Archive for Minors
- Double-A Trenton: LHP Francisco Rondon promoted to Triple-A Scranton. He’s walked way too many guys this year (6.34 BB/9 and 14.4 BB%), even after moving back to the bullpen. C Tyson Blaser was demoted to High-A Tampa.
- High-A Tampa: C Francisco Arcia has been promoted to Double-A Trenton. He and Blaser swapped spots, essentially. Have to think Arcia is just keeping the spot warm for C Gary Sanchez.
- LSU was eliminated from the College World Series today, meaning seventh rounder RHP Nick Rumbelow is now free to sign. He threw one scoreless innings in the event, walking one and striking out three.
- C J.R. Murphy: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K — first Triple-A homer
- 1B Dan Johnson: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B
- DH Randy Ruiz: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
- RHP Brett Marshall: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 WP, 7/3 GB/FB — 61 of 102 pitches were strikes (60%) … this start lowered his season ERA (6.94 ERA) and BB/9 (6.49), believe it or not
- LHP Francisco Rondon: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 5/2 GB/FB — 31 of 51 pitches were strikes (61%) … he was up to 95 mph with the fastball
Yesterday we learned the Yankees agreed to sign California HS LHP Ian Clarkin (1s) to a straight slot $1.65M bonus. Here are some more updates on various draft picks (draft round in parenthesis):
- Fresno State OF Aaron Judge (1s) has already been offered slot money, reports Jon Heyman. He has yet to accept, however. As the 32nd overall pick, Judge is slotted for a bit less than $1.68M. I’m hopeful this will get done soon, as in this week.
- Auburn LHP Conner Kendrick (9) has signed, or at least agreed to sign according to his Twitter feed. No word on the bonus, but he’s slotted for a bit more than $140k. Doubt he got any more than that.
- South Carolina LHP Tyler Webb (10) has signed, which you probably realized when he pitched in last night’s Short Season Staten Island game. Webb was slotted for just over $135k, but he signed for only $30k as a college senior with little leverage. Nice chunk of change saved there.
- San Diego State RHP Phil Walby (12) and Sam Houston State LHP Caleb Smith (14) both signed for $100k, report K. Levine-Flandrup and Jim Callis. The team announced both signings last week. Slot money for every pick after the tenth round is $100k, with any excess spending counting towards the pool.
- Oklahoma LHP Ethan Carnes (21) has signed for $75k, reports KL-F. It’s below-slot but there are no draft pool savings here. That stuff only applies to the first ten rounds.
- Texas HS RHP Shane McCarley (33) will talk to the team about possibly signing this weekend, reports KL-F. He’s a good but not elite quarterback prospect with a scholarship to Old Dominion in his back pocket.
- Washington State SS Ty Afenir (39) has signed, the team announced. No word on the bonus, but again, anything over $100k counts over the pool. I highly doubt he got that much.
- The Yankees have signed USF OF/RHP Chad Taylor as an undrafted free agent, reports Nicholas Flammia. No word on his bonus, but anything over $100k counts against the draft pool. UDFA’s almost never get six figures though. Most don’t even get five figures. I don’t know if the Yankees intend to use Taylor as an outfielder or pitcher — he did both in college and spent most of 2013 on the mound — but I guess we’ll find out eventually.
All of the team’s draft selections can be seen at Baseball America, and you can keep track of the draft pool situation with our 2013 Draft Pool page. It looks like the Yankees might wind up with enough leftover pool money to make a run at one or two of their late-round gambles — Missouri HS 3B Drew Bridges (20) and Florida HS LHP Nestor Cortes (36) seem most likely — though, we have to see what happens with Judge and California HS 2B Gosuke Katoh first.
In case you missed it late last night, RHP Rafael DePaula has been promoted to High-A Tampa. Here are some other notes and roster moves:
- Triple-A Scranton: CF Melky Mesa (shoulder), UTIL Ronnie Mustelier (groin), and RHP Sam Demel (unknown) have all been placed on the DL, reports Mike Ashmore. 1B/DH Randy Ruiz was signed out of the Mexican League to give the club another warm body.
