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Random Minor League Notes: 2020 Edition
1 year ago  ::  Aug 11, 2020 - 1:22PM #271
Posts: 16,500

Yankees’ Austin Wells, 2020 1st-round pick, cracks list of team’s top 10 prospects - nj.com

MLB Pipeline is out with its midseason ranking of the top prospects for each club. And while there are no surprises atop the Yankees’ list, a new face has cracked the top 10.

Arizona catcher Austin Wells, the No. 28 pick overall in the 2020 MLB Draft, is the Yankees’ No. 6 prospect.

Jack Curry of YES Network reported Wells’ signing bonus is $2.5 million, which is just above the $2.4939 million slot.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Las Vegas native was a sophomore draft-eligible who hit .357 with seven homers and 74 RBI in 71 college games over two seasons. Before his season ended early this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wells hit .375 in 15 games with two homers, 14 RBI, 17 walks and 14 strikeouts.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 12, 2020 - 9:50AM #272
Posts: 16,500

Yankees Top 10 Minor League 3rd Basemen

There is not a ton of high ceiling talent at third base in this farm system, probably because many of the high-end middle infielders are getting time at third to give them more versatility. You never know when one of these players is going to pop though, and there are a few guys with impressive tools on the list. With the new development of the Yankees farm system, anything is possible.

1. Marcos Cabrera – 6-foot-3, 189-pounds, 3B, RHB, 18-years-old – Cabrera is a tremendous defender at third base. He has the athleticism to play shortstop but Maikol Escotto and Dayro Perez got most of the reps there in the DSL last year. He will probably stay at third long term though due to his size. He is an all-fields type hitter who has now power with future plus potential. He hit .269/.380/.445/.825 with 11 doubles, six triples, and three homeruns in 48 games in the DSL. He has a discerning eye. Cabrera could position himself as a top prospect over the next couple of years.

2. Mandy (Armando)  Alvarez – 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, 3B, RHB, 26-years-old – The Yankees took Alvarez in the 17th round in 2016 and he has slowly worked his way through the system. This past year he had a solid season in Triple-A, hitting .270/.324/.417/.742 with 31 doubles, one triple, and 11 homeruns. He is solid as can be in the field as well. He is thoroughly blocked by Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar at the major league level. Even if they both got hurt, the Yankees would likely either play Estrada or Lemahieu at third. Alvarez is a long shot to ever play in the Bronx, but he should get some reps somewhere. He will be a minor league free agent after the 2021 season.

3. Jose Martinez – 6-foot-0, 198-pounds, 3B, RHB, 21-years-old – Martinez has big power and can play a solid third base. He hit .223/.310/.460/.771 with eight doubles, two triples, and seven homeruns in 42 games. He also struck out 50 times. If Martinez can start making contact more frequently, he could make the leap to the long season leagues and move quickly through the system.

4. Chad Bell – 6-foot-3, 210-pounds, 3B, LHB, 23-years-old – Speaking of tremendous power, Chad Bell is a monster. He produces some of the biggest exit velocities in the system. Bell dropped nine bombs in 55 games last year and hit .251/.319/.419/.738. He struck out 74 times. Like Martinez, he is currently an all or nothing type hitter, but the Yankees are hoping they can improve his contact rate.

5. Ronny Rojas – 6-foot-1, 180-pounds, 3B, 18-years-old – Rojas had a statistically horrible season in 2020, but by all accounts, many of his strikeouts came from bad calls in the GCL. He hit .128/.316/.271/.586 with seven doubles and four homeruns. Bad calls or not, 69 strikeouts are a ton for just 44 games. So are 36 walks. It sounds like he is patient to a fault. The Yankees think there is much more in there for Ronny, and making more contact was a major focus for him this offseason. He is a prime candidate to see a huge improvement when baseball returns in 2021. If so he could put himself on the prospect map.

6. Deivi Munoz – 5-foot-8, 153-pounds, 3B, SH, 20-years-old – Munoz didn’t get much game action in 2019. Whether it was injury or crowded infields, Munoz can still hit and field. He plays a solid third base and makes a ton of contact. He doesn’t hit for much power, but still has a ton of development to go. He hit .256/.304/.326/.630 with one double and one triple in 17 games last year.

