O’Brien hits 20th homer in Tampa loss

Thursday Night Open Thread
Mailbag: Lester, Hudson, Reynolds, 2014 Draft

As expected, RHP Michael Pineda has been placed on the Triple-A Scranton DL. He’s dealing with shoulder tightness. Donnie Collins says the recently outrighted UTIL Brent Lillibridge takes the roster spot.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (5-2 loss to Buffalo in seven innings) makeup of the April 13th postponement

  • CF Melky Mesa, RF Adonis Garcia & 3B Ronnie Mustelier: all 0-3 — Mesa struck out twice, Mustelier thrice
  • C J.R. Murphy: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B
  • RHP Chris Bootcheck: 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 10/2 GB/FB — 62 of 94 pitches were strikes (66%) … remember how lights out he was earlier in the year (1.22 ERA in his first six starts)? he’s up to a 3.90 ERA on the season

Triple-A Scranton Game Two (2-1 loss to Buffalo in seven innings)

  • RF Melky Mesa: 0-4, 2 K
  • DH Randy Ruiz: 3-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI — 15 homers in 51 games
  • LF Ronnie Mustelier: 1-3 — threw out not one, but two runners at the plate
  • RHP Chase Whitely: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 34 of 47 pitches were strikes (72%) … nice spot start in the doubleheader

Double-A Trenton (5-1 win over Erie in eleven innings)

  • LF Ramon Flores: 1-5
  • DH Slade Heathcott: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 HBP
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 E (throwing) — has a hit (exactly one hit) in all four games here, including three doubles
  • SS Carmen Angelini: 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI — hit the go-ahead grand slam in the 11th inning
  • RHP Mikey O’Brien: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 3/2 GB/FB – 60 of 99 pitches were strikes
  • LHP Francisco Rondon: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 23 of 38 pitches were strikes (61%)
  • RHP Tommy Kahnle: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0/1 GB/FB – 23 of 35 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 17 of 25 pitches were strikes (68%) … two hits, one walk, and 12 strikeouts in his last 8.2 innings

High-A Tampa (5-4 loss to Brevard County)

  • CF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 CS — 6/10 K/BB in his last eight games
  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB
  • 3B Peter O’Brien: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (throwing) — that’s his 20th homer, making him the third actual prospect to hit 20+ homers since 2010 … Mesa and Zoilo Almonte both did it last year
  • RHP Scottie Allen: 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 11/3 GB/FB

Low-A Charleston (7-3 loss to Rome)

  • CF Jake Cave & 2B Angelo Gumbs: both 0-4 — Gumbs struck out twice, Cave thrice … Gumbs also committed a throwing error
  • 1B Greg Bird: 1-4, 1 R, 3 K
  • RF Ericson Leonora: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP — 16 hits in his last 37 at-bats (.432)
  • SS Cito Culver: 1-3, 1 R, 1 K
  • RHP Luis Severino: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 8/0 GB/FB — 58 of 77 pitches were strikes (75%) … 44/10 K/BB in 39 innings … he and SS Abi Avelino headline a really great crop of international prospects to make their debuts this season

Short Season Staten Island (6-5 win over State College)

  • SS Jose Rosario: 1-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB
  • CF Brandon Thomas: 0-5, 4 K — threw a runner out at the plate … 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts in his last three games
  • DH Eric Jagielo: 2-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI — nine hits in his last 22 at-bats (.409) with three doubles, so he’s starting to come back around
  • 3B Mike Ford: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 E (throwing)
  • RHP David Palladino: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4/2 GB/FB — 34/18 K/BB in 33 innings for this year’s fifth rounder
  • RHP Kelvin Castro: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3/1 GB/FB, 1 E (throwing) — 32/7 K/BB in 22.2 innings for the recently converted infielder

