Archive for Minors
Matt Imhof | LHP
Imhof, 20, is a Bay Area kid from Fremont. He was not drafted out of Mission San Jose High School, mostly because he started out as a full-time first baseman and didn’t seriously get into pitching until his sophomore year. Imhof was a swingman as a freshman at Cal Poly (3.04 ERA in 47.1 innings) before moving into the rotation as a sophomore (2.74 ERA in 101.2 innings). This spring he has a 2.07 ERA with 88/22 K/BB in 61 innings across nine starts. He currently leads Division I in strikeouts and is second with 12.98 K/9.
Listed at 6-foot-6 and 220 lbs., Imhof usually sits in the low-90s with his fastball but will occasionally touch 95 mph. The pitch has some natural cutting action in on righties even though he delivers the ball almost straight over the top. An upper-70/low-80s slurve — not quite a curve, not quite a slider — is his go-to secondary pitch. Imhof has been working on a changeup since last year but it is still nascent. The coaching staff at Cal Poly has helped him smooth out and develop consistency with his mechanics, and that has allowed him to better command his pitches, especially down in the zone.
Baseball America (no subs. req’d) and Keith Law (subs. req’d) ranked Imhof as the 35th and 43rd best prospect in the draft class in their latest rankings, respectively. This draft is very deep in college pitching and while 6-foot-6 lefties usually don’t get lost in the crowd, Imhof’s lack of a third pitch could cause him to slide a bit in favor of more polished arms. The Yankees don’t pick until the second round (55th overall) this year and while Imhof is risky, he also offers quite a bit of upside as a high-strikeout southpaw.
According to Donnie Collins, it seems likely RHP Chris Leroux and UTIL Ronnie Mustelier will soon join Triple-A Scranton. Leroux was in Extended Spring Training getting stretched out while Mustelier is returning from a hamstring injury. He’ll presumably fill the spot vacated by the just called up IF Scott Sizemore.
Meanwhile, Triple-A Scranton‘s doubleheader was not rained out today. It was snowed out instead. Seriously. One game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday, the other in early-July. They’re up to ten games played and eight postponements now.
Double-A Trenton‘s game was postponed due to wet grounds. They will make this up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow.
High-A Tampa (8-7 loss to Clearwater)
- CF Jake Cave: 1-5, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
- SS Cito Culver: 1-5, 1 R, 3 K, 1 E (fielding) — already six errors on the season
- 3B Eric Jagielo: 2-4, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 13 hits in his last 40 at-bats (.325) with two doubles and four homers
- DH Dante Bichette Jr.: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — up to .333/.500/.472 in 12 games … yep
- C Peter O’Brien: 1-3, 1 R, 3 RBI
- 2B Angelo Gumbs: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — 9-for-17 (.529) in his last four games
- LHP Eric Wooten: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 8/2 GB/FB
- RHP Phil Wetherell: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 6/0 GB/FB
Low-A Charleston (6-2 win over Greenville)
- SS Abi Avelino: 2-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 E (missed catch)
- DH Tyler Wade: 4-5, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB – had four hits in his previous 31 at-bats
- RF Aaron Judge: 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI — 7-for-16 (.438) in his last four games
- 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
- LF Michael O’Neill: 2-4, 1 BB, 1 SB
- C Luis Torrens: 0-1 — left the game in the third inning for an unknown reason, so he either got hurt or traded in all likelihood … UPDATE: Josh Norris says Torrens was just under the weather, no big deal
- 2B Gosuke Katoh: 0-3, 2 BB, 3 K — no contact kinda day
- RHP Luis Severino: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 4/3 GB/FB – 40 of 67 pitches were strikes (60%)
- RHP Jaron Long: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 6/0 GB/FB — 57 of 80 pitches were strikes (71%) … the hitting coach’s kid can pitch a little, it seems
Derek Fisher | OF
Fisher is from a small town in Pennsylvania, a few miles outside Harrisburg, and he was drafted in the sixth round (204th overall pick) out of high school in the 2011 draft by the Rangers. He reportedly declined a seven-figure bonus offer and instead followed through on his commitment to Virginia. After hitting .290/.386/.495 during his first two years at school, Fisher is hitting .333/.393/.451 through 14 games this spring.