- Double-A Trenton: LHP Matt Tracy (hip) was placed on the DL and RHP Corey Black sent back down to High-A Tampa according to Ashmore. Black’s recent promotion was just a paper move, apparently.
- High-A Tampa: RHP Shane Greene and RHP Sean Black were both promoted to Double-A Trenton according to Josh Norris. Greene has been awesome.
- Low-A Charleston: LHP Dietrich Enns has been promoted to High-A Tampa based on his Twitter feed. He’s been outrageously good and the promotion is long overdue.
- Miscellaneous (via Matt Eddy): RHP Cory Arbiso has been re-signed. He spent parts of five years in the system as an organizational arm before being released at the end of Spring Training … RHP Dan Mahoney and 1B Luke Murton were released. He led the system with 25 homers last year but he didn’t hit a lick this year (22 wRC+ at Triple-A).
Triple-A Scranton Game One (10-1 loss to Rochester in seven innings) makeup of the April 10th rainout
- C J.R. Murphy: 0-3
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 2-3 — 15 hits in his last 33 at-bats (.455)
- 1B Dan Johnson: 2-3, 1 R — ten hits in his last 28 at-bats (.357) with three doubles and two homers
- RHP Caleb Cotham: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 4/0 GB/FB — only 34 of 83 pitches were strikes (41%) … I can’t ever remember an eight-walk outing in all the years I’d been DotFing
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — 18 of 30 pitches were strikes
- RHP R.J. Baker: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 14 of 30 pitches were strikes (47%) … he’s the backup catcher, by the way
It has been seven years (seven years!) since the Yankees bought local right-hander Dellin Betances away from Vanderbilt with a $1M signing bonus as their eighth round pick. He was a consensus first round talent who fell due to signability concerns, and the Bombers took advantage under the old system. It was a great get at the time.
Unfortunately, the now 25-year-old Betances has made very little improvement in those seven years. The 6-foot-8, 260-pounder still struggles to repeat his delivery because he isn’t a great athlete, and the result has been just awful strike-throwing ability. In almost 600 career minor league innings, he owns a 4.9 BB/9 and 12.4 BB%. Last season it was 6.8 BB/9 and 15.7 BB%, which is why he was demoted from Triple-A Scranton to Double-A Trenton at midseason.
During the first month of this season, there was still no improvement. Betances walked 16 batters in 24 innings across his first six starts (6.0 BB/9 and 15.0 BB), which prompted the team to move him to the bullpen full-time. Brian Cashman admitted the move had as much to do with Betances’ lack of minor league options — he used his final option this year, meaning he will not be able to go to Triple-A without first passing through waivers starting in 2014 — as it did his poor performance.
“This is the problem with the development clock,” said the GM. “If he had two or three more options, we would keep working with him as a starter. But with him being out of options after this year, it is becoming more obvious that if he is going to help us, it is going to be out of the ‘pen … Every reliever is a failed starter. Mariano Rivera is a failed starter. He is going to the Hall of Fame, but he is a failed starter. We will see what we have here.”
Relieving isn’t completely foreign to Betances, who did it in the Arizona Fall League last year. That led me to believe he would open this season in the bullpen, but the team decided to give him that one last chance as a starter. He’s been doing the relief thing for a little more than five weeks now — he did spend eight days with the big league team as an extra arm, but he didn’t pitch and I don’t even remember him warming up — and the early results are positive:
Yesterday’s outing — his first on less than two days of rest — was pretty rough, which uglifies the overall pitching line a bit. Otherwise Betances has thrown an acceptable amount of strikes (58% compared to 55% last year) and gotten plenty of swings and misses (12%). He had walked only six batters before yesterday, including just two during one 12-inning stretch, which is substantially better than his career norm. Of course, we’re talking about 19.0 innings. Given his history, it’s impossible to trust that walk rate at this point.
According to Donnie Collins, Betances was sitting 93-95 mph with his fastball while topping out at 98 in his last outing over the weekend. That is a tick better that his velocity as a starter but not a huge spike. Besides, raw stuff was never the question here. Betances always threw hard and missed bats. The problem was staying around the plate, like basic strike-throwing. I’m not even talking about being pinpoint and dotting the corners, just getting around the general area of the zone was an issue.