7. Dionys Vallejo – 6-foot-2, 159-pounds, 3B, RHB, 20-years-old – Vallejo is another who had a dreadful year in 2019, hitting .162/343/.315/.658 with five doubles, three triples, and two homeruns in 40 minor league games. Players often struggle in their first year coming stateside though so he gets a free pass. Vallejo has size and the ability to make contact and take walks. His developmental story has a lot of empty pages to be filled.

8. Nelson Gomez – 6-foot-1, 220-pounds, 3B, RHB, 22-years-old – Gomez has had issues staying on the field due to health and off the field problems. This past year, he played in just 29 games in Low-A and hit a paltry .200/.306/.337/.643 with four doubles and three homeruns. Gomez got himself into shape and plays a solid third base. After five years in the system, it appears unlikely he will ever put it together in pinstripes. That being said he has tremendous power and at one time was expected to develop his hitting and fielding. There’s still an outside potential for a great comeback story here, though it grows slimmer and slimmer with each passing day.

9. Andres Chaparro – 6-foot-1, 200-pounds, 3B, RHB, 21-years-old – Chaparro is a defensive specialist the Yankees have been hoping will develop some power and bat control. So far that has not happened. He finished 2019 with a .246/.366/.332/.697 quad slash and seven doubles with three homeruns. This was all while repeating the Short Season Staten Island level. If Chaparro begins making incremental improvements now, there’s still a chance he could make his way to the majors. Like Gomez, however, he is running out of time.

10. Jose Villa – 6-foot-1, 170-pounds, 3B, RHB, 21-years-old – Villa followed up a fantastic year in the GCL in 2018 with playing just 10 games in 2019. Most likely this was due to injury. When playing every day, Villa has been quite the hitter. We will see what kind of year he has in 2021.

1 year ago  ::  Aug 23, 2020 - 8:08PM #273
Posts: 16,500

Yankees top 22 minor league outfielders

1. Jasson Dominguez – 5-foot-10, 190-pounds, CF, SH, 17-years-old – By now everyone has heard of the phenom. Dominguez has five tools and he has all of them in spades. He can hit, run, field, throw, and has power. He’s apparently fun to watch. Everyone was looking forward to seeing him play in 2020, but we’ll have to wait another year. He still hasn’t played a game on U.S. soil, but is already firmly implanted on the top 100 prospect list. That’s how good he is.

2. Canaan Smith – 6-foot-0, 215-pounds, OF, LHB, 21-years-old – Smith is one of the best hitters in the entire system, and he proved that in 2019. He had a .307/.405/.465/.871 with 32 doubles, three triples, and 11 HR. He also stole 16 bases. He plays left field currently and will have to work to stay in shape enough to stick in the outfield. With his bat though, he has a one-way ticket to the majors if he keeps working hard.

3. Kevin Alcantara – 6-foot-6, 188-pounds, CF, RHB, 18-years-old – Alcantara has an Aaron Judge-like ceiling. He has developing power, athleticism, and above average speed with above average arm in centerfield. He hit .255/.305/.360/.665 in his first season between the DSL and the GCL last year. He had eight doubles, three triples, a homerun, and five stolen bases. I’d expect his numbers to steadily improve as time goes on. Alcantara’s ceiling is immense, and with a good development team around him he could tap into that tremendous potential.

4. Antonio Cabello – 5-foot-10, 160-pounds, CF, RHB, 19-years-old – On the other side of the size spectrum is Cabello. The tools, however, are currently even better than Alcantara. He has plus speed, plus arm, plus hit tool, and above average power. He injured his shoulder and had surgery in 2018 after a tremendous season, and thusly he struggled in 2019. He hit .211/.280/.330/.610 with 10 doubles, four triples, and three homeruns. Allegedly he is finally fully healthy and chomping at the bit for the 2020 season. Now he’ll have to wait until 2021.

