2017 Draft: Jake Burger

Jake Burger | 3B

Background
The 21-year-old Burger is a St. Louis kid who went undrafted out of high school, but has since developed into one of the top power hitters in the country at Missouri State. He is currently hitting .346/.459/.693 with 20 home runs and more walks (38) than strikeouts (30) in 52 games this season, and he’s a career .346/.423/.632 with 45 homers in 165 college games.

Scouting Report
Burger is a right-handed hitter with big power potential that he generates with both bat speed and raw strength. He knows the strike zone well and is capable of making adjustments mid-at-bat because he understands how pitchers are trying to attack him. There are two knocks on Burger. One, his defense. He has good hands at the hot corner but limited range and an average best arm. To his credit, Burger works hard at his defense, but odds are he’ll wind up at first base long-term. And two, he has a bit of a hitch in his swing, which creates some concern about how he’ll handle advanced pro pitching.

Miscellany
In their latest rankings MLB.com ranked Burger as the 16th best prospect in the draft class, Baseball America ranked him 19th, and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked him 24th. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. Under scouting director Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees have selected a few big bat/questionable glove college mashers high in the draft (Eric Jagielo, Peter O’Brien, etc.), though it is definitely not their go-to demographic. Burger could be someone they target if they decide to go heavy on offense and believe he can move quickly.

DotF: Mateo has huge day in Tampa’s doubleheader sweep

RHP Brady Lail has rejoined Triple-A Scranton, reports Matt Kardos. The RailRiders have been short a starting pitcher since RHP Bryan Mitchell was called back up a few days ago. Lail solves that problem. RHP Colten Brewer was sent to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot for Lail.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. No word on a makeup date. They were supposed to face a rehabbing Corey Kluber tonight. Too bad. Would have been fun to see how the kids handled him.

Double-A Trenton (7-2 win over Reading)

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 1-5
  • CF Rashad Crawford: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — played seven innings in his fifth rehab game
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-1, 1 RBI
  • RF Billy McKinney: 0-3, 1 RBI — 7-for-42 (.167) in his last 13 games
  • 2B Abi Avelino: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (throwing)
  • LHP Nestor Cortes: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1/6 GB/FB — 54 of 84 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • RHP Colten Brewer: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB – 15 of 22 pitches were strikes (68%)

[Read more…]

2017 Draft: Bubba Thompson

Bubba Thompson | OF

Background
Thompson, 18, attends McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, Alabama, where he plays both baseball and football. He’s a good quarterback recruit who received Division I scholarship offers for both sports, though he committed to attend Alabama, where he’ll play baseball only. Odds are it won’t matter. Thompson is expected to turn pro after being drafted.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-2 and 180 lbs. Thompson is one of the top athletes in the 2017 draft class, and his best tools right now all come on the defensive side of the ball. He’s a rangy center fielder thanks to his top of the line speed, and he also has a strong throwing arm. A long-term center fielder, he is. No doubt about. Thompson is a right-handed hitter with bat speed and bat-to-ball skills, and he’s shown promising power potential this spring. He has the potential to go 20-20 with very good center field defense down the line. Despite splitting his time between two sports, Thompson is not as raw as you’d expect. The kid has legitimate five-tool ability.

Miscellany
The various scouting publications all agree Thompson is a first round talent. Baseball America ranks him as the 18th best prospect in the draft class while MLB.com and Keith Law (subs. req’d) rank him 24th and 25th, respectively. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. The biggest knock on Thompson is his age. He’s 18 with a June birthday, so he’s older than most high school prospects. (He’ll be roughly the same age on draft day as Blake Rutherford last year, who slipped out of the top ten in part due to his age.) The Yankees love their toolsy up-the-middle athletes and Thompson certainly fits the mold. For what it’s worth, Baseball America linked the Yankees to Thompson in their most recent mock draft.

DotF: Wade, Fowler, and Frazier all homer in Scranton’s win

Two quick notes to start the night:

  • 1B Ji-Man Choi (hamstring) was activated off the Triple-A disabled list, according to Donnie Collins. 1B Mike Ford was sent back to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot. Ford went 11-for-36 (.306) with four doubles and four homers in nine games with the RailRiders.
  • Make sure you check out 20-80 Baseball’s recent evaluations of OF Dustin Fowler, OF Clint Frazier, and SS Tyler Wade from a series earlier this month. The reports are glowing.

