Cervelli & Mustelier keep hitting in winter ball

Rosenthal: Yankees, Angels talked Vernon Wells
Sunday Night Open Thread

The Arizona Fall League season ended a few weeks ago, so check out this post for the final statistics.

Australian Baseball League
RHP Zach Arneson: 8 G, 8 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 HB, 1 WP (1.13 ERA, 0.50 WHIP)

Dominican Winter League (season ends on Friday)
OF Abe Almonte: 25 G, 16-73, 8 R, 1 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, 7 BB, 18 K, 7 SB, 2 CS (.219/.288/.288) — perhaps he would have been picked in the Rule 5 Draft with a bigger winter ball showing
OF Zoilo Almonte: 1 G, 0-1
OF Melky Mesa: 9 G, 11-35, 8 R, 4 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 11 K, 1 SB (.314/.367/.600)
IF Eduardo Nunez: 8 G, 9-33, 2 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 4 K, 1 SB (.273/.273/.333)
C Gary Sanchez: 7 G, 5-21, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K (.238/.304/.429) — didn’t play last week
LHP Juan Cedeno: 22 G, 26.1 IP, 22 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 10 BB, 18 K, 2 HB, 5 WP (3.76 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) — up to 75 appearances and 90.1 IP this year
RHP Kelvin Perez: 17 G, 18 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 8 BB, 8 K, 3 HR, 1 WP (3.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)
RHP Jose Ramirez: 9 G, 2 GS, 19 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 12 BB, 23 K, 2 HR, 4 HB (4.26 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
LHP Francisco Rondon: 9 G, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K, 1 HR, 1 WP (3.38 ERA, 2.06 WHIP)

Mexican Pacific League (season ends in two weeks)
OF Jose Figueroa: 32 G, 17-59, 14 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 13 K, 2 CS (.288/.344/.373)
UTIL Ronnie Mustelier: 43 G, 47-164, 26 R, 5 2B, 8 HR, 26 RBI, 12 BB, 32 K, 7 SB, 1 CS, 2 HBP (.287/.337/.463) — he’s up to 157 games played this year
RHP Manny Barreda: 11 G, 10 IP, 16 H, 10 R, 8 ER, 7 BB, 7 K, 3 HR, 1 WP (7.20 ERA, 2.30 WHIP)
RHP Gio Gallegos: 6 G, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR (8.31 ERA, 1.85 WHIP)
RHP Felipe Gonzalez: 2 G, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 1 HB (8.10 ERA, 2.10 WHIP)
RHP Luis Niebla: 15 G, 4 GS, 34 IP, 34 H, 19 R, 13 ER, 12 BB, 28 H, 7 HR, 2 WP (3.44 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)
RHP Cesar Vargas: 12 G, 11.2 IP, 13 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 15 K, 1 HB, 1 WP (2.31 ERA, 1.71 WHIP)

Puerto Rican League (season ends in two weeks)
OF Adonis Garcia: 24 G, 27-94, 12 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 3 BB, 13 K, 2 SB, 2 CS, 3 HBP (.287/.324/.511)
2B Angelo Gumbs: 7 G, 5-14, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP (.357/.438/.714)
1B Luke Murton: 13 G, 9-45, 4 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 BB, 16 K (.200/.308/.333)
RHP Preston Claiborne: 11 G, 16.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 11 K (3.24 ERA, 0.84 WHIP)

Venezuelan Winter league (season ends in two weeks)
C Francisco Arcia: 3 G, 0-1, 1 R, 2 BB
IF Ali Castillo: 1 G, 1-1, 1 R
C Frankie Cervelli: 18 G, 16-49, 16 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 15 K, 1 SB, 1 HB (.327/.460/.571) — mashin’
OF Ramon Flores: 8 G, 3-12, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP (.231/.333/.231) — hasn’t played in about two weeks
UTIL Jose Pirela: 42 G, 39-160, 23 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 17 BB, 28 K, 4 SB, 2 CS, 5 HBP (.244/.319/.333)
RHP Pedro Guerra: 8 IP, 8.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 2 HR (5.19 ERA, 1.96 WHIP)
LHP Vidal Nuno: 18 G, 22.2 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 21 K, 1 HR (1.99 ERA, 0.75 WHIP)

Rosenthal: Yankees, Angels talked Vernon Wells
Sunday Night Open Thread
  • Murderers’ Row Boat

    What’s Zach Arneson story?

