DotF: Gleyber Torres makes debut with Tampa

SS Gleyber Torres has reported to High-A Tampa, the team announced. SS Abi Avelino was promoted to Double-A Trenton to clear a roster spot. Also, OF Jake Skole was released.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-2 win over Buffalo in eight innings, walk-off style) makeup of yesterday’s rainout

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 K
  • DH Mason Williams: 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 2 R, 2 2B — scored the winning run on a walk-off wild pitch … 21 doubles in 66 games this year after hitting 23 doubles in 93 games last year
  • 1B Ike Davis: 1-2, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Tyler Austin: 0-2, 1 BB — 12 walks and 12 strikeouts in his last 12 games
  • LF Jake Cave: 0-3
  • RHP Vicente Campos: 5 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 8/1 GB/FB — 48 of 79 pitches were strikes (61%) … it took him nearly four years to get out of Low-A, and this year he’s zoomed from High-A to Triple-A … naturally, in his first Triple-A game he faced Jesus Montero, the guy he was traded for … Campos has thrown 121 innings so far and his previous career high was 87 innings back in 2013 … I have to imagine the Yankees will scale back on his workload soon given his injury history, they don’t want to push him too hard in his first full year back from Tommy John surgery

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DotF: A loss at every level on a rainy night in the minors

Here are the day’s notes:

  • Baseball America provided free scouting reports for all players involved in today’s Aroldis Chapman trade, so don’t miss that. It’s not behind the paywall.
  • RHP Vicente Campos has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton, reports Shane Hennigan. He’s replacing RHP Luis Severino, who was called up to take Chapman’s spot on the roster.
  • Also, RHP Conor Mullee was in the Scranton clubhouse today, according to Hennigan. Mullee is on the MLB DL with a hand injury and this might indicate he’s close to starting a rehab assignment.
  • RHP Will Carter has been bumped up to Double-A Trenton, according to Nick Flammia. Carter’s promotion is part of the Chapman-Severino-Campos chain reaction.
  • LHP James Reeves and RHP Chad Martin were named the Pitchers of the Week in the High-A Florida State League and Rookie Appalachian League, so congrats to them.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. They’re going to play a doubleheader tomorrow.

Double-A Trenton (5-2 loss to Portland in seven innings) completed early due to rain

  • SS Tyler Wade & 3B Miguel Andujar: both 0-2 — Wade drew a walk and committed a fielding error
  • CF Dustin Fowler: 0-3, 1 RBI
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 2 K — in an 8-for-40 (.200) rut
  • RHP Will Carter: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HB, 8/3 GB/FB — 55 of 85 pitches were strikes (65%) … Double-A debut for last year’s 14th rounder … he is the team’s second 2015 draftee to reach Double-A behind RHP Chance Adams

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DotF: Wade, Fowler, and Andujar help Trenton to a win

Triple-A Scranton (4-3 win over Durham)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-3, 1 R, 1 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — six walks and four strikeouts in his last seven games
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-1, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB — 19-for-48 (.396) with 12 walks and 13 strikeouts in his last 14 games
  • DH Jake Cave: 0-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RF Cesar Puello: 0-0 — he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the second inning for an unknown reason after running into the wall in the first inning
  • PH-RF Mason Williams: 2-4, 1 K
  • RHP Kyle Haynes: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 WP, 8/3 GB/FB — 65 of 104 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1 HB, 1/0 GB/FB — eleven of 16 pitches were strikes (69%)
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K — seven of ten pitches were strikes

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DotF: Hendrix stays scorching hot in Tampa’s loss

Triple-A Scranton manager Al Pedrique told Sweeny Murti that OF Aaron Judge should return to the lineup in 4-5 days. Shane Hennigan says Judge hit against soft toss and did some long toss throwing today, so he’s working his way back. Good news.

Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Durham)

  • CF Ben Gamel: 1-3, 1 R, 3 K
  • RF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB — that’s his sixth steal of the season, and no, it’s not a career high … he stole 15 bases (!) back in 2012
  • DH Ike Davis: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
  • LF Cesar Puello: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HBP, 3 SB — that’s hit-by-pitch No. 14 … no one else in the system has more than seven
  • LHP Dietrich Enns: 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1/4 GB/FB — 55 of 97 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 20 of 37 pitches were strikes (54%)
  • RHP Johnny Barbato: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1/0 GB/FB — ten of 19 pitches were strikes (53%) … he’s been really good of late, but this wasn’t his best outing
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 2 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 20 of 29 pitches were strikes … two-inning save in a one-run game in his second Triple-A outing

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DotF: Solak’s first pro homer helps Staten Island to a win

Here are the day’s notes:

  • RHP Chance Adams was included in the Helium Watch section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. Interestingly enough, the write-up says his changeup is more advanced than his slider, which is pretty much the exact opposite of everything I’ve read since he was drafted last year. Weird.
  • RHP Jordan Foley was promoted to Double-A Trenton and LHP Nestor Cortes has been promoted to High-A Tampa, according to Josh Norris. They’ve both had very nice years. Foley, the team’s fifth round pick two years ago, is a full-time reliever now.
  • Reggie Jackson is joining the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders ownership group, reports Shane Hennigan. He’ll be part of the ownership group and serve as a special advisor to the club. So that’s two celebrity owners in the system. Bill Murray owns part the Charleston RiverDogs.
  • Here’s a good story on the Pulaski franchise by Benjamin Hill. Two years ago the ballpark was run down and attendance was terrible, which led to the Mariners ending their affiliation. A new owner came in, renovated the park, hooked up with the Yankees, and now the franchise is the crown jewel of the Appalachian League.

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 win over Durham in ten innings)

  • CF Mason Williams: 3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB — 18-for-44 (.409) in his last eleven games
  • LF Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB — walk-off single
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB — picked a runner off second with a snap throw
  • 1B Ike Davis: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • DH Tyler Austin: 1-4, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Brady Lail: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 5/2 GB/FB — 43 of 70 pitches were strikes (61%)
  • LHP Phil Coke: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 17 of 29 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • RHP Gio Gallegos: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 Balk, 0/3 GB/FB — 30 of 44 pitches were strikes (68%) … 71/13 K/BB in 55.1 innings
  • RHP Nick Goody: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — seven of 13 pitches were strikes (54%)

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DotF: Adams dominates again in Trenton’s blowout win

The day’s notes:

  • OF Aaron Judge (knee) is feeling better and he took some swings in the batting cage today, reports Shane Hennigan. He hopes to resume full-fledged baseball workouts soon. There is no firm timetable for Judge’s return though. The Yankees are playing it safe.
  • Both RHP Brady Lail and RHP Jonathan Holder were bumped up from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton, so says Hennigan. Lail is back with the RailRiders and is taking Chad Green‘s rotation spot. Holder is in Triple-A for the first time.
  • I forgot to mention this yesterday, but Baseball America posted their midseason top ten Yankees prospects list. The whole thing is behind the paywall though. I will say this: it’s very similar to their preseason top ten, only with 3B Miguel Andujar and LHP Ian Clarkin replacing the traded Rookie Davis and the since graduated Rob Refsnyder. There are no 2016 drafts in these lists, otherwise OF Blake Rutherford would have made it too.

Triple-A Scranton (8-4 loss to Durham)

  • DH Mason Williams: 0-5, 1 K
  • CF Ben Gamel: 0-4, 2 K
  • 1B Tyler Austin: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K — 15-for-40 (.375) in his last eleven games
  • RF Cesar Puello: 0-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB , 1 HBP — that’s his 13th (!) hit-by-pitch of the season, far and away the most in the system (a bunch of guys are tied for second with seven) … Puello’s a hit-by-pitch magnet; he was hit by 119 pitches in 560 games from 2009-14 while with the Mets … that’s 34.4 per 162 games
  • LF Jake Cave: 1-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB — 9-for-24 (.375) during his little seven-game hitting streak
  • RHP Luis Cessa: 6 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 63 of 99 pitches were strikes … he allowed three homers, and Shane Hennigan says two were on changeups, a pitch Cessa is still working to develop
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GB/FB — 24 of 35 pitches were strikes (69%) … 68/7 K/BB in 47 innings at three levels this year
  • RHP Kirby Yates: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — seven of 12 pitches were strikes

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International Signing News: Contreras, Torres, Torrealba

The Yankees' academy in the Dominican Republic. (Groundskeeper.MLBlogs.com)
The Yankees’ academy in the Dominican Republic. (Groundskeeper.MLBlogs.com)

As always, the 2016-17 international signing period opened on July 2nd this year, and pretty much all of the top prospects wound up signing with the Padres. San Diego went on a massive Yankees-esque spending spree that has seen them pay out more than $27M in bonuses already. They’ll have to pay a near equal amount in tax too.

