, but he has power to spare. He hit .195/.272/.278/.550 with nine doubles and on triple. It’s always an adjustment to come to the United States for the first time, and he is extremely young.

99. Raimfer Salinas – CF, 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, RHB, 17-years-old – Salinas is one of the most talented players from the 2018 International free agent class. He’s athletic and scouts believe he will develop power over time. Salinas struggled in limited action this year, with a .108 average and one double in 11 games. He did steal four bases in a short period of time though. We will have to wait until next year to get an extended look at him.

100. Barrett Loseke – RHP, 6-foot-0, 170-pounds, 21-years-old – The Yankees got Loseke in the 17th round and he could end up being one of the big draft sleepers. He pitched really well in the college world series this year. Loseke is what you would call a gamer. He got into 10 games as a reliever for the Yankees in the GCL, and finished with 10 K : 4 BB and a 3.6 ERA in 10 innings. He also threw 53.2 innings with a 2.68 ERA for Arkansas. He has a low-mid 90’s fastball in relief.

5 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2018 - 1:25PM #22
Posts: 379

We had the chance to talk to Kevin Alcantara, one of the New York Yankees newest minor league prospects.


5 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2018 - 12:44PM #23
Posts: 379

Steven Sensley is working on a new position out in the Arizona Fall League, read more in our latest feature:


5 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2018 - 3:40PM #24
Posts: 32,868

Thoughts on Baseball America’s top ten Yankees’ prospects

Winter prospect ranking season is underway and, last week, Baseball America (subs. req’d) released their latest top ten Yankees’ prospects list. “The Yankees’ farm system is as deep and diversified as a well-planned investment portfolio … It has so many talented young pitchers and enough athletic and strong hitters that the team is well-equipped to make trades while retaining a strong core of prospects for the future to continue to build around,” says a separate write-up.

The list and scouting reports are behind the paywall, but the list is all over Twitter, so I don’t feel too bad about sharing it here:

  1. LHP Justus Sheffield
  2. OF Estevan Florial
  3. RHP Jonathan Loaisiga
  4. OF Everson Pereira
  5. C Anthony Seigler
  6. RHP Mike King
  7. RHP Deivi Garcia
  8. RHP Roansy Contreras
  9. OF Antonio Cabello
  10. RHP Albert Abreu

Seven of the ten names are the same as my most recent top ten list. I was lower on Garcia (15th), Cabello (31st), and King (unranked). King being unranked on my August list is egregious. Big blunder by me. I’m always slow to run young international kids like Cabello up the rankings. Garcia? Eh. The difference between 7th and 15th isn’t that big. Anyway, some thoughts on Baseball America’s rankings.

1. The Yankees have some stud 17-year-olds. And Pereira is the most impressive. “He doesn’t have any 70- or 80-grade tools, but some scouts were confident enough to put future plus grades on his hit, run and raw power already. They also saw a defender in center field with plus range and instincts with an average throwing arm,” says the scouting report, and again, we’re talking about a 17-year-old. Periera hit .263/.322/.389 (88 wRC+) with three homers and a 32.8% strikeout rate with rookie Pulaski this year, so he didn’t blow the doors off the Appalachian League, but he was basically a high school junior in a league with college kids from this year’s draft, high schoolers from last year’s draft, and international signees from two years ago. The scouting report gives Pereira four potential plus tools (hit, power, run, field) and another average tool (arm) and that’s awfully exciting. He has a very long way to go to get the big leagues. The present ability is very good compared to other 17-year-olds. Pereira is among the guys I’m most excited to follow in the coming years.

2. Seigler’s intangibles are off the charts. With Miguel Andujar graduating to the big leagues, Seigler is my favorite prospect in the system at the moment. A switch-hitting catcher with some thump and good strike zone knowledge — Seigler had more walks (14) than strikeouts (12) in his 24-game pro debut this year — who projects to be an above-average defender behind the plate is my jam. Seigler was also praised for his makeup and grinder mentality before the draft, with Baseball America (subs. req’d) saying “he is consistently referred to as one of the toughest players in the prep class” in their pre-draft scouting report. The top ten write-up says Seigler went “so far as to request a Spanish-speaking roommate so he could work on learning the language” this summer. Pretty awesome. The advantages of being bilingual go beyond the catcher-pitcher relationship. It helps in the clubhouse too. Cliques form in baseball. The Latin American kids, the relievers, the veterans, whatever. It’s only natural for a population to split into groups. Anything that helps bridge the language gap and bring groups together in the clubhouse is a big plus in my book.