    • Laz

      9th round 2011. Doubt ceiling is that high, he has gotten like 20 innings in 2 years, and is 24 already.

  • Preston

    Well obvioulsy Ronnie, Franky and Melky are ready for the big time!

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      Maybe I have unreasonably high expectations but .287/.337/.463 in the Mexican pacific league doesn’t really make me think Mustelier is ready for the show especially since he apparently doesn’t offer much on defense or on the bases.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Give him a non-roster invite to Spring Training. We haven’t seen him not hit yet although, yes, he’s older than most and, from everything I’ve read, doesn’t offer a whole lot else.

        At some point, though, you figure out whether you’ve got an actual useful piece or the Cuban Jorge Vazquez.

        • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

          I’d be OK with that plan. Maybe he can surprise and be a useful bench player.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            From what I read on here, I’m personally not a believer but, at some point, you’ve got to see if you have something there or not.

            • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

              I’m getting a little tired of my handle.

              What do you think of “Ain’t got no Cash-man”.

              Too trollish?

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Way too trollish. You’re more on the negative end of the spectrum than I am, but you’re not that.

                • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                  I thought so. Thanks.

              • jjyank

                Nah, go with something funnier. That one does kinda sound like a troll.

                • Jacob

                  He could use it trick the trolls into befriending him and then we could kidnap them and beat their nuts in, good plan right?

                  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                    Feel free to execute that plan on your own. The handle is yours.

                    • Jacob

                      You have to do the kicking though.

                • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                  You’re right. Thanks.

        • Jersey Joe

          Vazquez could have been a useful piece he just wasn’t what the Yankees needed right then.

          On a team like the Mariners or Dodgers in 2011, teams starved for power from first base, could have used him in a platoon, we just didn’t need him.

          • Ted Nelson

            Maybe, but those teams didn’t seem to have any interest in him. He was there for the taking if they wanted him.

      • Yankees Insider

        He doesn’t offer much on defensehe does everything except pitch, catch, and play CF. But he doesn’t need to play CF cause we have Garcia (my half cousin) for that.

        • Jacob


  • Robinson Tilapia

    All of this is good to see. More at-bats and pitches means more looks as to who could blossom and become more than we originally thought they were. Some surprises from guys at this level would be welcome indeed.

  • Jersey Joe

    Hope this translates at least a little bit to MLB and we see some early 2010 Frankie.

    Poll: If Frankie exactly duplicates 2010, will yo be satisfied with our catcher production? (Y/N)

    • Jacob

      A wild stuart a appears and uses “troll” attack, it is very effective

  • Jeff Levy

    Unless the Yankees can make a move for a proven starting catcher they’ll have to start Cervelli. There are things to like about him. He brings a lot of fire and personality to the game. When he played as a backup he got important hit.

  • Travis L.

    Is Vidal Nuno that lucky, that teams dont think he can keep up that level of performance? He was rule V eligible, but no one took a shot with him. All he has done is put up good numbers with us.

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    I just want to see more Melky Mesa.

    • kenthadley

      Although he still has a way to go, his progress has been notable over the past few years….strikeouts are down, average is up….he’s not a finished product by any means, but he does seem to be trending in the right direction…and with his tools, it can come together really well if he continues to progress in AAA. FWIW, back in day, some players didn’t reach their potential until their late twenties….Bauer, Woodling, Ellie Howard. Yes, ancient history, but there might still be hope for Mesa.

      • Kosmo

        one of the reasons being all 3, Bauer, Woodling and Howard were in the military service in their early twenties.

    • Jacob

      Set up a camera outside of his window and you will get your wish.

  • Jacob


  • Scott

    There’s no way Mustelier isn’t worth a shot as spare corner OF & corner IF:

    1) He’s far is more promising than Vasquez ever was; Musty (85K/656AB in MILB) lacks Vasquez’s massive K rate in AAA (166K/500AB in 2011), which was a monster red flag.

    2) A guy who hit 353/412/598 in AA, then 303/359/455 in AAA — and NOT as a guy repeating levels who gradually learned the ropes — is at least as good a bet to hit well as whatever spare parts are still available on the FA market as 4th OFs.

    3) He’s a righty with at least the ability to fake 3B (in addition to corner OF & 1B), which makes him a perfect fit for the Yanks: they’re lefty-heavy and there’s a good chance brittle Youk misses some time with injuries (whether a DL stint or 1-2 days off here & there) in the several months he has to play 3B full-time. Let’s spend spring and April seeing is Musty can hit in the bigs.