5. Estevan Florial – 6-foot-1, 195-pounds, CF, LHB, 22-years-old – Health has been the major issue for Florial, missing portions of every season since 2017. When healthy in 2019, he did not perform well in Tampa. He hit .237/.297/.383/.680 with 10 doubles, three triples, and eight homeruns. He struck out 98 times in 74 games. Florial has taken a step back in his development, but he still has fantastic athleticism and tools. He has the speed, the arm, and the power to be an impact player someday. The biggest area he needs to improve on is his hitting and limiting strikeouts. If he can do that, Florial could be a major leaguer in short order.

6. Everson Pereira – 6-foot-0, 191-pounds, CF, RHB, 19-years-old – In a limited sample size due to nagging injuries, Pereira had a dreadful 2019 season. He was much better in 2018 though, and I suspect he will have a much better season when baseball returns in 2021. Pereira has speed, excellent hit-ability, and a good head on his shoulders. He has a good arm and has excellent instincts in the field. He is extremely polished and does everything well. Pereira could end up being one of the top prospects in all of baseball if he comes ready for 2021.

7. Raimfer Salinas – 6-foot-0, 175-pounds, CF, RHB, 19-years-old – Salinas’ ceiling is even higher than Pereira, but he is much rawer, and less likely to even hit that ceiling. He has plus speed, above average power, takes good routes in the outfield, and has an above average arm. He has good bat speed and is good at barreling the baseball. He also has above average power and uses the whole field with his swing. Salinas hit .270/.329/.415/.745 in what was effectively his debut season in the GCL (he missed most of 2018 with injury). He had 10 doubles, two triples, three home runs, and stole 11 bases. Salinas has the tools to become one of the best players in the system in time.

8. Elijah Dunham – 6-foot-0, 213-pounds, OF, LHB, 22-years-old – Dunham was quite the hitter in college, with a .390/.493/.559/1.052 line for Indiana this year. He’s a lefty who the Yankees drafted for the bat and for what they believe will be significant power. He was identified by the Yankees scouting department as a guy with good exit velocity, plate discipline, and leadership. He has real power potential despite not hitting for much power yet in his career. He has a pretty high ceiling considering he was an undrafted free agent.

9. Ryder Green – 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, OF, RHB, 20-years-old – Green had a good year in Pulaski in 2019, hitting .262/.343/.444/.787 with 15 doubles, one triple, and eight homeruns in 61 games. He also stole 10 bases and struck out 67 times. Green has developing power and good athleticism. He can play all three outfield positions well. Green was a third round pick out of high school for the Yankees in 2018. He has a ton of potential and could end up with serious power down the line. He still has to work on cutting down on his strikeouts, but Green is a legit prospect who could find himself in the majors if things break right.

10. Anthony Garcia – 6-foot-5, 204-pounds, OF, SH, 19-years-old – Garcia missed most of 2019 with injury and was poised for a breakout. The Yankees believe he has future plus plus power, and surprising athleticism for his size. He still needs to work on cutting down on his strikeouts and polishing his game up a bit. He could be in for a huge breakout in 2021 when baseball returns. He has the tools to be a monster hitter and the athleticism to be a solid corner outfielder.  The ceiling is massive.

11. Josh Stowers – 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, OF, RHB, 23-years-old – Stowers held his own in his first taste of full season ball, hitting .273/.386/400/.786 with 24 doubles, two triples, and seven homeruns in 105 games. He also stole an impressive 35 bases. Stowers has a nice combination of hitting and speed, and the Yankees feel he can hit for power in the long term because he has had some impressive exit velocity numbers. He was a second-round pick in 2018. Defensively he profiles as a corner outfielder, so he will have to hit for more power if he wants a chance to play in the majors.

12. Brandon Lockridge – 6-foot-1, 185-pounds, RHB, CF, 23-years-old – He was the Yankees’ 5th round pick in 2018 out of Troy. He too held his own in Charleston in 2019, hitting .251/.319/.410/.729 with 33 doubles, five triples, and 12 homeruns while stealing 22 bases. Lockridge has tools galore, with power, speed, hitability, and a good arm. He’ll have to learn to get on base more often and hit for better average to continue to move up, especially as an older player.

