2016 Draft: Baseball America’s Mock Draft v2.0

Earlier today the crew at Baseball America posted their second mock draft of the season. They have the Phillies taking Florida LHP A.J. Puk with the first pick in what could be a draft pool saving selection. The Phils could take Puk, sign him quickly and below slot, then redirect the savings towards other picks. The Astros did that a few times in recent years.

The Yankees hold the 18th overall selection and Baseball America currently has them taking New York HS RHP Ian Anderson. He’s from Shenendehowa up near Albany. MLB.com ranked Anderson as the No. 11 prospect in the draft class. Here’s the nuts and bolts of their free scouting report:

Tall and projectable with the ability to add strength, Anderson throws his fastball in the 91-95 mph range with good downhill angle. His breaking ball can be plus at times, getting swings and misses. It has slurve action at this point, but could tighten up and become a true slider in time. Anderson has good feel for an average changeup as well. He’s generally around the strike zone and attacks hitters.

It’s worth noting Anderson is committed to Vanderbilt, which has a history of getting its recruits to put off pro ball and come to school. It typically takes an above-slot bonus to keep kids away from Vandy. That’s how Dellin Betances landed a $1M bonus as an eighth rounder back in 2006. He was ticketed for Vanderbilt.

The Yankees haven’t had a lot of success developing projectable high school arms like Anderson in recent years, which is why they’ve started to skew towards college players. That isn’t to say they definitely would not draft Anderson this June, just that it would be going against the grain. We’ll see.

Baseball America had the Yankees taking California HS RHP Kevin Gowdy in their first mock draft last month. Gowdy seems much more up New York’s alley. Here’s my write-up on him. The mock draft is not behind the paywall, so make sure you check it out. Good way to keep tabs on each player’s stock.

DotF: Judge and Sanchez go deep again in Scranton’s win

LHP Dietrich Enns has been named the Double-A Eastern League Player of the Month for April. Congrats to him. I’m pretty sure these Player of the Months awards are new. Don’t ever remember seeing them before. Enns had a 0.00 ERA (2.63 FIP) in four starts and 23.2 innings for Double-A Trenton last month.

Triple-A Scranton (10-1 win over Lehigh Valley)

  • LF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K — second straight game with a homer and it came against former first overall pick Mark Appel … it’s his third dinger in his last five games overall
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — second homer in the last three games for him
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
  • DH Nick Swisher: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K — one scout told George King it is “hard to look at” Swisher when he runs these days because his knees are shot
  • RF Rob Refsnyder: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LHP Richard Bleier: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 Balk, 13/2 GB/FB — 63 of 93 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • RHP Matt Wotherspoon: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 19 of 29 pitches were strikes (66%)

[Read more…]

DotF: Judge, Sanchez, and Refsnyder continue hot streaks in Scranton’s win

Some notes:

  • RHP Matt Wotherspoon has been promoted from Double-A to Triple-A, reports Shane Hennigan. He’s from the Scranton area, so that’s cool. Wotherspoon has emerged as a sleeper because he’s throwing 94 mph with both a curveball and a slider. So far this season he has a 1.06 ERA (1.85 FIP) with a 33.3% strikeout rate in 17 innings with Trenton. RHP Vinnie Pestano was placed on the DL to clear a roster spot. I’m not sure what the actual injury is.
  • Also going to Triple-A is RHP Mark Montgomery, so says Matt Kardos. LHP Dan Camarena has been sent down to Double-A in a corresponding move. Montgomery has a 2.25 ERA (2.56 FIP) in eight innings with Trenton this year. He’s struck out eleven and walked six. Montgomery has split the last three seasons between Double-A and Triple-A.
  • To replace Wotherspoon in Trenton, the Yankees signed RHP David Kubiak out of an independent league and assigned him to Double-A, per Kardos. Kubiak, 26, threw 25.1 innings in rookie ball with the Rays in 2011. He’s been bouncing around indy leagues since. Kubiak allowed four runs with 20 strikeouts and two walks in 11.1 innings with Bridgeport Bluefish this year.

Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Buffalo)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 2 RBI, 1 K
  • DH Aaron Judge: 2-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 8-for-23 (.348) with three doubles, two homers, four walks, and three strikeouts in his last six games
  • C Gary Sanchez: 3-5, 1 SB — 15-for-45 (.333) with six doubles and a homer in his last eleven games
  • LF Slade Heathcott: 2-4, 1 R
  • RF Rob Refsnyder: 3-5, 2 RBI, 1 SB — 14-for-36 (.389) during his nine-game hitting streak … second straight game in right field, and Joe Girardi told Chad Jennings it was Refsnyder’s idea to spend some time in the outfield
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 11/1 GB/FB — 65 of 92 pitches were strikes (71%)
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — nine of 15 pitches were strikes (60%)
  • LHP Phil Coke: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 12 of 19 pitches were strikes (63%) … back into a relief role after making a spot start a few days ago
  • RHP Conor Mullee: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 14 of 21 pitches were strikes … 19/3 K/BB in 13 innings for the three-time Tommy John surgery guy

[Read more…]

DotF: Refsnyder plays right; Sanchez, Mateo, and Andujar all go deep

Both RHP Domingo Acevedo and LHP Josh Rogers were mentioned in this week’s edition of Baseball America’s The List for their big strikeout-to-walk ratios. It’s not behind the paywall, so make sure you check it out.

