The Low-A Charleston River Dogs are one of the most prospect-laden teams in the minors, with four of the Yankees’ top seven prospects calling South Carolina a home this season. Keith Law was in attendance for Friday night’s game against West Virginia and shared his observations in a blog post yesterday. Here are a few highlights…
- Dante Bichette Jr. did not play in the game but he did take batting practice. Law said he “has cleaned [his swing] up significantly since signing” and is better equipped to use the entire field. “He’s much more balanced and upright through contact without costing himself any of the hip rotation that helps him generate power,” he wrote.
- Mason Williams appears to be selling out for power and didn’t show the same disciplined approach as he has in the past. He remains a top-flight defensive center fielder and Law believes there “will be plenty of power there when his body matures.”
- Gary Sanchez‘s bat remains ridiculous, with power to all fields despite an exaggerated leg kick. His defense was a “pleasant surprise, as he’s substantially improved over where he was last year in both receiving and throwing.”
- Mike Newman of FanGraphs got a look at Sanchez earlier this week and did not agree with Law’s assessment of his defense, for what it’s worth. The video above comes from Newman’s article, which you should read.
- Tyler Austin has a swing that is “effortless [and] balanced throughout with a strong finish for line-drive power.” Law said he was unable to make adjustments to a series of changeups in the dirt and fastballs inside, however.
- Kelvin DeLeon is the same guy he’s always been. He hits the ball a mile when he connects but can also swing and miss with the best of ‘em. I saw DeLeon a few times back in his Staten Island Yankees days, the kid hadn’t met a pitch he didn’t think he could hit.
Charleston is the Yankees’ most interesting minor league affiliate this season and it’s not particularly close. The Triple-A pitchers are closer to helping the big league team, but most of the prospect star power — especially position players — is down in Low-A. They won’t all work out, that’s why it’s important to have so many of ‘em.