13. Jacob Sanford – 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, OF, LHB, 22-years-old – Sanford has a similar tool package to Lockridge, but he is rawer and has more power. He hit .238/.289/.411/.700 for Staten Island last year with 13 doubles, three triples, and seven homeruns. He also struck out 81 times, and had three SB. He has plus plus power according to scouts with good speed. What he needs most right now is at bats so he can learn to get to his power more often. COVID-19 put a wrench in that, but I’m sure he is getting tons of at bats behind the scenes.

14. Trey Amburgey – 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, OF, RHB, 25-years-old – Amburgey had yet another season with incremental improvements in 2019. He finished .274/.329/.494/.822 with 31 doubles, three triples, and 22 homeruns in 124 games. Amburgey would probably be playing in the majors if he was on any other team right now, which is why the Yankees may lose him after next season. I believe Amburgey will play in the MLB someday soon though.

15. Isiah Gilliam – 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, OF, SH, 24-years-old – Gilliam had an up and down year in 2019. In High-A, played well, and in Double-A he did not. He finished the year hitting .234/.312/.412/.724 in 117 games. He hit 20 doubles, one triple, and 17 homeruns. He also is surprisingly athletic for his size and stole 13 bases. Gilliam struck out a whopping 154 times in 117 games last year. If he wants to make it all the way to the majores, he will have to significantly cut down on the strikeouts. He has some real power but he will have to get to it.

16. Ben Ruta – 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, OF, 26-years-old – Ruta is another guy who can play all three outfield positions well. He hit .260/.330/.396/.726 last season in Double-A with 25 stolen bases. He has speed and also some power. He had 26 doubles, five triples, and eight homeruns in 2019. He has an uphill climb to make it to the show with the Yankees given their incredible outfield depth, but if he has a big season in 2021 he could easily play in the majors for a team that needs outfield help.

17. Aaron Palensky – 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, OF, RHB, 21-years-old – Palensky is another undrafted free agent for the Yankees this season who probably would have been drafted in the top 5-6 rounds. The Yankees see him as a hard-nosed ball player who could have good long-term power prospects. He has had exit velocities over 100 m.p.h. in the past and good plate discipline. Let’s see what the Yankees development team can do with this kid.

18. Madison Santos – 5-foot-10, 165-pounds, OF, LHB 20-years-old – The Yankees were so high on Santos coming into 2019 that they allowed him to skip the GCL and go straight to Pulaski. He hit .203/.276/.382/.658 with seven doubles, three triples, and eight homeruns in 57 games. He also stole seven bases. The Yankees love his hit-ability and he has some surprising power for a guy his size. I’d expect him to come back in 2021 and put up much better numbers than he did in 2019.

19. Pat Demarco – 5-foot-9, 192-pounds, OF, RHB, 22-years-old – The Yankees took Demarco in the 17th round in 2019 and it was the second time they drafted him. He had a rough first season, hitting .120 with three homeruns and three doubles. He has surprising pop for his size and is an above average defensive outfielder. We will see what he can contribute when baseball returns in 2021.

20. Isaiah Pasteur – 6-foot-2, 182-pounds, OF, RHB, 24-years-old – After a nice debut in 2018, Pasteur took a big step back in 2019. It isn’t for lack of tools, as he has speed and power. He can also play a solid outfield. He was very raw when drafted, and as of 2019 he remains that way. He is a guy who could come back in 2021 with a major upgrade in the experience department if he finds a way to play baseball in the interim.

21. Felix Negueis – 6-foot-0, 200-pounds, OF RHB, 19-years-old – Negueis had a small sample size in 2019, playing in only 11 games. He hit .364/.447/.485/.932 with one double, one homerun, and two stolen bases in those 11 games though. Behind the numbers is a guy who does everything well. He can really hit, has great leadership, a hard worker, and great athleticism. He can hit for power as well. This is a sleeper alert for next season.

22. Alan Mejia – 6-foot-0, 165-pounds, OF, RHB, 19-years-old – Mejia gets lost in the shuffle with some of the high-end lower level outfielders, but he is absolutely in the same conversation. His numbers weren’t great in the GCL last year but much of that can be attributed to the USA adjustment. He has hit-ability, power, patience, speed, good routes defensively. He’s a guy who could mature into some major power and become a top prospect in time.

