Bird homers three times in River Dogs win

Update: Zoilo Almonte headed to DL with left ankle sprain
Yanks can't support shaky Pettitte in loss to Sox

To the notes:

  • Congrats to IF Hector Crespo, who became the first 2013 draftee to reach Triple-A Scranton. He made the announcement on Twitter. The team’s 34th round pick gives the Triple-A squad a sorely-needed middle infielder.
  • C/3B Peter O’Brien ranked eighth in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. I could be wrong, but I think he is the first Yankees farmhand other than RHP Rafael DePaula and OF Tyler Austin to make the weekly list.
  • VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed to Josh Norris that C Gary Sanchez will not be promoted this year. Disappointing, but not exactly surprising at this point.
  • Newman also said LHP Ian Clarkin is throwing off flat ground, according to Norris, so don’t expect to see him in a game anytime soon. The team’s third first round pick in last month’s draft has a slightly sprained ankle.
  • LHP Matt Tracy threw a simulated game today and is on the comeback trail, reports Norris. The southpaw is coming back from a hip problem.
  • OF Adonis Garcia has been taking ground balls at second and third base, according to Joel Sherman. Garcia did play the infield in Cuba once upon a time.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 loss to Louisville)

  • 2B David Adams: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 HBP — nine for 27 (.333) with three doubles, a triple, and a homer since being sent down
  • DH Alex Rodriguez: 2-4, 1 K — had a little more on him earlier
  • RF Adonis Garcia: 2-4, 1 K
  • 3B Ronnie Mustelier: 0-4
  • C J.R. Murphy: 1-4, 1 K
  • CF Melky Mesa & LF Thomas Neal: both 0-3 — Mesa struck out once, Neal twice … both guys are on their way to Boston in the wake of the OF Zoilo Almonte injury
  • RHP Brett Marshall: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 8/4 GB/FB — 62 of 95 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 15 of 24 pitches were strikes (63%)

Double-A Trenton (4-3 loss to New Hampshire in ten innings)

  • LF Ramon Flores: 1-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 K
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 0-5, 2 K
  • RF Yeral Sanchez: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — threw a runner out at first … six hits in ten at-bats since the promotion
  • RHP Shane Greene: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HB, 10/3 GB/FB — 71 of 98 pitches were strikes (72%)
  • LHP Cesar Cabral: 0.1 IP, zeroes — only two of five pitches were strikes

High-A Tampa (6-5 loss to Jupiter)

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI — got picked off first …. 17 hits in his last 39 at-bats (.436) with with three doubles, two walks, and two strikeouts
  • RF Taylor Dugas: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • 3B Peter O’Brien: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K — 16 hits in his last 40 at-bats (.400) with four doubles and two homers
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3/3 GB/FB
  • RHP David Herndon: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB

Low-A Charleston (7-5 win over Greensboro)

  • CF Jake Cave: 2-4, 2 R, 1 CS, 1 HBP
  • SS Cito Culver: 3-5, 2 R, 1 SB
  • DH Greg Bird: 4-5, 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1 K — 12 hits in his last 28 at-bats (.429), and half are homers … second three-homer game in the system this year, joining Murphy
  • 2B-LF Angelo Gumbs: 0-5, 4 K — played left for one-third of an inning after OF Kelvin DeLeon hurt his leg running after a ball … it’s the first time he’s every played the outfield as a pro
  • 3B Dante Bichette Jr.: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LHP Evan Rutckyj: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 2/5 GB/FB

Short Season Staten Island (3-2 loss to Batavia)

  • CF Brandon Thomas: 1-4, 3 K
  • DH Michael O’Neill: 1-4, 1 2B, 2 K
  • 3B Eric Jagielo: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Caleb Smith: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 24/7 K/BB in 20 innings