Rookie GCL Yanks1 (8-3 loss to GCL Tigers)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — .330/.451/.367 with a 27/23 K/BB in 32 games for this year’s fourth rounder
  • DH Gosuke Katoh: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB – breaks out of his recent slump, and this year’s second rounder is still at .319/.427/.563 with 27/21 K/BB in 34 pro games
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 0-3, 1 BB
  • RHP Brady Lail: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 9/4 GB/FB — 36/5 K/BB in 41.1 innings for the sleeper prospect

Rookie GCL Yanks2 (6-3 win over GCL Phillies)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 2-4, 1 R
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 E (fielding) — that’s eight errors in 15 games at the hot corner
  • LF Nathan Mikolas: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • RHP Joey Maher: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 6/6 GB/FB
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Thursday Night Open Thread
Mailbag: Lester, Hudson, Reynolds, 2014 Draft
  • Joel

    Melky Mesa and Zoilo Almonte are “actual prospects”? Things really are bleak in the minors for the Yanks.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Mesa was a low-level prospect who will probably not be much more than a journeyman/AAAA type unless he catches fire at some point, which actually has happened before.

      Almonte looked pretty alright playing in the majors in a brief cameo, so I’d say that, yes, that qualifies him as an actual prospect. Isn’t what we wanted guys who actually graduate to the majors?

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Yeah, Zoilonat least is definitely an actual prospect, even if he isn’t some sort of future all star.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          They want guys who actually play in the majors. He was doing just that before getting injured.

          • Gonzo

            People see non-top 100 prospects as first tier regulars or bust and top 100 prospects as all-stars or bust. Waaay more gray area for both types of prospects.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Don’t you know that once they have prospects graduate and play in the majors, the goal posts move?!

            • Robinson Tilapia

              STYLE POINTZ

  • http://deleted Richard Leo

    who is Ericson Leonora

  • Pseudoyanks

    Gose-K!

  • http://deleted Richard Leo

    i never realize Tyler Wade has a 0.037 ISO

  • Gonzo

    So Peter O’Brien is going to be Ryan Lavarnway, right?

    • http://deleted Richard Leo

      that would be great

      • Gonzo

        I meant *our Ryan Lavarnway, and I didn’t mean it in outcome. I meant it in how Red Sox fans took to their keyboards and complained about how underrated he was all the time. Even pgammo got in on the hype.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          He gets brought up so much here that, dare I say, he could be the next……..Ronnie Mustelier.

          • Gonzo

            Damn, you might be right.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Not in outcome, of course.

              I look forward to see how he holds up in AA, as per the Chad Jennings theory of paying attention to prospects. If he can do it there, and keeps the K’s in check a bit, then we’ve potentially got something, regardless of what position he can, or can’t play.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            Why don’t they give him a chance?!!!!!!

            (And I’ve been unapologetically beating the FHoFer’s drum for the past year).

          • nycsportzfan

            O’Brien has more of a advantage then Mustellier, because hes over here in the US his entire life and was a big deal as a prospect going into college and into the pro’s. Mustellier didn’t get over here till he was older. O’Brien just needs to keep hitting and he’ll be in the bigs eventually. Hes putting up serious numbers. In his last 10games, hes got a 409OBP, so hes more then just power. The power guys have been my fave part of this yr in the minors(Segedin,Roller,O’Brien,Bird). THe yanks drafted those guys to hit and be able to also hit it over the fence, and all are doing that, minus injuries to a couple.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              As usual, Joe Z doesn’t get the point. No one’s making any sort of serious comparison between the two.

              Also, Mustelier.

              • nycsportzfan

                You need to get out more.

        • http://deleted Richard Leo

          Ryan Lavarnway was a top-100 prospect in 2012,hardly underrated

          • Gonzo

            I never said he was underrated.

            I meant it in how Red Sox fans took to their keyboards and complained about how underrated he was all the time.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Hahahaha. Truth.

            • http://deleted Richard Leo

              yeah i know you,i just criticize Redsox fans

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Hah, if only.

      • Gonzo

        Didn’t mean in outcome. See above.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Oh, I know. I’m just saying that it would be rather nice if O’Brien was anywhere near as exciting as Lah-vahn-way was back in the day.