3. No one really knows what to expect from King. King, who came over in the Caleb Smith trade last winter, had an undeniably excellent season in 2018. He threw 161.1 innings at three levels with a 1.79 ERA (2.76 FIP) with 24.4% strikeouts and 4.7% walks. King reached Triple-A Scranton and is all but certain to get a look in Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. “In the six years I’ve done this system, I think he has given me the widest range of outcomes. I’ve heard anything from seventh inning reliever to Roy Halladay-lite,” said Josh Norris in the Yankees’ top ten podcast. The scouting report says “plus command” helps King’s arsenal play up, which is good, because “none of King’s pitches is truly a knockout.” He’s a sinker/cutter/changeup/slider guy. I’m not really sure what to make of him. Maybe he’s an Adam Warren type? Or maybe it will work as a starter in the AL East? We’ll find out soon enough. The scouting report calls King “one of the safest bets to have a big league career” among pitchers in the system, and considering what the Yankees gave up to get him, turning two fringe 40-man roster guys into a big league anything is a pretty good outcome.

4. Cabello is a potential star. Cabello is one of those many impressive 17-year-olds in the farm system. The converted catcher — he is simply too fast and too athletic to keep behind the plate, so the Yankees moved him to center field — authored a .308/.427/.522 (168 wRC+) batting line with 19 extra-base hits in 46 rookie ball games before he dislocated his shoulder diving for a ball in the outfield. Cabello did need surgery and is expected to be ready for Opening Day. Anyway, Baseball America posted the entire scouting report on Twitter, so make sure you check it out. They say Cabello has a “chance to be a true impact bat in the middle of the order,” and, on the podcast, Norris compared his hitting acumen to Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s and Juan Soto’s at the same age. Huh. That is some very high praise. That is presumably another reason for the position change. The bat is going to be ready far sooner than the defense behind the plate. As with Pereira, Cabello has a very long way to go given his age, but the fact these two are getting such strong reviews so early in their careers is exciting. The Yankees still have a strong farm system and both guys landing in the top ten tells you they are well-regarded.

5. German has already added velocity. In a separate write-up (subs. req’d), Norris reviewed the Yankees’ 2018 draft class, and he notes fourth round pick RHP Frank German was “up to 98 mph with his fastball as a pro after sitting 92-94 during a dominating junior season.” So the Yankees have already worked their “add a bunch of velocity” magic with their fourth rounder. Pretty cool. It’s all about the arm action, apparently. I’ve read the Yankees (and Dodgers) scout specific arm actions because they know how it works and know how to use it to add velocity. German showed a promising slider and curveball in college, and, in his pro debut, he threw 30.1 innings with a 2.08 ERA (1.39 FIP) and excellent strikeout (34.2%) and walk (5.0%) rates. We’ll see how the newfound velocity holds up over a full season next year. The fact German’s already raised his stock in his short time as a pro is pretty fun though.

5 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2018 - 12:29PM #25
Posts: 379

Adonis Rosa was perfect and more. Read how the Yankees prospects did this past week in the winter leagues here:


5 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2018 - 6:22PM #26
Posts: 32,868

Three Yankees on top Appy Prospects list

Baseball America (subs. req’d) continued their look at the top 20 prospects in each minor league with the rookie Appalachian League not too long ago. Rays SS Wander Franco claimed the top spot. Three Yankees made the list: OF Everson Pereira (No. 9), RHP Luis Medina (No. 13), and RHP Luis Gil (No. 19). RHP Luis Rijo, who went to the Twins in the Lance Lynn trade, is No. 14. I wrote about Pereira earlier this week. Here’s a snippet of Medina’s scouting report:

What keeps scouts interested with Medina is a fastball that sits in the 95-96 mph range and touches 100, with impressive plane and sink. He’s also got a 60-grade curveball and a changeup that could become a third plus pitch as well … Medina has a good arm action but simply struggles to repeat his delivery with any kind of consistency.