Rookie GCL Yanks1 (4-3 loss to GCL Astros)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
  • DH Abi Avelino: 0-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • 2B Gosuke Katoh: 1-5, 1 R — eleven hits in his last 30 at-bats (.367)
  • RF Austin Aune: 0-5, 3 K — 28 strikeouts in 56 plate appearances (50%)
  • 3B Chris Tamarez: 1-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GB/FB
  • RHP Hayden Sharp: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 1 HB, 6/2 GB/FB — only the second time in five appearances he had more strikeouts than walks

Rookie GCL Yanks2 (9-5 win over GCL Blue Jays)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 1-6, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • DH Miguel Andujar: 1-6,  2 R, 1 2B
  • C Luis Torrens: 1-3, 2 BB — eleven walks and seven strikeouts in his last nine games
  • LF Nathan Mikolas: 1-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Jose Javier: 4-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 3 SB — seven hits in his last nine at-bats
  • LHP Omar Luis: 2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 Balk, 1/1 GB/FB — 16/8 K/BB in 8.1 innings
Update: Zoilo Almonte headed to DL with left ankle sprain
Yanks can't support shaky Pettitte in loss to Sox
  • Deathstroke Heathcott

    The Bird is the word, word, word.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Everyone on this list will be joining the big league squad in Boston tomorrow, just in case.

    • Angelo

      Pretty much what I said in the last thread. I’m glad you agree.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I didn’t read what you wrote so, sure, by osmosis, I agree.

  • Angelo

    I want to get excited about Bird, but it’s hard to do so when he plays first base. Premium offense or bust…

    • Tom K

      It definitely needs to be considered that he is a first baseman, but I still don’t see why you should hold back any excitement. When he is hitting like this, you have every right to get excited and not really worry about where he may or may not play in the future.

      • Angelo

        Well, I think he’s an interesting prospect at first base. I would be gushing and losing my mind if he played any other position.

      • Bronx Bombers23

        This is by far my favorite site dedicated to everything related to the Yankees, and I check it several times a day. With that said, and in regards to the DotF, it doesn’t take long to figure out the prospects that Mike really likes, regardless of their production, and the ones that he seems to find fault with, regardless of how well they’re hitting. I think Bird falls under this category.

        I get it, he’s a first baseman, who started out as a catcher. So what? The kid has been raking all year, and showing big time power potential. And if it’s so easy to find great hitting first baseman, then why are we still running Lyle Overbay out there everyday.

        Cory Black and Peter O’Brien are 2 more off the top of my head that aren’t in the “In” crowd around here. Just my two cents.

        • emac2

          6 home runs in 7 days isn’t that great.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Who doesn’t like Corey Black? The kid throws absolute gas, even if he’s a little small and doesn’t have the best off-speed stuff.

          Bird is a nice piece, but you have to nitpick everything about him as a 1B. He strikes out a lot for a bat-only player in Low-A. He’s got nice power and a good eye, but Jonathan Singleton, a truly elite 1B prospect, had almost the exact same line at AA when he was 20.]

          And Peter O’Brien is a poor man’s JP Arencibia, so I’m not sure why he would be in the “In” crowd anywhere.

        • Angelo

          I’m assuming you haven’t been following prospects for a long time because even the best prospects don’t succeed. And I’m pretty sure Axisa likes Black and Bird, but he’s just more level headed about prospects that most fans are.

          I’ve seen too many prospects fail to go crazy over guys like O’Brien or Bird. I’m rooting for them, but I also understand that even the most optimistic projections have them not seeing a day past AAA. This doesn’t mean that they can’t succeed, but the chances of them making it to the show and being more than a bench player are very slim.

          You can dream, I guess. Many people in past have. Overrating prospects is so easy to do. Understanding what’s likely to happen, apparently most people don’t.

          • Mac

            The most optimistic projections definitely have O’Brien and especially Bird in MLB. I think you’ve been misinformed.

            Even the best prospects don’t work out every time, but that doesn’t mean no prospects with question marks will. Prospect watching is all about probabilities. You apparently don’t understand much about prospect watching.