          I actually think Greg Bird is a better bet to be our Lavarnway.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            You’re already disrespecting FHoFer Pete O’Brien.

            • Mac

              I actually think that in this case it goes the opposite way. I think that the pessimists are way out of line here, and the optimists tend to be more reasonable. (It being the opposite way with Mustelier.) There are a couple of optimists who are being ridiculously extreme and ignoring his negatives, sure, but as a group I think the optimists are just pointing out that this guy is a good prospect. O’Brien is a good, solid power prospect who may be able to play or at least fake one or two premium positions. The pessimists argue to the death that people are crazy for saying as much. They are generally the ones being ridiculously extreme here.

              Is O’Brien a top prospect with good odds of becoming an elite MLB player? No. Very few are. He is a solid prospect. I am sick and tired of Cool Lester Smooth jumping on every single person who points out O’Brien’s positives. It’s just beyond ridiculous at this point. This guy was a legit 2nd round draft prospect. He’s not a 30 year old the Yankees signed for relative peanuts.

              There are many comparable prospects with MLB success, but the pessimists here want to perpetuate generic stereotypes without making actual, sound arguments. Really annoying.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I don’t think anyone’s really trying to knock O’Brien down here. I know that, for me, it’s more poking fun at the usual putting of some chosen guy on a pedestal on these threads to the point of near-absurdity, hence the Mustelier mention. Ronnie Mustelier and Pete O’Brien couldn’t be in more different situations.

                I’d love to see the Yanks be able to move some college seniors with upside through the system quickly and, if this guy is able to do it in AA next season, then we’re talking a potential MLB contributor as early as late 2014. I also will always get behind a UM product.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                Yup, that’s me. I’m a pessimist.

                I couldn’t just not be a fan of two true outcomes college players in A-ball who have no position. Also, tell me a comparable prospect who has had MLB success. I’m sure there’s a long list of guys who had a .320 OBP in Hi-A coming out of a major college program who became even somewhat capable MLB hitters.

                Until you do, I’m more than happy to be considered a “pessimist” for not buying into an all bat prospect who doesn’t look like he’ll have much of a bat if you look at anything other than his shiny surface numbers.

                • Samuel

                  “Also, tell me a comparable prospect who has had MLB success.”

                  I thought I provided this information a few weeks ago: Chris Davis and Mike Napoli were similar in High A, and Napoli spent parts of three separate seasons in High A. Pedro Alvarez isn’t that far away, either.

                  Napoli is likely the best comp, since they both aren’t great behind the plate but do hit for power.

                  • Cool Lester Smooth

                    And I argued that none of those comps work. Napoli doesn’t fit because he’s always walked, a lot, and so has Alvarez, while Chris Davis walked more and struck out a lot less than O’Brien has this season while absolutely dominating AA and AAA when he was 22.

                    I don’t have a huge problem with Ks as such if the power is real. I do like Greg Bird, and he’s had his fair share of Ks this season. The issue is that O’Brien’s particular combination of poor contact and poor patience almost never results in a useful major league bat.

                    • Samuel

                      The fact Napoli and others walked more does not take away the comps. Walking is very subjective. Many players who hit early in the count (always preferable) don’t walk because they rather put the ball in play, which translates to more hits and higher slugging.

                      You never want to take away a hitters aggressiveness. Lots of situations (especially run scoring ones) in the game warrant swinging the bat than looking to take a walk. When men are in scoring position look to hit good pitches early and often. When bases empty or only man on first, look to get on base anyway you can.

                      You could also say O’Brien is actually very patient as he usually hits pitches he likes, most likely early in the count.

                      Hitting for a high average and good power comes with hitting the ball early in the count. Almost all hitters have terrible numbers when hitting with two strikes, so taking pitches for the sake of “working the count” or getting the pitch count up is total garbage.