I do wonder about the mental aspect of going from starter to reliever as well. Perhaps Betances has a hard time focusing and pacing himself as a starter — Tim Lincecum said that was the case for him a few weeks ago — and the bullpen makes life easier. He can focus on his two best pitches and adopt a simple grip it and rip it mentality without worrying about being efficient or having to turn a lineup over multiple times. I have no idea if this is the case, I’m just spit-balling here. There is a mental aspect to this that has to be considered though.
Relievers can survive with below-average command, especially when they can pump mid-to-high-90s heat with a swing-and-miss breaking ball. They aren’t ideal late-inning guys, but the middle innings need love too. Betances has another two and a half months to get acclimated to the bullpen and show the Yankees — and the other 29 teams, for that matter — he is worth keeping on the 40-man roster over the winter and carrying as a sixth or seventh reliever at the outset of 2014. The odds are against it working, but Betances has shown some improvement as a reliever. He’s gone from no-shot to long-shot.
Via Jon Heyman: The Yankees and supplemental first round pick Ian Clarkin have agreed to a $1,650,100 signing bonus, which is exactly slot money for the 33rd overall pick. This was the pick the team received as compensation for losing Rafael Soriano to free agency. The deal is still pending a physical, which he will take today.
Clarkin, 18, is a left-hander out of a San Diego high school. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball and also offered one of the very best curveballs in the draft class. His changeup is advanced for a prepster. Read more about him right here. As you probably remember, Clarkin declared his hatred for the Yankees in a pre-recorded video that was aired during the draft broadcast before saying he would need “life-changing money” to sign. Unsurprisingly, $1.65M has a way of changing minds. I’m pleasantly surprised the Yankees got him signed for slot this quickly.
Keep tabs on the team’s draft pool with our 2013 Draft Pool page.
Update: The Yankees have promoted RHP Rafael DePaula to High-A Tampa, reports Ben Badler. This has been inevitable for a few weeks now, he simply dominated Low-A ball.
Turns out that RHP Jose Ramirez‘s promotion to Triple-A Scranton is permanent, VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed to Josh Norris. It was originally expected to be a one-time spot start with LHP Vidal Nuno on the DL and RHP Chris Bootcheck in the big leagues. Ramirez had a 2.76 ERA (4.26 FIP) in 42.1 innings for Double-A Trenton this year, his first time at the level. So yeah, aggressive promotion.
Just as a reminder, the Short Season Staten Island season starts tomorrow. The two GCL Yankees teams start on Friday, and yes, they will play each other.
Triple-A Scranton (5-4 loss to Lehigh Valley in 11 innings, walk-off style)
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 3-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — 13 hits in his last 30 at-bats (.433)
- SS Albert Gonzalez: 3-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI — I know about the left/right stuff, but he has to be better than Reid Brignac, no?
- RHP Ivan Nova: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 9/5 GB/FB — 65 of 103 pitches were strikes (63%)
- RHP Dellin Betances: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HB, 0/1 GB/FB — only seven of 17 pitches were strikes (41%) … first real bad outing as a reliever
3B Eric Jagielo tweaked his hamstring in Extended Spring Training and will miss a few weeks, reports Robert Pimpsner. The Yankees selected Jagielo in the first round of last week’s draft and signed him for $1.84M a few days ago. That didn’t take very long, did it?
Triple-A Scranton (7-0 win over Lehigh Valley)
- C J.R. Murphy: 3-6, 1 R, 1 RBI — first hits at this level, this was his third game
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 4-5, 1 R — ten hits in his last 23 at-bats (.435)
- LHP David Huff: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 5/4 GB/FB — 37 of 56 pitches were strikes (66.1%)
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 0.2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — five of 11 pitches were strikes … I wonder if they’ll use him as a traditional one-inning reliever now instead of stretching him out for five or six outs
- RHP Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 30 of 43 pitches were strikes (70%)
The Yankees signed eighth rounder Georgia Tech OF Brandon Thomas to a below-slot bonus on Friday, now here are some more updates on various other draft deals (draft round in parenthesis):
- Both California HS LHP Ian Clarkin (1s) and California HS 2B Gosuke Katoh (2) worked out with the Yankees before last night’s game. Doesn’t mean they’re close to signing; high picks typically come in for a dog and pony show soon after the draft.