            • Angelo

              Thanks for your uninformed opinion. I never said no prospect with question marks will make it to the show.

              I specifically said “I’m rooting for them, but I also understand that even the most optimistic projections have them not seeing a day past AAA. This doesn’t mean that they can’t succeed, but the chances of them making it to the show and being more than a bench player are very slim.”

              A small percentage of prospects succeed. Even top 10 prospects fail to make it to the show. Obviously if O’Brien and Bird reach their absolute highest ceiling they will be all stars, but the chances of that happening are very, very low. Like I said, I root for them, but my expectations are realistic, not go crazy over guys putting up big numbers without considering all the information available.

    • YankeeGrunt

      With respect to Mike, his nonchalance on Bird doesn’t seem to be widely shared. His bat has a chance to be special. Very very patient, almost too patient at times (but not like Culver – Bird won’t swing at what he thinks are balls, Culver will just take pitches), above average power that could end up in plus territory. He is basically a station to station runner, but he isn’t lead-footed. He looks reasonably nimble in the field and down the line could be a very good 1B.

      • Samuel

        I completely concur.

        I have said multiple times in the DoTF threads that Bird is a combination of Joe Mauer’s hitting ability, and Nick Johnson’s patience/strike zone discipline. However, at times Bird does take too many pitches.

        Have seen him play in Staten Island last year, and for Charleston three times.

        Bird will be in the majors by late 2015. He is a future star.

        • http://O Mike


          You just compared Bird to two guys who were both top 25 prospects in all of MLB during their respective minor league careers, one of whom was the no. 1 overall prospect in all of baseball. That is an irrational comparison, at minimum.

          If you were to view sites comparable to RAB following the minor league systems of other MLB teams you will find numerous low-A, high-A first baseman sharing Bird’s offensive success. He is certainly a nice offensive prospect and one worthy of MLB projection and possibly expectation, but he is not the best of Joe Maur mixed with the best of Nick Johnson.

          Mike’s alleged bias (which I think is a ridiculous premise, because more prospects fail than succeed) is likely to be larger based on his greater awareness of minor league baseball as a whole and not simply a daily review of box scores plus a couple of in person sightings.

          I hope you are right and I am wrong, but I would not bet on it.

          • Samuel

            Maybe I should clarify this a little.

            Bird is a very solid gap to gap hitter, with power from left center to right field. I have seen him hit solid line drives to the left center warning track, one of which was caught. Yes, a line drive to the opposite gap warning track! Not more than 20 feet off the ground.

            Mauer is a solid gap to gap hitter with some power. I feel Mauer is a better average hitter, but Bird has more power potential.

            Like Nick Johnson used to do, Bird rarely swings at bad pitches before two strikes, and only sometimes chases out of the zone with two strikes. As I said many times, I think Bird takes too many hittable pitches, which puts him into defensive counts. But he is able to take close pitches and work a walk. That is extremely difficult to do at his ago. Usually this skill comes over time.

            Funny, but I have yet to see Mike at any Yankee minor league games. I attend probably 50 or more a year, at all levels (not as much AAA). His minor league experience is likely (not positively) based on watching video and reading lots of reports from various sources (BP, KLaw etc), and “his daily review of box scores.”

            I don’t comment on any player, I have not seen live, many times more than once.

            At age 19, Mauer slashed 302/393/392/785 and rarely hit for power at any minor league level. His SLG peaked at .453. At 20 (same level), Bird has slashed .281/404/506/910 and his 2B and HR are more than Mauer with 100 less PAs.

            As I said, Mauer is a better average hitter, but Bird has more power potential. I feel Bird is a potential star in majors with 40+ 2B/25 HR/100 BB potential.

            Where prospects are ranked rarely is beneficial to anyone but guys who can’t go see games and need to rant on blogs. Many top prospects don’t even go on to be major league stars, let alone “league average players.” I never “rank” guys, but Bird will get ranked by many people soon enough.

            Albert Pujols was not even in Top 40 on some lists after a stellar 2000 minor league season.

