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Random Minor League Notes: 2020 Edition
2 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2019 - 10:58AM #1
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2019 - 11:00AM #2
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Five potential breakout hitting prospects in the Yankees’ system

The farm is pitching-heavy, but there are some exciting bats that could take a significant step forward in 2020

While it is true that the Yankees’ system is filled with high-upside arms, there are some hitting prospects that may be on the verge of a breakout. Most of the high-end talent is in the low minors, where there are some exciting outfield prospects a couple of years away, but that may be worth the wait.

Here are five prime breakout candidates on the hitting side of things from the New York Yankees’ farm system:

Brandon Lockridge

A true burner, Brandon Lockridge is a toolsy outfield prospect who could take off with enough reps and improvements across the board. His speed has been assigned a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, and he also has some raw power that the Yankees hope could develop into game power.

He is a fifth round selection in the 2018 Draft, and he already has a successful season in Charleston with a .251 batting average, 12 home runs and 22 stolen bases in 2019.

He is an adequate center fielder with a long way to go, but dripping with 20-30 (homers and stolen base) potential. He needs to dial down his aggressiveness in the plate, though, after striking out 140 times last year in the low minors.

Anthony Seigler

Already one of the Yankees’ top prospects, and the most promising catcher in the system, Seigler didn’t have a good season in 2019. However, his profile screams breakout candidate: a contact-oriented batter with a compact, line-drive swing and an advanced approach, he figures to start mashing sooner rather than later.

Seigler, a first-round draft pick, may not have elite raw power, but he can hit close to .300 at the highest of levels and has enormous potential as a defensive catcher given his instincts, sheer athleticism and elite throwing arm.

He is also a highly disciplined hitter with almost as many walks as strikeouts. He will look to have a rebound season in 2020 and leave this year behind after hitting for a paltry .175 batting average

Canaan Smith

He may not look very athletic, but Canaan Smith can run, field a corner outfield position, and even steal a few bases. However, his best trait is his patience: he posted an OBP north of .400 last season and inflicted damage when he found his ideal pitch.

Now that he has mastered Class A (with a 154 wRC+, no less) he figures to start 2020 with the Tampa Tarpons, and he has the plate discipline and approach to succeed and accelerate his path to the majors in a couple of years.

Next year will be Smith’s age-21 season, so he still has time in his side. He may not be an All-Star, but he has the potential to be an everyday contributor if things break right.

Anthony García

A powerful switch-hitter, García will play the 2020 season while still a teenager (19.) While he has an obvious strikeout problem, he has immense power from either side of the plate, so much that if he ever masters the strike zone and shortens his swing, he could be a perennial 30-home run threat.

Listed at 6’5’’ and 204 lb., he has already lost a step. García can, however, remain an average glove in either outfield corner if he sets his mind into working diligently to keep himself in shape.

In six games at the Rookie level (Pulaski) in 2019, he batted .294 with an impressive on-base percentage of .417. However, he had nine strikeouts in 17 at-bats. If he cuts the whiffs down, he could find himself in Charleston to finish off the season, although that is a big leap to make. Will he be capable?

Josh Stowers

An athletic speedster, Josh Stowers had a good season this year with the Charleston RiverDogs, hitting .273 with a .386 OBP, seven round-trippers, and 35 steals. However, he may have some untapped potential.

Stowers’ batted ball profile is not that of the typical leadoff hitter, given that he had a 0.83 GB/FB ratio. He elevated the ball at a 41.2% rate, and 24.7% of his connections were line drives. More home runs could be on the way, who knows?

He was acquired in the Sonny Gray trade (well, in the subsequent deal with the Seattle Mariners, to be precise) and 2020 will be his age-23 season, so he will probably start with the Tampa Tarpons (Class A-advanced.) He is a slightly above-average center fielder with a weak arm, but at the plate, he is disciplined and talented enough to start a fast rise to the bigs.

2 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2019 - 7:41PM #3
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Five advanced pitching prospects who can contribute to the Yankees in 2020

These young arms are in the high minors and may be ready to fill some roles in the pitching staff next year

A baseball club needs between eight and ten starting pitchers per season to cope with all the injuries, potential transactions, and other uncertainties, plus a myriad of arms to fill out the bullpen. Organizational depth is extremely important, and thankfully, there are some prospects who can help the Yankees as soon as 2020.