Triple-A Scranton (5-2 win over Buffalo)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-5, 1 RBI
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (missed catch) — 14-for-48 (.250) in his last 12 games, but nine of those 14 hits have gone for extra bases (six doubles, a triple, two homers)
  • DH Nick Swisher: 0-4, 1 K
  • RF Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K — first start in the outfield since 2014
  • RHP Chad Green: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 7/4 GB/FB — 56 of 85 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • LHP Tyler Olson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 25 of 39 pitches were strikes (64%)

[Read more…]

2016 Draft: Forrest Whitley

Forrest Whitley | RHP

The 18-year-old Whitley attends Alamo Heights High School in Texas, where he threw a 13-strikeout no-hitter last month. He missed about a month earlier this spring with a thumb injury that has given him no problems since returning. Whitley is committed to Florida State and there was some initial thought he wanted a huge bonus to turn pro, though that is no longer the case.

Scouting Report
Whitley went through a big growth sport as a sophomore and is now a massive human at 6-foot-7 and 225 pounds. He’s been as heavy as 250 lbs. at times but has done a better job with his conditioning lately. Whitley’s fastball sits mostly in the low-90s and it has touched as high as 97 mph during shorter outings. His top secondary pitch is a hard curveball around 80 mph. He also throws a low-80s changeup. Whitley is a good athlete, but, like most young pitchers this size, he battles his mechanics and struggles to repeat his delivery. He’s also maxed out physically. There’s no projection here.

MLB.com, Keith Law (subs. req’d), and Baseball America respectively ranked Whitley as the 13th, 16th, and 28th best prospect in the 2016 draft class in their latest rankings. The Yankees hold the 18th pick. Whitley has all the unteachables. He has the size, the big fastball, the power curveball, and he even has a changeup. What he lacks is general refinement. Getting a pitcher this big to keep his long limbs in check is not easy. That has never stopped the Yankees from trying though.

DotF: Coleman homers twice in Charleston’s win

Some quick notes:

  • LHP Dietrich Enns was including this week’s Monday Morning Ten Pack. It’s behind the paywall, so I can’t give away too much, but the scouting report is glowing: “Enns profiles as a major-league lefty specialist already, with upside beyond that. With further refinement of his secondary pitches and gains in stamina and command, I won’t be surprised at all if he’s holding down a spot in the middle of the Yankees rotation in a year or two.”
  • Thanks to last week’s combined no-hitter, RHP Ronald Herrera has been named the Double-A Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. Herrera is only 20 years old, you know. He’s nearly four years younger than the average EL player.
  • According to Matt Kardos, LHP Evan Rutckyj will have surgery tomorrow. He was placed on the Double-A DL ten days ago with a sore elbow. I don’t know if he’s having Tommy John surgery or something else entirely. Rutckyj was in camp with the Braves as a Rule 5 Draft this year.
  • The Yankees have released LHP Preston Jamison, reports Matt Eddy. The Yankees signed him as a minor league free agent back in March and he never did throw a pitch this season.

Triple-A Scranton (5-3 loss to Buffalo)

  • 3B Donovan Solano: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) — not saying he’s a call-up candidate, but hitting .306/.333/.353 won’t hurt his case
  • RF Aaron Judge: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • CF Slade Heathcott: 0-5, 1 K
  • 1B Nick Swisher: 1-4, 2 K — stupid Yankees didn’t call him up and now he’s in a 5-for-24 (.208) slump! … someone, somewhere is saying that right now
  • DH Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B
  • C Eddy Rodriguez: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB — E-Rod with a game that would make A-Rod proud
  • 2B Pete Kozma: 0-4, 1 E (fielding) — he’s hitting .138/.240/.200 … remember when it seemed like he would make the team over Ronald Torreyes? yikes
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 9/2 GB/FB — 49 of 81 pitches were strikes (60%) … fourth outing with the RailRiders is his worst
  • LHP Daniel Camarena: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 26 of 44 pitches were strikes (59%) … so I guess he’s back up here now

[Read more…]

2016 Draft: Matt Manning

Matt Manning | RHP

Manning, 18, is the son of former NBA player Rich Manning. He attends Sheldon High School in Sacramento and has a 2.51 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 14 walks in 22.1 innings this spring. His baseball season started a little late because he was focused on basketball full-time. Manning is committed to Loyola Marymount, where he could play both sports.

Scouting Report
At 6-foot-6 and 185 lbs., Manning is the classic “dream big” high school pitcher. He’s an excellent athlete with a loose arm who did not start pitching full-time until his junior year. During that time he’s upped his fastball from 87-89 mph into the 92-94 mph range, and the heater plays faster because he gets so much extension. He’s run his fastball as high as 96-97 mph in short outings during showcase events. Manning can spin a hard curveball in the upper-70s but the pitch lacks consistency. He doesn’t have a changeup or a third pitch in general, so that will be a project going forward.

Manning was ranked as the 12th, 21st, and 25th best prospect in the 2016 draft class by Keith Law (subs. req’d). MLB.com, and Baseball America in their latest rankings, respectively. The Yankees pick 18th. The athleticism, fastball, and promising curveball are enough to get Manning picked in the first round. He is raw and not someone who figures to shoot up the minor league ladder in a hurry. The Yankees have not had much success developing lottery ticket prep arms like Manning in recent years — Dellin Betances is by far their biggest success story — and as a result they’ve leaned towards college players. For what it’s worth, Manning is physically huge with a big fastball, and those are two Yankees trademarks.