          • YankeeGrunt

            Other people who are at least as plugged in, probably more plugged in, to the Yankees system and who have at least as much exposure to the minors as a whole (because the minors is the bulk of their professional work, while Mike covers big league stuff) think otherwise. Bird was a bonus baby, he got kudos for his approach his first two years in EXST and short-season (his first season having been almost non-existent) and he is demonstrating it now in full-season. That doesn’t mean he might not fizzle in High A or AA, plenty of well-regarded prospects have done as much. It is to say he has the potential to be a special bat. To say Mike gives great weight to the positional premium is not news, he says as much in his coverage. But when you emphasize position instead of bat you end up with Aune in the middle of your Top 30. It matters, but a great bat without a positional premium trumps a middling bat with one.

          • Mac

            While the Mauer/NJ comparison was a ridiculous one, I have actually looked at other team’s systems. You’re not going to find a ton of 1B hitting like Bird. Not that are legit prospects age appropriate for their full-season level.

            The premise is also not that Mike is saying most prospects fail. Certainly. Whether it’s right or wrong, though, people are saying that Mike is bias towards certain prospects he likes and against others that he doesn’t care for. He has his reasons and I think we’re probably all like this. But I think it’s true. He doesn’t feel any need to actually validate his opinions, just kind of states stereotypes without evidence. If you’re running a blog that’s going to draw questions when you slam prospects that other people are much higher on than you are (respected prospect watchers, not just commenters).

    • phil

      They need to replace Tex eventually!

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    I’m starting to come into these reports thinking “There’s no one that’s going to show me good progress.” This year’s been all injuries in disappointments, or mediocre prospects like Clark, Bird and O’Brien. This year’s been bad news.

    • Angelo

      Last year was similar sadly, but at least there were some strong performances from prominent prospects.

    • Yanks

      That’s funny considering the guy who you use for your name is on fire…. Bird and O’Brien are mediocre prospects? Really? I’d rather have a first baseman who can do what Bird can do than not have him at all, positional value be damned.

      • W.B. Mason Williams

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see Williams is at least hitting singles…although his power still is nowhere to be seen. And Bird isn’t exactly putting up superstar 1B numbers. They’d be good numbers for a more difficult defensive position but for a minor league first basemen he’s got more Lyle Overbay in him than anything else.

        • SB

          After today, only about 8 players in the entire league will have a higher OPS than Bird, and he is younger than all but one of those 8. His home park is also the 2nd most pitching-friendly in the league. I agree that it sucks he’s only a 1B, and it is still only the first year of such production, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good numbers.

        • Samuel

          In his first three full MLB seasons, Lyle Overbay AVERAGED 44 doubles, 18 HRs, 84 RBIs, OPS over .818+ each year with a high of .880.

          Yeah, we wouldn’t want that.

          • W.B. Mason Williams

            Fine, I’ll hold your hand.

            Modern day 15 HR massive split .250 on a good day Lyle Overbay.

            I hope you’re happy.

            • Mac

              Certainly that’s a possibility, but you are drastically underselling Bird’s potential. He’s a long ways off, but is one of the better 1B prospects in all of MiLB.

      • Tom K


        O’Brien isn’t an extreme upside prospect, but for as long as he is mashing, he needs to be considered a good offensive prospect. Jim Leyritz, who became a very useful major leaguer, was still toiling around in A-Ball at the age of 23. We should worry about how O’Brien’s K-rate will translate as he enters the upper parts of the minor league system, but for now, he is most definitely not a mediocre prospect. If he can hit for some power while being passable at C/1B/3B/LF/wherever they want to put him, I’ll take it. It isn’t like the Yankees are loaded with guys who can do that.

        • nycsportzfan

          And more then anything the Yankees need Offense right now. O’Brien and Bird could probably hit middle of the order now if they were up here for Sometimes our lineup lets us find those defensive helpful players, but not right now. Right now this team needs offense, which makes it tha much greater seeing Bird and O’Brien do what they are doing.