Triple-A Scranton (5-0 win over Columbus)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 2-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K — three homers in 40 games this year after hitting five in 133 games last year
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI — eight homers in 40 games this year after hitting 12 in 132 games last year … like Wade, he’s benefited from getting out of Trenton’s AT&T Park as a left-handed hitter
  • 3B Gleyber Torres: 0-3, 2 BB, 1 SB — that’s four straight games at third base … hmmm
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K — my guess is he gets the call tomorrow to replace the injured Jacoby Ellsbury
  • LF Clint Frazier: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 CS — 17 singles and 23 extra base hits (15 doubles and eight homers)
  • RF Mason Williams: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SB
  • RHP Domingo German: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 65 of 95 pitches were strikes (66%) … got roughed up a bit in his Triple-A debut last time out (five runs in 6.2 innings), so good to see him bounce back well this time out … 54/15 K/BB in 46.2 innings
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GB/FB — 24 of 39 pitches were strikes (62%)

[Read more…]

2017 Draft: Brendon Little

Brendon Little | LHP

Background
The 20-year-old Little grew up outside Philadelphia and was a 36th round pick out of high school by the Giants in 2015, though he didn’t sign. He got buried on a deep North Carolina pitching staff as a freshman last spring — Little threw four innings last year — so after pitching well in the Cape Cod League last summer, Little transferred to the State College of Florida. So far this spring he has a 2.53 ERA with 133 strikeouts and 33 walks in 85.1 innings. Because he’s now at a junior college, Little is draft-eligible again this spring.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-2 and 195 lbs., Little has good size and athleticism. His fastball sits 92-94 mph and he’s run it up as high as 97 mph this spring. Little’s breaking ball is a hard power curveball that misses plenty of bats. He also throws a changeup, but it lags far behind his other two pitches at the moment. His arm is loose and he generates his velocity with ease. Little does run into command issues at times, and there’s also some concern his short stride makes his stuff play down, pointing to a future in the bullpen.

Miscellany
In his latest rankings, Keith Law (sub. req’d) ranked Little as the 17th best prospect in the 2017 draft class. MLB.com and Baseball America ranked him 35th and 36th, respectively. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. Lefties with good velocity and an out-pitch breaking ball are always in demand, though my guess is the Yankees would prefer to nab Little (or someone like him) with their second round pick, 54th overall, than their first rounder.

DotF: Torres makes Triple-A debut, Austin has big rehab game

A few quick notes before we get to the game action:

  • I missed this yesterday, but SS Thairo Estrada was included in Baseball Prospectus’ Monday Ten Pack (subs. req’d). “His defensive ability and versatility give him a floor as a utility player, and he is capable of hitting well enough to develop into a regular,” said the write-up.
  • The Yankees have signed RHP Kaleb Ort out of the independent Frontier League, reports Matt Eddy. The 25-year-old has reportedly been throwing “95-97 mph with an above average slider” this year. Sounds a little too good to be true. Ort has never pitched in affiliated ball before.
  • The Yankees have released RHP Miguel Sulbaran, according to Eddy. Sulbaran has not pitched since 2015 due to injury, and he was suspended 25 games earlier this year after testing positive for a drug of abuse. Sulbaran is the guy the Yankees got from the Twins for Eduardo Nunez.

Triple-A Scranton (6-3 loss to Columbus)

  • SS Tyler Wade: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (throwing) — 24-for-74 (.324) with ten doubles in his last 17 games
  • RF Dustin Fowler: 0-4, 1 K
  • 3B Gleyber Torres: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 E (fielding) — nice Triple-A debut
  • LF Clint Frazier: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K — 23-for-79 (.291) with seven doubles and five homers in his last 20 games
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K
  • CF Mason Williams: 0-4
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 6/3 GB/FB — 72 of 102 pitches were strikes (71%) … he’s allowed 27 runs in his last 23.1 innings after allowing eleven runs in his first 29.1 innings
  • RHP Ben Heller: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — ten of 12 pitches were strikes

[Read more…]

2017 Draft: Adam Haseley

Adam Haseley | OF

Background
Haseley, 21, grew up outside Orlando, and went undrafted out of high school. After hitting only .275/.360/.407 during his freshman and sophomore seasons at Virginia, Haseley has broken out as a junior, and he currently owns a .400/.498/.688 batting line with 14 homers, ten steals, 40 walks, and only 19 strikeouts in 53 games. He also has a 2.51 ERA in 172 career innings on the mound, though his pro future is as a position player, not as a pitcher.

Scouting Report
A left-handed hitter and thrower, Haseley is an excellent opposite field hitter who can inside-out pitches to left field with ease. This year he’s shown more pull power than he had in the past, making him a more well-rounded threat at the plate. He also knows the strike zone and has above-average speed, making him an on-base and basestealing threat. His setup at the plate is unorthodox — Haseley hits from an extreme crouch with a fairly big leg kick — though it’s not bad, necessarily. Just different. In the field, Haseley shows the potential to stay in center field long-term thanks to his speed and reads, though there is some thought he’ll wind up in left field because his arm is average at best (despite his success on the mound). This is the rare college player with some untapped potential. Haseley, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 195 lbs., is just now figuring out how to pull the ball for power rather than settle for serving everything the other way for singles.

Miscellany
All three major scouting publications consider Haseley a top half of the first round talent. Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranks him as the 11th best prospect in the draft class while Baseball America ranks him 13th and MLB.com ranks him 14th. The Yankees hold the 16th overall pick. The Yankees love their up-the-middle athletes and left-handed hitters with power potential, which describes Haseley perfectly. Top college performers have a way of getting drafted higher than expected, however, so he might not be on the board when the Yankees pick.