- Fresno State OF Aaron Judge (1s) is still negotiating with the team, according to K. Levine-Flandrup. He’s slotted for just under $1.68M, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was under contract by this time next week. Hard to think this will be a prolonged negotiation.
- Howard JuCo RHP David Palladino (5) signed for $371k, reports KL-F. He agreed to terms earlier this week. The big (listed at 6-foot-9) righty was slotted for just about $278k, so he got almost a hundred grand over-slot. Good for him. They must really like his arm.
- Texas HS OF Kendall Coleman (11) signed for $150k, reports KL-F. Like Palladino, he agreed to terms a few days ago. Any money paid to a player drafted after the tenth round in excess of $100k counts against the draft pool, so Coleman chips $50k off the ledger.
- Missouri HS 3B Drew Bridges (20) received a call from the Orioles gauging his price in the third round and from the Yankees in the sixth round, reports Anvil Welch. “The Yankees are coming in this week or next to talk contract … I’ll make a decision after the meeting. If I get the money I’m asking, I’ll sign. If not, I’ll go to Missouri State,” he said. I’m guessing Bridges is just a backup plan in case the team winds up with some extra draft pool cash.
- Florida HS LHP Nestor Cortes (36) hopes to sign and will pitch in a summer league in the coming weeks, reports KL-F. Sounds like a typical summer follow situation, where the Bombers scout him further in the coming weeks before deciding whether to make an offer.
- According to Baseball America, the Yankees have signed UNLV RHP Andy Beresford (19), Western Oklahoma JuCo RHP Alex Polanco (23), Adelphi RHP Dillon McNamara (27), and Hawaii Pacific 3B Chaunsey Sumner (32). No word on the bonuses, but I doubt they’ll impact the draft pool. Polanco is Placido’s nephew and McNamara is a local kid from Staten Island.
- The Yankees have signed Columbia RHP Tim Giel as an undrafted free agent according to his Twitter feed. He was the top prospect in the Ivy League coming into the spring. No word on his bonus, but anything in excess of $100k counts against the draft pool. An undrafted free agent getting that big a bonus is unheard of, however. He’s a four-pitch righty who relies more on location than pure stuff. Here’s some video.
RHP Jose Ramirez was bumped up to Triple-A Scranton, reports Josh Norris. Pitching coordinator Gil Patterson confirmed it is just a one-start thing though, they needed a starter after RHP Chris Bootcheck was called up the big leagues.
Triple-A Scranton (4-1 loss to Lehigh Valley)
- LF Ronnie Mustelier: 0-1 — left the game with “midsection tightness” in the third … no idea what happened, but the guy has such bad luck, just when it looks like he could get called up, he gets hurt again … same thing happened at the end of Spring Training
- CF Zoilo Almonte: 1-3, 1 BB
- C J.R. Murphy: 0-4, 1 K — allowed four stolen bases in five attempts as well
- DH Josh Bell: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB
- RHP Jose Ramirez: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GB/FB — 46 of 78 pitches were strikes (59%), and he ran his fastball as high as 97 … not too bad for a late-notice spot start/debut at Triple-A
- RHP Dellin Betances: 2 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 19 of 26 pitches were strikes (73%), and he was sitting 93-95 and touching 98 … 22/6 K/BB in 18.2 innings as a reliever
Via Jim Callis: The Yankees have signed eighth round pick Brandon Thomas to a $75k signing bonus. The Georgia Tech outfielder was slotted for a bit more than $150k as the 254th overall pick, but he signed for way less as a college senior with little leverage.
Thomas, 22, hit .321/.406/.445 with one homer and nine stolen bases in 53 games for the Yellow Jackets this spring, though he missed a bunch of time with mono and was rarely at 100%. The Pirates selected him in the fourth round last year, but he decided to return to school for his senior season. The Yankees made a real nice selection with Thomas, who signed cheap as a college senior and has more talent and potential than his draft position indicates.
Keep tabs on the team’s draft pool with our 2013 Draft Pool page.