Medina is still only 19 and his numbers with rookie Pulaski this year weren’t good. He threw 36 innings with a 6.25 ERA (6.46 FIP) and high strikeout (25.5%) and walk (25.0%) rates. That’s 47 strikeouts and 46 walks in 36 innings. He also uncorked 12 wild pitches, so yeah. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Medina has some Dellin Betances in him. The stuff is elite. The control and delivery are far from it. The potential reward is very high but he is long-term project.

As for Gil, the Yankees acquired the 20-year-old from Minnesota in the Jake Cave trade, and he had a 1.37 ERA (3.28 FIP) with 35.8% strikeouts and 15.4% walks in 39.1 innings with Pulaski. “Gil’s best pitch is a fastball that sits in the mid 90s and touches triple digits, exploding in the zone late on hitters out of a loose arm action. He throws a fringe-average curveball in the low 80s and is still in the early stages of developing a changeup,” says the write-up. I’ve seen reports describe Gil’s curveball as above-average, so who knows. Gil is just another lower level hard-thrower in a system full of them.

5 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2018 - 6:24PM #27
Posts: 32,868

Yankees reportedly re-sign Gio Urshela to minor league deal

(Jason Farmer/Scranton Times Tribune)

According to Matt Eddy, the Yankees have re-signed infielder Gio Urshela to a minor league contract. Urshela has some MLB time and it’s safe to assume he’ll be in big league camp as a non-roster invitee. He’s the second minor league signing the Yankees have made this week, joining Ryan Lavarnway.

Urshela, 27, came up with the Indians, then went to the Blue Jays in a cash trade this past May, then joined the Yankees in another cash trade in August. He played 27 games with Triple-A Scranton and hit .307/.340/.475 (129 wRC+) with two homers. Urshela is a career .225/.274/.315 (57 wRC+) hitter in 499 big league plate appearances, almost all with Cleveland.

In the field is where Urshela makes his money. He’s regarded as an outstanding gloveman at the hot corner — I though he would get a September call-up to be Miguel Andujar’s defensive caddy before the Adeiny Hechavarria trade — and he can play shortstop if needed. 

I am surprised and I am glad the Yankees were able to re-sign Urshela. I thought he’d head to a team that offered an easier path to big league playing time. He’s stuck behind Andujar with the Yankees. As noted in my offseason plan, the RailRiders need a third baseman, and Urshela is as good as a Triple-A depth third baseman as you’ll find in minor league free agency.

The Yankees need to replace the injured Didi Gregorius, and while Urshela figures to get a chance to compete for the utility infielder’s job in Spring Training, I don’t think he’s a candidate to play shortstop on an everyday basis while Didi is out. Urshela, Ronald Torreyes, Tyler Wade, Thairo Estrada, and the recently claimed Hanser Alberto represent the Yankees’ infield depth at the moment.

5 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2018 - 6:26PM #28
Posts: 32,868
5 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2018 - 7:58AM #29
Posts: 32,868

After successful surgery to remove bullet, Yankees hope infield prospect Thairo Estrada can get back to speed in Fall League

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Yankees shortstop prospect Thairo Estrada, who sustained a gunshot wound to his right hip while in Venezuela during the 2017-2018 offseason, underwent surgery in the United States during the 2018 regular season to finally, successfully remove the bullet from his body.

The Yankees say the 22-year-old was shot at a restaurant during a robbery in late January. He went into surgery in Venezuela to have the bullet removed, but the procedure was botched and the ammo remained in his body when he returned to the States and joined the club in major-league spring training, during which he was unable to play.

In mid-April, Estrada returned to the field, playing in 10 games for the high-A Tampa Tarpons before being promoted to Triple A (he spent the entire 2017 regular season in Double A). But Estrada played only eight games before he was placed on the disabled list with a wrist injury. While on the DL, he experienced a back issue.

The Yankees made the decision in mid-June to shut him down for the season and The Athletic has learned it was then that he underwent the second surgery on his hip, this time under the supervision of the club.

Estrada, now a few months shy of a year out from the initial shooting incident, is playing for the Yankees in the Arizona Fall League. He stayed in Tampa during his recovery from his back injury and the second surgery and began playing in games during the Yankees’ instructional league in September.

Estrada’s ability to recover from the 2018 season has increased implications now that Didi Gregorius is out until early-to-mid 2019 at best after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October.

Brian Cashman said Monday in Carlsbad ahead of the GM Meetings that “because of Didi’s injury, we’re forced, without question, to evaluate the available players in the middle infield [free agent] market.”