1 year ago  ::  Sep 08, 2020 - 12:43PM #274
Posts: 16,500

Yankees Prospect Brandon Lockridge talks to Pinstripe Alley about training with a former major leaguer this summer, transitioning to the outfield during college and when he first developed his elite speed.

The Yankees 27th ranked prospect took time to speak with Pinstripe Alley about a variety of topics that will be published in two parts. Here is part one:

Dan Kelly - How have you been staying busy this summer with no baseball games to play?

Brandon Lockridge - I’ve kept busy, I’ve gotten accustom to having a summer, I haven’t had a summer away from baseball in I don’t know how long. When I first got back from Spring Training, in my mind, I don’t know what other guys thought, but we were like oh, this is just going to be a little while. When we left Tampa from Spring Training we didn’t even bring all our gear back, we left a bunch of our gear in our lockers, thinking OK, this is going to be a temporary thing. No one expected us to miss an entire season.

So when I got back, there is a place in Pensacola... its called EXOS. It’s a top notch training facility, so me and another local guy who is with the Mets who I grew up with have been training over there. I look at it like “How many times in my playing career am I going to have a seven month period to just focus on getting my body right. Typically you have two months after the season to get your body right, so now this is crazy how good my body feels from a balance and the stuff they incorporate at EXOS training facility, I feel fantastic and I’m only three months in.

DK - How much have you been in contact with Yankees staff, coaches, are you in pretty regular communication?

BL - They’ve done a great job of communicating. They have different staff members, we have a mental conditioning person reach out, our defensive coaches reach out, hitting coordinators and coaches... At least once a week you are hearing from someone in one of the departments who is asking how things are going and asking “if I need anything” Honestly its been great... I commit my 2-2 1/2 hours to it in the morning, and then I’ve got my work in for the day. Then I go hit.

I’ve been hitting with… you’ve probably heard the name, Travis Fryman, so he is from Pensacola, his son Branden Fryman... is the guy that I have been hitting with, and Travis has been awesome, he is on staff with the Indians. With him being home for this amount of time its been great, he’s been throwing to us. We’ve worked on my throwing mechanics, that was my tool that I really lacked... Being able to focus the last three months I’ve seen the arm strength improvement that I’ve been able to have. Honestly I probably wouldn’t have been able to have that without Travis Fryman directly working with me. As bad of a situation as we’re in, I’ve been able to work on some parts of my that that I would not be able to if we were in season.

DK - You transitioned to the outfield after your second year of college, how long did it take for you to feel comfortable in the outfield?

BL - In all honesty, I do miss the infield. In college as I was about to start my junior year, Coach Smartt, my college coach over there at Troy, he sat me down and said that I think this will be the best for your future, would you be open to moving to center field. At this point I kinda struggled defensively my sophomore year at second base. I was not a great infielder, so I was all for making that transition at the time.... Outfield was just natural. The game is a little slower, being farther from the hitter, but the footwork and the hand and glove work I’ve done my entire life playing on the infield made moving to the outfield seem like, “jeez this is easy.” I can use my legs a little better, because my big tool is being able to run. I could use my instincts out there and just being an athlete... But the one thing I was lacking, I never needed much arm strength playing second base, my throwing mechanics like I said have always been a little funky. But I’m extremely confident, even just going forward from that year my arm had gotten better, but I’d never made the strides, that I’ve made to this point right now. Now I love it, the Yankees have some amazing outfield coaches, and its all history now, I feel like I’ve played there my entire life.

DK - You mentioned your speed, and it is your highest rated tool. Coming up through high-school and college, were you involved in a lot of other sports? I can imagine another coach seeing that kind of speed and asking you to run track, or play wide-receiver?

BL - My dad, and I’m very thankful for everything my dad has done. He has pushed me my whole life, he had me in just about every sport that didn’t interfere with baseball season growing up. So, like, you name it, I played football until my freshman year in high school. My biggest issues, when I got to high school, I hadn’t really grown yet... I was playing my freshman year of football and I weighed 110-115 pounds. I did not deserve to be on that field anywhere. I didn’t play for my own safety... After my sophomore year I started growing, and I had middle of the pack speed in high school, and then as I grew and matured and started lifting weights my speed spiked. By then I already knew that baseball was my thing.