The Yankees, meanwhile, are still dealing with the penalties stemming from that 2014-15 spending spree. They’re unable to sign anyone to a bonus larger than $300,000 this signing period. That’s okay. The Yankees brought in a ton of talent back in 2014, and they’re pretty good at finding talent on the cheap. Both Jorge Mateo ($225,000) and Luis Severino ($250,000) signed for relative peanuts back in the day.

This signing period the Yankees had a $2,177,100 bonus pool to play with internationally. Also, any bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count against the pool. Teams can hand out as many of those as they want. Here is a recap of the Yankees’ international signings since the current signing period opened on July 2nd.

The Top Prospect: Roancy Contreras

The best prospect the Yankees picked up this signing period is Dominican RHP Roancy Contreras. We heard a deal was likely weeks ago. Ben Badler reported the signing and I haven’t seen his bonus anywhere, but I think it’s safe to assume he received the $300,000 maximum. Baseball America ranked Contreras the third best pitcher and the 25th best prospect overall this signing period. He was the top Dominican pitcher available.

Contreras, 16, is listed at 6-foot-0 and 175 lbs., so he’s not the biggest guy at this point in time. Baseball America’s scouting report (subs. req’d) says he has an upper-80s/low-90s heater and an above-average bat-missing curveball. He’s even shown a changeup already, which is rare for a 16-year-old. Contreras is said to have a sound delivery and good athleticism. It seems like the Yankees found him early, locked him into an agreement, then his stock improved.

The Other Top Prospect: Saul Torres

The second best prospect the Yankee signed this month is 16-year-old Dominican C Saul Torres. He received a $300,000 bonus, reports Baseball America. Balder’s scouting report (subs. req’d) says Torres has promising power potential and “an above-average arm with the blocking and receiving skills to stick behind the plate.” The Yankees generally do very well scouting and developing catchers, so even though Torres was not one of the top 50 international prospects according to Baseball America, I’m guessing the kid has some skills. The team’s track record behind the plate speaks for itself.

Taken from the Red Sox: Eduardo Torrealba

As you may have heard, MLB hit the Red Sox hard after it was discovered they circumvented their bonus pool last year with some shady dealings. The short version: the BoSox were held to the same $300,000 bonus limit as the Yankees, so they’d sign two players for $300,000 each, but actually pay one $10,000 and the other $590,000 (I don’t know the exact amounts, but that’s the idea). The guy getting the small bonus probably wasn’t going to get signed otherwise, so he made some extra cash for playing along. That allowed the Red Sox to game the system and sign some top prospects.

MLB found out about this and punished the Red Sox. They are not allowed to sign any players during the 2016-17 signing period, and all the players who were part of their scam last season had their contracts voided and became free agents. One of those prospects, 17-year-old Venezuelan SS Eduardo Torrealba, later signed with the Yankees for $300,000, reports Jesse Sanchez. (Torrealba got to keep his Red Sox bonus money too. Good for him.)

Now Torrealba is not some kind of elite prospect or anything like that. In fact, he was hitting only .247/.318/.247 (71 wRC+) with four strikeouts and ten walks in 22 Dominican Summer League games when his contract was voided. Badler’s scouting report from last year says Torrealba is a “smart, instinctive player with feel for hitting from the right side of the plate and the ability to use the whole field.” Badler notes he may wind up at second base long-term.

Small or Unknown Bonuses

Here is basically everyone else. The guys the Yankees signed to relatively small or unreported bonuses. Good luck finding information on these guys. We usually have to wait until they break through as actual prospects and come to the U.S. before we learn anything about them.

Assuming Contreras received the maximum $300,000 bonus, the Yankees have $1.355M in pool space tied up in the players listed above. There’s seven bonuses unaccounted for though. Last year the Yankees signed 57 (!) players even with the bonus limit, so chances are they’ve signed a bunch of other players and will sign more before the 2016-17 signing period ends next June.