Provided they are not used as trade bait, here are five advanced pitching prospects who could potentially help the big league club next season:

Deivi García

Deivi García, 2019’s breakout pitcher in New York’s farm system, went from Low-A to Double-A in a span of three months. He made it all the way to Scranton (Triple-A) but struggled there, and that’s why he didn’t find himself in the Bronx in September.

Since he is slated to begin the season in Triple-A in 2020, he is in line for a call-up if the need ever presents itself—and it most likely will. García has great stuff but needs to refine his control, since his BB/9 rose to over 4.00 in the high minors this season.

García’s fastball-curveball combination is deadly, and led him to register ridiculous K% numbers at every stop. He is just 20 years old, and it’s scary to think how good he can become. As a starter or as a multi-inning reliever, he will make his contribution to the Yankees next season, provided he isn’t traded.

Albert Abreu

One of the pieces that came in the Brian McCann trade with the Astros in 2016, Abreu is 24 years old, so his moment is now. However, he hasn’t pitched past Double-A yet, and he handed free passes at a 4.93 clip last season.

The Yankees have been developing Abreu as a starter, but maybe it is time to put him in the bullpen and let him throw gas. There, he could become an option as a late-inning reliever for the Yankees as soon as 2020.

He has a mid-90s fastball that can approach 100 mph, and both his breaking ball and changeup are also above average. The issue here is command and control. He needs them to keep starting, and he also needs health, since he has suffered several injuries recently.

Michael King

In many aspects, Michael King the opposite of Albert Abreu. His stuff isn’t as loud, but he has far better command and control, which allows him to maintain a high floor as, at least a fifth-starter type. He may have potential for a little more, however.

King has already dominated at the Triple-A level, and even threw a couple of scoreless innings with the Yankees, thanks to a two-seam fastball that he commands very well. He gets lots of groundballs, which could help him at Yankee Stadium, but he can also miss a bat here and there. His slider and changeup are adequate, as well.

King is the ideal spot starter for the Yankees, and figures to be available and ready to at least keep the team in the game provided he is in the organization in 2020, since he can be used as trade bait.

Garrett Whitlock

Garrett Whitlock is another high-probability, lower-ceiling kind of pitching prospect. His fastball isn’t as loud as others in the system—it sits in the low-90s, touching 95 MPH on occasion—but he has good control of it and it sinks, which helps him get his fair share of grounders. He also throws a slider and a changeup.

The righty could present a different look for hitters since he is tall (6’5’’) and creates great extension and a difficult angle. He throws strikes and could fit with the big club either as a spot starter, a traditional long reliever, or as a multi-inning weapon a la Chad Green.

Nick Nelson

With mid-to-high 90s fastballs and below-average command, Nick Nelson makes sense as a reliever. His path to the Bronx could be much faster that way, as well.

In general, Nelson is a power righty who can miss bats and get grounders with his heavy fastball. He also throws a very good curveball, a splitter, and a slider, all of which lack consistency.

He is being developed as a starter but unless he improves his control and command, he won’t cut it there. He has a chance, though, as evidenced by the fact he put a manageable 3.00 BB/9 in 21.0 Triple-A innings in 2019, and it remains to be seen what the team has planned for him.

2 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2019 - 7:43PM #4
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  • Baseball America released its draft report card (subs req) for 2019. Anthony Volpe and Josh Smith were named NYY’s best pure hitters in the class while Volpe also earned “Best Defensive Player” honors. BA has 13th-round pick Nelson Alvarez, he of a 100 mph fastball, as a potential steal.
  • BA also had their top prospects for each Minor League this year. The Yankees were well represented in the lower minors with four players (including Volpe) in the Appy League, three players (including Smith and Ezequiel Duran) from the NY-Penn League and four players in the GCL.
  • Deivi Garcia, Albert Abreu and Clarke Schmidt made it in Double-A and High-A, while five RiverDogs earned their way onto the South Atlantic League list.
2 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2019 - 7:53PM #5
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2019 - 10:34PM #6
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 01, 2019 - 10:54AM #7
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2019 - 9:39AM #8
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Why Yankees’ Domingo Acevedo has gone from top prospect to bust


2 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2019 - 9:40AM #9
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2 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2019 - 10:03AM #10
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