“Then you pivot back to us, and laser focus on what we’ve got going on [internally] … you have to make determinations of moving Gleyber Torres over to short and then do you promote something internally to play second vs. importing something external via free agent or trade, whether it’s short or second,” he added. “So we have some flexibility within as we evaluate outside.”

Estrada has some professional experience at second base and third, but is a natural shortstop.

Coming into 2018 — before the robbery — Estrada was listed by Baseball America as the Yankees’ sixth overall prospect. MLB.com ranked him number 10, but Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law at ESPN left him off their top 10 before the season.

In 2017, Estrada hit .301/.353/.392 in Double A, proving himself to be one of the team’s most reliable offensive producers at age 21. He was considered an above-average defensive shortstop, and looked to be on the path to a utility role in the majors.

But now, after losing all but 81 plate appearances this year, Estrada is less agile, according to multiple scouts who saw him in 2017 and during Fall League this year.

One scout who is familiar with the Yankees system saw Estrada during the few games he played in Triple A and has seen him in Fall League. In those few games, Estrada “looked slow with his first step at SS and did not seem to be moving as loose and fluid as he did in seasons prior,” the scout says. “Obviously, to be expected as he was playing with a bullet still in his leg.”

But Estrada has started to improve during his time in Arizona, he adds, noting that he has “looked much improved in the AFL, and was the closest to what he was previous to the gunshot wound and multiple surgeries that I had seen all year.”

Estrada, with fellow Yankees prospect Estevan Florial acting as translator, told The Athletic last week that “now I feel like I did last year,” prior to the gunshot injury. Thinking or discussing the episode makes him upset, Estrada said. He also noted the opportunity to play regularly again allows him to put the incident behind him.

Estrada did not specify any forms of treatment he may be receiving to help his continued recovery, though he noted that flexibility is a primary area of focus for him right now. He and his wife plan to stay in Tampa this winter to further his conditioning in preparation for spring training.

A Yankees official indicated to The Athletic that the club is primarily concerned with Estrada building back up his strength, and that they believe he will bounce back with conditioning work through the offseason. They hope the diminished speed and athleticism is a byproduct of rust, the official said.

In 15 games and 65 at-bats in Fall League, Estrada has now hit .262/.304/.292. In his last 10 games, he’s hit .326/.370/.372.

5 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2018 - 10:37AM #30
Posts: 32,868

Prospect Profile: Justus Sheffield

As I have done in the past, I figured it would be a good use of the offseason to examine some of the Yankees top prospects. The youth movement has made the Yankees last couple seasons quite exciting, and there are still some exciting prospects in the Yankees’ system. So, we might as well start at the top and look at Justus Sheffield, a young, hard-throwing southpaw who saw his first taste of Major League ball in September.

Justus Sheffield:
May 13, 1996 Hometown: Tullahoma, TN Position: LHP 
B/T: L/L Height: 6’0” Weight: 200

Sheffield, a native of Tennessee, passed on his scholarship to Vanderbilt when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round (31st overall pick) of the 2014 draft. He signed quickly and started his professional career. He came to the Yankees in 2016 via the Andrew Miller trade, along with Clint Frazier.

After missing most of the last two months of the 2017 season with a strained oblique, Sheffield put together a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. He came back in 2018 and put forth his best season yet, with a 2.48 ERA in 116 innings in Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He only allowed four hours and fifty walks, while racking up 123 strikeouts and a 1.138 WHIP.

A starter for the majority of his career, the Yankees started working him out of the bullpen in August. Sheffield’s performance earned him a call to the Bronx. He only got a small taste of the majors and it wasn’t particularly pretty. He gave up four hits and three runs, while he still looks for his first big league K.

The young southpaw has some great stuff and he has made some nice improvements over the last few years. His main pitch is his fastball, which sits in the mid-90s and has some good movement. Given his smaller stature, Sheffield’s delivery has some good downward motion to it. He also has a strong slider that sits in the mid-80s. His changeup has gotten stronger and while it is his weakest offering, he can get some strikeouts with it.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up in 2019, but the future is looking good for the Yankees’ top prospect. His penchant for strikeouts and his athleticism bode well, and so far he has been able to stay fairly healthy. If all holds, he could see some significant time in the Bronx soon.

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