    • Jacob

      *Sigh* the guy is like 29 playing against kids barely in their 20’s, if a 19 year old played against an 11 year old he would mash too.

      • Kosmo

        He´s actually 27 the last time I looked. Now he´s being penalized because he signed out of Cuba at what is considered a late age ?

        Commenters are suggesting because he´s only hitting .287 he´s not worth a shot, then he´s being compared to Vasquez where no comparision is warranted. He´s also probably running on fumes right now seeing that his season began back in April.

        • Jacob

          I don’t care what he is hitting in winter ball? Should he get a look in ST? Yes, but the reason he is mashing so much has something to do with the fact he is playing with kids. He deserves a look but not an overlook that so many of you are calling for.

          • Ted Nelson

            AAA is not really kids. It is far inferior competition to MLB, so the crux of your argument stands. There are a lot of guys who can hit like that in AAA who cannot in MLB. We’ll have to see if Mustelier is any better than that.

            Tampa (used them since they’re sort of the “model” franchise) didn’t have a position player under 24 get more than 12 PAs in Durham in 2012. They had three 23 year old Ps, none of whom were regulars on the team.

      • Scott

        The presumption against a 27 (not 29) year-old at AAA is because most folks that age either (a) have repeated AA and AAA often enough that hitting well in, say, your 3rd AAA season doesn’t predict MLB success, or (b) have been left at AAA despite hitting well for a good reason (like Vasquez K’ing in literally 1 in 3 AB at AAA). Neither of those reasons applies to Musty, who played less than 1 full season at both AA and AAA, yet mashed there, without any red flags like a bad K/BB rate.

        So yeah, the presumption against promoting old AAA’ers is generally valid, but it’s silly to apply it when it doesn’t serve its rationales.

        Put differently: quick, name another backup corner OF who can hit a lick and also can fill in at 3B.

        Musty fits our needs perfectly, so given his promising AA and AAA performances, it would be really dumb not to give him a shot.

        • Jacob

          Hold up, what point were you trying to make, because I only saw jibberish.

          • Scott

            You douchily call “jibberish” a pretty clear point I was trying to make: Mustelier deserves a shot.

            My reasons were pretty clear, too, at least to anyone who can read at the 7th grade level:
            (1) He’s hit great in AA & AAA.
            (2) His great AA/AAA performances weren’t because he was repeating each level; he spent less than a full season at each.
            (3) His great AA/AAA performances didn’t come with a red flag like Vasquez’s massive K rate.
            (4) He’s a great fit for the Yanks’ bench/backup needs, both because he’s a righty and because he can play 3B.

            Honestly, if you’re so poor at reading that you find all this to be “jibberish,” you probably should skip RAB and stick to Baseball Digest or Murray Chass books.

            [Apologies if the reason you’re not yet at the 7th grade reading level is that you actually are a 12 year-old who’s only part-way through 7th grade. Hang in there, kid; you’ll get there!]

            • Jacob

              7th grade? Reall? That tells me you have to be in middle school to say someone is “a kid” get the fuck out troll quit your shit

          • Rivera Venue Blues

            Why so condescending? Whether you agree with it or not, he’s discussing this pretty civilly, no need to call it jibberish.

            Anyway about Mustelier, I generally tend to not trust guys that age in the minors but he might be a special case just because it’s not like he’s been repeating levels really. I agree we give him a shot in Spring Training maybe but I’m not gonna hold my breath on him either.

        • Ted Nelson

          I don’t think the Yankees are looking so much at his age as his skills.

          He was one of the better pros in Cuba, which some compare to High A level competition.

        • Chris Widger

          Honestly, I wouldn’t count on him, but I would be more than pleased if he got at least 75-100 ABs in the regular season. He can’t be worse than Andruw was last year.

          • Jacob

            Oh yes, yes he can

      • entonces

        Nonsense. He was 27 last year, playing against guys 23-24, but also some in their 30s. That’s the way it is in AAA.
        And his age is actally irrelevant. He ws signed out of Cuba, already 25 or 26. Since then, he has hit at every level, advancing three levels, I believe in less than two years. Moreover, as Scott correctly pointed out, there is no comparing Vazquez — who was a veritable windmill– with Mustelier, a very good contadct hitter. The level of ignorance among some prospect bashers is truly remarkable. Lacking the knowledge or ability to distinguish between bogus and real prospects, they condemn them all.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I don’t think there’s a ton of bashing him going on…….at all. I think there’s a group wanting to go “all in” on him and a group, which I certainly fall into, that have some cynicism about him.