                      I would much rather have guys who swing the bat than take good pitches. This is Bird’s issue with his Ks. He just takes way too many pitches over the middle of the plate early in the count. A guy with Bird’s hitting ability should be attacking more pitches early.

                      Regarding O’Brien: Hitters who have a “particular combination of poor contact and poor patience” almost never have .300 BA and .550 SLG.

                      Even looking back at O’Brien’s numbers in college, he was always the same hitter. High average, good power, very productive even as he struck out a lot and walked very little. I don’t see that changing much even when he reaches the majors.

                      Over a 600 PA season, give me a higher BA and higher SLG (along with the Ks which comes along) than 20-30 extra walks a year any day of the week. I’ll take O’Brien’s approach and ability over a Mustelier type.

                    • Cool Lester Smooth

                      Guys like this hit .300 all the time in A-Ball. The reason I’m talking about walks is that if a player walks a bunch and has a lot of Ks, it means that he’s being patient and getting behind in the count. When a guy is striking out this much and he doesn’t have any walks, it means that he’s having problems hitting the baseball.

              • Cool Lester Smooth

                And, for the record, I like my boy Ronnier more than just about anyone here coming into the season, and feel free to search back articles if you don’t believe me.

  • Gonzo

    Thairo Time!

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      Hulet said that both Thairo and Abi have been impressing a lot of scouts. They’re both obviously super, super raw, though.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Gosuke already had more HRs than DBJ did when he tore up the GCL.

    /stud.

    • Lukaszek

      And he’s still mad skinny

      Imagine if this guy starts bench pressing and lifting weights. Oh g-d that’d be insane O.O

      • Bob Buttons

        I demand that he gets a cool nickname if/when that happens.

        And none of those combining first-last name crap.

        • trr

          The Green Hornet.
          (yes, I know that was the the other guy. This just works for for a skinny little guy nobody takes seriously….yet)

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Gosuke and Eat Something?

    • Samuel

      Gosuke has such a nice swing, and over time will fill out a little and provide even more power.

  • vicki

    so, mike. i’m going to start bothering you about eric wooten. only because my grandmother’s maiden name was wooten and i never knew any of her family. so heads up.

  • RetroRob

    So Dante Bichette? Have they finally stopped playing him, injured, or Mike no longer reports his futility?

    Wade, great first two triple-slash numbers. That SLG though, yikes.

  • Lukaszek

    I’m really hoping that either O’Brien or Bird can develop into actual major leaguers

    Also, it seems like the Yankees are as terrible at developing starting pitchers as they are good at developing relief pitchers. I really think that something needs to be evaluated down at the system. Is it possible that pitch limitations are hurting prospects down there?

    • Mac

      O’Brien and Bird are both solid prospects. That said, even solid prospects (in A ball especially) are only so likely to do anything in MLB.

      It’s tough to say, but I don’t think the Yankees are nearly as bad at developing SPs as people think. Expectations have been really, really high with some of these guys. Overall, I think the Yankees have done quite well recently, though. They developed 3 of the top 53 SPs under 30 over the past 3.5 seasons. Phelps was looking good for a stretch this season and only blew up before going on the DL so maybe he wasn’t right when he fell apart.
      Prospects just only work out so often. When a couple of them really, really work out we tend to forget the ones who don’t work out. When none become stars, on the other hand, we tend to forget the ones who did work out. The Yankees have had success taking amateurs to top prospect status. And the pipeline is still pretty strong (Banuelos, Ramirez, DePaula, Hensley, Clarkin, Campos, Camarena, Severino, etc.). They haven’t had as much success getting MLB production out of those guys as we would like, but overall I don’t think they’ve done an adequate job. There’s also a huge margin of error on these things.

      Anything is possible, but pretty much every team puts pitch limitations on guys. Don’t see much of an argument as to how they hurt prospects. Connective tissue is not fully formed at a young age, so you risk doing permanent damage if you push a young arm too hard.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I find it hard to understand how people continue to say the Yanks can’t develop starting pitchers when three guys who have pitched meaningful innings, not named Andy Pettitte, in the rotation are home-grown. Add to that guys developed by the Yanks who left in trades who are in rotations around the league, the fact that Chien-Ming Wang’s career was cut short by injury, and not ineffectiveness, and I just don’t get it.