We have more of this interview with Brandon Lockridge coming tomorrow. Please check back as we discuss playing in a talented Charleston RiverDog outfield, developing more power, and getting the call to major league camp during spring training.

1 year ago  ::  Sep 09, 2020 - 9:17AM #275
Posts: 16,500

An Interview with Yankees prospect Brandon Lockridge, Part two

Yankees prospect Brandon Lockridge talks about developing his power, facing a Cy-Young award winner and getting the call to big league camp in spring training.

In the first part of our interview with Yankees prospect Brandon Lockridge, we discussed the work he is doing this summer, transitioning to the outfield, and the development of his elite speed. You can read that here. Below Brandon discusses the talented Charleston outfield from last season, tapping into his power with the help of the Yankees’ coaches, facing a Cy-Young award winner, and spending time in big league camp.

DK - Last year you were in a very talented Charleston outfield, with Canaan Smith, and Josh Stowers. What was the relationship like between you guys?

BL - ... Playing the outfield last year between Canaan and Josh, we had a blast, You could not ask for two better teammates in the outfield... It was my first full season and after the All-Star break, I’m like wow, I’m kind of exhausted right now. But having guys like Josh and Canaan lightening the mood, it made it easier to come to the park everyday. And it’s great, you have those guys in the lineup. I was leadoff, if I get on base and I have Josh and Canaan hitting behind me its like, alright, I’m about to score a run.

DK - This past season you seemed to tap into some more power, was that a conscious effort on your part to tweak your swing or did it just develop?

BL - When I got with the Yankees, for that first instructional league they sat me down with all the hitting coordinators and told me... we want you to do a little more of a hip load, your posture, your timing, they directed my swing, and basically gave me plan in place through drills and everything. When I showed up to spring training things were clicking, I was hitting better in our live at-bats, and going into the season... I didn’t have any expectations. I was just going to compete every time in the box. As I started hitting, one, two, three… In my head before the season, I was thinking if I hit five or six home runs that sounds good... then I had 10 at the All-Star Break and I’m thinking wow, this is pretty cool, it’s a lot more fun hitting balls over the fence. I started building that confidence, that’s what hitting is, it is confidence in yourself. That season there opened my eyes, to OK, I can do this.

DK - Now, one specific game, Charleston faced Dallas Keuchel last season as he was ramping up, was that the first time you faced someone with a Cy Young award on their mantle?

BL - It was cool... they announced a few days before, right as he had signed with the Braves. I led off, I think I had two at-bats off him, maybe three, I didn’t get a hit off him. It was pretty memorable for me, it was funny, I capped a ball, and we were playing at Rome, Georgia and it had just rained and the box was kind of slippery, so I basically lose my footing... and I barrel roll down the line. It just happens that Fox Sports was there and there is a video of his highlights going around, with me falling over... of course everybody wants to face big leaguers, to see what it’s like. If I do bad, I’m supposed to do bad... It can only benefit you to face a guy with the status of Dallas Keuchel. Max Burt, one of my teammates, had a good day off him, one hit, a couple of barreled balls.

DK - Several of the guys that you have played with are either now at the Yankees alternate site, and Brooks Kriske already made his major league debut. Is there communication about what they are seeing between you and the guys who are up there at the alternate site or in the majors right now?

BL - Brooks has been a great guy, from when I was in Staten Island with him he was a great teammate... I’m like we are in Staten Island, that is so far from the big leagues. Then he was talking with me while I was over at big league spring training games... He talked about how he got called and told he was getting put on the 40-man, and just how shocked he was. But I saw him in Staten Island, he was a great pitcher… Seeing him now, it gave me chills watching him on TV. I played with this guy, and here he is making his dream. Nick Nelson, the same way, I faced him this spring training, I got to see all the filth he had in his arsenal by facing him in early spring training this year. And then getting to see him make his major league debut.

DK - You mentioned the call to big league camp, were there any interactions or pieces of advice that really stood out with the coaches or the big league regulars from that experience?