          I’d love for him to be the “real deal.” I have my questions, though, and yes, relative experience to those he’s playing against is a [valid] one of them.

          I think we can all agree, though, that we want him to succeed.

    • CapitalT

      better than Wells.

  • Tags

    I always wonder how many people here who have an opinion about someone like Mustelier have actually seen him. I’ve been going to Trenton Thunder games since 2006 and I’ve seen guys like Shelly Duncan and Vasquez who put up big numbers but you know won’t translate to the majors. But in the one season I saw Mustelier I never saw the guy not hit. Loved his swing, he can drive the ball. He’ll never win a gold glove but he can get by in the field. I’m not saying lets put him in the lineup but lets see him get a spring training invite and see what he can do.

    • Scott

      Thanks, that’s really helpful; I’m nowhere near Scranton, so I really appreciate a report from someone who’s seen him hit. For example, I’m glad to hear it’s not a case of “lots of power but MAN does he have an ugly, long swing…”

    • Bob Buttons

      Would you say he has average speed like a hustling Cano or is he a clogger like the Molina brothers?

      • Tags

        He’s no Molina brothers:) he can move

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I hope you’re right. Bring him to Spring Training and let’s see. If he can do it, he’ll be an immense help at probably just the right time.

  • Electric Nunez II (Handle stolen w/o compensatory draft picks)

    Would agree there. Haven’t seen him either, but someone who moves quickly up the ladder without red flags in his peripherals has as good a shot as any to make some kind of meaningful ML contribution.

    I’ve always thought many are too hung up on the age of prospects vis a vis predictive success. Esp. in this case with a guy who didn’t come stateside til what, 26 yrs old? Not to mention having to adjust to a whole new life as a defector.

    To me with a prospect its more how one performs at a particular level given how much professional experience they have. If Cuban pros only compete at about a High-A level of competition as the above poster said, then the Cuban Cannon AKA Ronnie M. was exposed to the high minors for the first time and did well at each step. To me thats more impressive than a prospect who is, say, 3-4 yrs younger but puts up similar numbers only beginning in his 3rd yr of AA, for example.

    You just get the sense in looking at his numbers that he just has a good meat-n-potatoes line drive bat, good gap power, good avg, not much BB but makes contact. In other words, not an impact player but a useful piece. And cheap. And versatile. And a RH bat. So, yeah, lets see what he can do.

    OTOH, while he is versatile, the word is that he is versatilely bad in every position he plays, so I hope he can be passable at a needed position.

    • Ted Nelson

      It’s also good to actually watch the guy play and see what the holes in his game are. Scouts aren’t always right by any means, but a guy can make a living in the minors hitting pitches that he’s not going to see much of in the majors. (Of course you could quantify this, but we’re not even doing it at the MLB level that I know of let alone MiLB.)

      • Vertical Pinstripe

        Isn’t also said that hitters see more strikes in MLB vs AAA and thus sometimes actuall hit better inthe show?

        • Ted Nelson

          Generally speaking hitters do not do as well in MLB as AAA. A hitter will not necessarily do better against more strikes (working the count and drawing walks are productive), and the key is how tough those strikes are more than that they’re strikes.

          If AAA pitchers were more effective than MLB pitchers someone probably would have caught on by now. Either they’d call up the AAA Ps in place of the MLB guys or if it were as easy as throwing more balls they’d tell their MLB guys to do so.

  • Vertical Pinstripe

    Someone has to back up Youk. Management has repeatedly stated they want Nunez exclusively at SS. If it’s not Ronnie, are we talking Jason Nix? It’s fun to pull for a rookie and to see them succeed. I hope he gets a shot.

  • Crapper Napper

    This is a lie. Everyone knows that only overpaid old dudes are allowed to hit. Must have an all star at every position to win.

  • Holy Ghost

    We’ve always known that Frankie can be an adequate to decent hitter. The question for Cervelli has always been, how often should he start? His production and defense have tended to decline it seems whenever he has started at catcher for significant periods of time. I hope the Yanks give him another shot to prove himself this season.

  • aluis

    Ronnie >>>>>>>>>>>> Nix !!!