        They’re setting the bar at Andy Pettitte, a borderline HOFer and Monument Park fixture, and anything that doesn’t measure up doesn’t count.

        Frustration at injury (and I think concern as to re-injury with this org is completely legitimate), or guys not reaching their ceiling, is one thing. Just dismissing everyone outright is another.

        • Coolerking101

          Not really fair referencing Andy (or Mariano) as they’re part of a different Yankee regime. That being said, everything else you mention is dead on, balls accurate.

          What I think fans are really complaining about is that the Yanks haven’t produced an elite starting pitcher in the Cashman era. It’s a silly complaint. If the Yanks got a top pick every other year, I’m sure they would have developed an elite starting pitcher. Not to mention they did draft Gerrit Cole…so it’s not like the scouts have totally failed in that dept.

      • Dick M

        The current staff includes 3 home grown, back-of-the rotation guys. I’ll grant you that one of them (Nova)shows some potential to be more than that. The problem is you can’t win with that kind of player development (or lack thereof) anymore.

        Front of the rotation guys don’t make it to free agency, nor are they generally available via trade, in what is a new paradigm.

        We’ve had 2 major waves of top-ranked pitching prospects over the last 6 years or so with no front-of-the rotation pay-off. The Hughes-Chamberlain-Kennedy “class” and then the killer B’s. Hughes and Chamberlain were both TOP 5 prospects. Hughes had a plus fastball, a plus curveball, and plus command. He dominated at the upper levels. What happened to him?

        I just think that something’s not working. And we can’t spend our way out it like we used to. The real problem is that the guys who are in charge can’t play the new game.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          You absolutely can. The Yanks need to develop a bunch of role players, 2 good starting players and a star, then fill the rest through free agency and trades in order to be successful. It’s almost impossible to draft multiple impact players while being competitive every year, that’s why the Yanks need to add talent in FA.

          • Dick M

            That ain’t gonna get it done Les.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          Also, what happened to Hughes is that he tore his hamstring and hasn’t been able to throw his curve the same way ever since.

          • Dick M

            I suppose that’s possible, but what about the other 5 guys I mentioned. Chamberlain was also a TOP 5 prospect. The fact is Andy is the last legit front of the rotation guy we developed and he came up almost 20 years ago. And in the past, we could buy our way out of it. But with the limits on draft spending, the international caps, and the way clubs lock up their young arms these days, the only way left to acquire pitching is to develop it. Unfortunately, that’s a skill set that we obviously don’t have.

            • Cool Lester Smooth

              Joba ruined his shoulder that night in Texas and was never the same.

              It’s like Sickels said the other day, the best way to develop a good pitching prospect is to have 5 of them.

  • jeterssocks

    After contemplating Randy Ruiz triple A accomplishments along with past MLB experiences, I thought to myself, ” Too bad the steroid gig is shut down. He could have really helped the Yankees if A rod had hooked him up.”

  • Bob Michaels

    Greg Bird has emerged as one of best hitters in the sally league he was draftes in the 5th rd in 2011.

  • nycsportzfan

    I freaking love Katoh! Hes a ball player!

    • John C

      anyone know why JRam is on the DL?

      • qwerty

        Most of the top yankee prospects are on the DL, it’s a place of honor. Don’t question it.

    • John C

      Tyler Wade too.

  • fezz

    still think obrien at 3B in NY would put up better numbers than the merry-go-round of mediocrity that was at the hot corner all season. They could get comp production if they held random drawings each home game of ticketstubs and ran a “fan 3B for a day” giveaway. they got like 4 HRs and a barely .200 avg all season. I haven’t played since HS but I feel like I could approach those numbers for way less and I’d play everyday.