          O’Brien didn’t make the top hot prospect list because he sucked, thats for sure.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            He made the top prospect list because he had a good week.

            No, they wouldn’t be better in the middle of the lineup, Joe Z.

            Yes, both guys look like they can hit in A ball, and that a good offers I’ve prospect at any position is better than none at all.

            Let’s see them continue to do it as they move up the ladder and, with Petey, let’s see him cut down on those strikeouts drastically.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              “Good offensive prospect”

            • Samuel

              Two more Ks last night for O’Brien.

              He really sucks.

    • Mac

      Prospects fall onto a continuum. That someone is not a truly elite prospect does not mean they are “mediocre.” Bird is very well regarded. Have you actually looked at his numbers? Guy is 57% above league average offensively. 1B has a high offensive bar, but Bird is definitely not mediocre as a prospect. O’Brien has good upside. He’s a pretty good prospect. Clark is intriguing, though it’s questionable if he’s a prospect. Mediocre could describe his prospects.

  • lightSABR

    Anybody know what on earth happened to Austin Aune? He put up a 130 wRC+ last year, and now he’s at 35 wRC+ while repeating rookie ball.


      YOU are right about Austin Aune has gotten worse since the Yankees have got him.the Yankees has a poor record in developing good hitters and LHP.I think the whole farm system needs to change with Cadshman moving out new blood coming in,that will never happen though.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I wonder what they whispered in his ear.

        “Hey Austin, swing when the ball’s not coming….”
        “But I thought…..”
        “You’re a Yankee now. That’s how Jeter did it.”

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Was there any explanation for Sanchez staying down in Tampa for the whole year?

    It just seems a little weird, unless they’re just really confident that his bat doesn’t need the extra challenge as much as he needs to be working on his D with guys with MLB stuff.

    • Mac

      Kid is 20. Have some patience.

  • Ghost

    He’s just bored in rookie ball and is just waiting to get called up to the big league squad or be traded to Seattle.

  • nycsportzfan

    Yanks don’t take non prospects in RD2 by the way. Pete O’Brien was drafted to rake, and rake with power, and he is. Hes doing exactly what he should be doing, and becoming the best offensive prospect in the yanks org along the way.

    • Mac

      I agree that he’s a prospect, but he’s not doing exactly what he should be doing. There’s no way to justify that he should be striking out so much.

  • Bronx Bombers23

    Mason Williams hasn’t shown any pop this year, and his maturity issues are well documented. He and Angelo Gumbs have been two of the bigger disappointments to me in the system this year. I would deal Williams in a package for a young, impact bat in a heartbeat if the right deal came along (still hoping for Stanton at some point).

  • cofuzz

    So Mason’s .564 SLG over his last 9 games isn’t good enough for you?

    I guess it pales in comparison to Bird’s 1.067 SLG over his last 7 games, but you know Bird’s 20 and Mason’s old enough to buy beer (and a level ahead), so yeah, .564 SLG over a long stretch doesn’t seem all that great in Bird’s Hitchcockian shadow.

    • Bronx Bombers23

      Last 9 games huh? Well be still my heart.

      Williams has shown serious maturity problems this year, which should be a gigantic red flag going forward. He is one of the top 5 prospects in the organization and has spent this year underperforming this year, which I know can happen, but a DUI and various other issues that have been widely reported on, aren’t what I’d expect out of a top prospect.

      And please don’t give me the Johnny Manziel, “He’s just a kid” argument. That dog won’t hunt.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        That wasn’t a DUI. For it to be a DUI, you have to be over the legal limit. Williams was not.

        If anything, it was a DWB.

        • YankeeGrunt

          That’s a dumbsh!t thing to say. Your only source of information is his skin color and his apparent level of intoxication when he blew. There are plenty of good reasons why he could have gotten rung up for a DUI – higher PBT on the side of the road, targeted enforcement, poor FSTs, etc etc.