BL - The big thing is that ... I feel like I’m a pretty shy guy in that situation, going into their locker room... I came in and there was a feeling of comfort, I was just as comfortable or more comfortable as I was in the minor league locker room. I hit BP in our first road game, I was in a little group we had a few rounds, I get out and come around and Aaron Boone says, “Hey Brandon how’s it going, glad to have you over.” I’m like, how does Aaron Boone know my name? I don’t think he even knows how much that means. Guys knowing your name that you don’t expect to...

A guy like Brett Gardner taking his time to come talk to me, we are in the outfield shagging BP, and he is talking to me like he has known me forever...

DK - Thank you for your time.

BL - Thank you.

1 year ago  ::  Sep 20, 2020 - 9:27AM #276
Posts: 16,500

An Interview with Yankees prospect Addison Russ

Yankees prospect Addison Russ talks to Pinstripe Alley about life at the Yankees alternate training site, getting traded and adjusting to a different pace this year.

Acquired from the Phillies in a mid-August trade, Addison Russ talks to Pinstripe Alley about a variety of topics that will be published in two parts. Here is part one:

Dan Kelly - You are at the alternate site, what is the day-to-day like there?

Addison Russ - It’s pretty basic in a way, about as basic as you can get with the season that we have. We still play games and get our work in on the mound. Hitters are hitting every day, basically its like a glorified practice like you would have before a game. As far as like BP, fly balls, ground balls, throwing, and then with a little inter squad game type action at the end of the day. Its get guys the work in that they need to stay ready.

DK - You have a unique perspective of coming over from another site, was it the same type of thing at the Phillies site?

AR - ... I feel like there are a few more guys at Philly, so its a little easier to maneuver a full game type situation. Yeah it was the same thing, getting your work in that you need to stay ready for the season.

DK - The Yankees in the last few weeks have had some of their higher profile players such as StantonJudge and Urshela rotating through Scranton. When you get the chance to face them in the live pitching scenarios, what is your approach when you know that all the coaches and everybody in the front office is going to be watching that day’s at-bats.

AR - I definitely feel like its an opportunity, especially when its guys like Gio UrshelaGiancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, whenever they are down here hitting. On top of getting to face them, you can pick their brain afterwards and ask them if they saw something in your mechanics or if you are tipping something. They are some of the best hitters in baseball, so anything you can talk to them about to try and help improve your game is definitely going to benefit you.

DK - When you got traded how did that go down? What kind of emotions where you feeling when you got the news that you were moving on from the organization that drafted you?

AR - It was different, I don’t know… its hard to explain the feeling because I really at first didn’t know how to feel. I’d been with Philly like you said, since the draft, so its the guys I’ve been around my whole professional career. But then after talking with my agent and my wife about it some more, we kind of figured that it was a good thing, there is a reason it is happening. So you know we were very excited, especially my wife and I definitely talked about how we should feel and how we should view it and move forward, and ultimately we came to the conclusion that it is going to be beneficial.

DK - You have had a beard going back to college, were you immediately aware of the Yankees policy on facial hair or was that something that came up once you arrived?

AR - So actually, I completely forgot about that, so Josh Bonifay called me that morning to tell me that I’d been traded. I immediately called my wife afterwards and we talked, and I told her everything that was going on. Then I got on the phone with Matt [Gaeta, Russ’s agent] and we talked, I got a text from my wife while we were on the phone say that “you have to shave your beard” I was like oh, man, I completely forgot, so I enjoyed those last few hours with my beard and shaved once I got to Scranton.

DK - Did you know any of the coaches or players at the Yankees facilities when you got there?

AR - I didn’t know any of the coaching staff that was all new for me. I played against (Kyle) Holder... just coming up through the minor leagues, so he was probably the only guy here that I came across previously.

DK - What was your perspective as the news related to COVID-19 was getting worse and worse everyday? Did you get to a point where you were anticipating a shutdown or was it just kind of surreal when it happened?

AR - So, we were in Port Charlotte, FL playing Tampa Bay when we got the news, and we actually got the news from the fans. That was interesting playing in the middle of the game and hearing that our spring training just got canceled. So it was kind of surreal, you didn’t want to believe that it had gotten as bad as it had got... you stayed hopeful because that is all that you could do...

DK - Usually in a baseball season you are playing games every night or day then traveling. What is it like to come home for an evening and sit down?

AR - It’s definitely slower paced compared to a season. I mean usually in a normal season you are at the stadium all day, and you are not leaving the ball park until 12-1 o’clock at night just depending on where you are at, and if you are getting on a bus and driving to the next city. Here you are done early, late afternoon and you just have a lot of time to yourself. I’ve watched a lot of Netflix, I finished Lucifer, its the most recent thing I’ve watched and I watch a lot of Food Network. That is basically my nights while I’m talking to my wife on facetime.

1 year ago  ::  Sep 30, 2020 - 8:04AM #277
Posts: 16,500
1 year ago  ::  Oct 10, 2020 - 8:27AM #278
Posts: 16,500

New York Yankees

Deivi García will stay toward the middle/back of the 55 FV tier. He was 91-95 touching 97 last year, 90-95 touching 96 in 2020, but his changeup took a step forward and though his fastball command was a little loose at times, he executed his slider with consistency. All three of García’s secondaries had above-average swinging strike rates against big league hitters this season and he doesn’t turn 22 until next May. His future is very promising.

I haven’t resolved what to do with Clarke Schmidt, who had been in the 45+ FV tier, sixth in the org behind García and four young hitters who I think have monster ceilings. In his three appearances (two short relief outings and a four-inning start) Schmidt worked with two different fastballs (a sinker and four-seamer, both harder than the 91-95 range he sat in last year), a power-sweeping, mid-80s breaking ball, and the occasional changeup. His sinker is hard and has nasty tailing action while the four seamer isn’t as crisp. Schmidt has also added 400 rpm of spin to his breaking ball since 2019 (2700 rpm in ‘19, 3100 in 2020) giving it a rare spin/velo combo for a curveball, only comparable to Dustin May’s. This development was enough to shuttle Schmidt into the back of the top 100 amid James KarinchakBrusdar Graterol, and Brailyn Marquez, all of whom I have projected as high leverage relievers. Based on Schmidt’s age, long arm action, and injury history, I do think he has a good bit of relief risk.

I don’t think Miguel Yajure pitched enough to glean anything from his brief, erratic big league tenure, so he’ll remain a 45 FV. Nick Nelson and Michael King, both 40 FV, retain their role projection as a middle reliever and longman/fifth starter types.


1 year ago  ::  Oct 20, 2020 - 3:49PM #279
Posts: 16,500

Yankees: Jasson Dominguez highlight proves his HRs just sound different

New York Yankees super prospect Jasson Dominguez posted another batting practice session this week.

Seventeen-year-old Yankees wunderkind Jasson Dominguez is unlike any outfielder we’ve ever seen at his age (or any age).

Don’t believe us? Just check out the new highlight reel that Dominguez posted, close your eyes, and try to identify what type of sound you’re hearing.

Is that a cap gun shooting at a ceramic plate from close range? Perhaps what you’re hearing is a pistol going off into a megaphone? No, that’s just Dominguez’s bat, turning a baseball into a meteor at rapid speed. This home run is a thing of beauty, and this human being is 17.


Unsigned top prospects, take note: If you make the right decision, you could be playing with Dominguez someday!

The Yankees’ roster is pretty confusing these days, and you’ll start bending your brain into big, thick knots if you start worrying far enough down the line about how they can fit Dominguez into the plan.

But that’s tomorrow’s problem. This Martian somehow hasn’t played a single inning of professional baseball yet (thanks so much, coronavirus-related minor league shutdown!), and is instead out here in the lab working on his craft all alone.

And by “working on his craft,” we mean somehow piling more muscles on his obscene body.

2020 was a season unlike any other, and featured plenty of MLB debuts that took place well ahead of schedule. The Yankees certainly didn’t expect to utilize Deivi Garcia as a key rotation piece this year. Heck, Tampa Bay’s Jasson Dominguez-type prospect Wander Franco just might make his MLB debut in the World Series.

It’s not Dominguez’s time just yet, but as a counterpoint, you won’t be able to keep a bat this explosive down forever, and the minor-league landscape is more uncertain than ever. This incredible talent has to find his way into games next year. No exceptions.

1 year ago  ::  Oct 27, 2020 - 8:47AM #280
Posts: 16,500
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