Fisher, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 lbs., is one of the best athletes among this year’s crop of college players. That says more about the draft class than his ability, unfortunately. Fisher is a good but not great runner, and he’s already relegated to left field because of his poor arm and okay at best instincts. He is good enough defensively to stick in the outfield long-term as opposed to moving to first base or even DH, but forget about center or right.
Fisher’s draft stock is built around his left-handed swing, which is quick and compact. He shows lots of power in batting practice but has not yet to fully carry it over into games because of a tendency to drop his hands and let his swing get a little loopy. His approach and ability to recognize breaking balls need work. If Fisher can learn to take his power from batting practice into games, he has all the look of a future middle of the order guy who can swat 30+ homers at his peak.
In their latest rankings, Keith Law (subs. req’d) and Baseball America (no subs. req’d) ranked Fisher as the 24th and 39th best prospect in the draft. However, Fisher’s draft stock has taken a hit because he broke the hamate bone in his right wrist sliding into a base recently. He is not expected to return until mid-to-late May, right before the draft. Teams won’t have much of an opportunity to scout him this spring.
Fisher came into the spring looking like a top 20 pick but is now likely to slide out of the first round because of the injury. He is a prime target for teams with extra picks or teams hoping to land a top talent in the second round after surrendering their first rounder to sign a free agent. The latter describes the Yankees, whose first pick is in the second round (55th overall) after their offseason spending spree. They seem to have renewed interest in college bats these last two years and there’s a chance Fisher will fall into their laps this spring. It’s a stretch, but not impossible.
C Peter O’Brien was named the High-A Florida State League Offensive Player of the Week. He went 13-for-39 with two doubles and four homers during the first ten days of the season. Not bad.
Triple-A Scranton was rained out yet again. They’ve played ten games and had six rainouts this season. Crazy. They’ll try to play a doubleheader tomorrow, but the forecast isn’t much better.
Double-A Trenton (2-0 win over Akron)
- CF Mason Williams: 1-4
- LF Ben Gamel & 3B Rob Segedin: both 0-3, 1 BB — Gamel was caught stealing … Segedin scored a run and committed a throwing error
- DH Tyler Austin: 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K
- RF Taylor Dugas: 1-4, 1 2B
- RHP Bryan Mitchell: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K, 3/4 GB/FB — 58 of 87 pitches were strikes (67%) … that’s a new career high in strikeouts for him, he had struck out ten on two occasions (once last year, once the year before)
Update: The Low-A Charleston game is over and has been added to the post.
Triple-A Scranton (7-1 win over Syracuse)
- RF Ramon Flores: 4-4, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB — had four hits in his first 27 at-bats of the season (.148)
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-5, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 2 K
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 3-5, 1 RBI — six hits in his last 12 at-bats
- DH John Ryan Murphy: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — five hits in his last 16 at-bats (.313) with three doubles
- C Austin Romine: 1-3, 2 R, 1 BB
- RHP Bruce Billings: 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 7/8 GB/FB — 54 of 90 pitches were strikes (60%) … helluva start
- RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2/0 GB/FB — eight of eleven pitches were strikes (73%) … 8/1 K/BB in four innings
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 17 pitches were strikes (76%)
Triple-A Scranton Game One (7-1 loss to Syracuse in seven innings)
- DH Jose Pirela, 2B Scott Sizemore & C Austin Romine: all 0-3 — Sizemore made a throwing error and struck out twice, giving him 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats
- RF Zoilo Almonte: 1-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K – threw a runner out at second
- 3B Russ Canzler & LF Ramon Flores: both 0-2, 1 BB — Canzler struck out
- RHP Brian Gordon: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 4/3 GB/FB — 61 of 86 pitches were strikes (71%)
- LHP Fred Lewis: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GB/FB — 25 of 45 pitches were strikes (56%)
In case you’re wondering, RHP Gabe Encinas is currently throwing bullpen sessions as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, according to his Twitter feed. He was on his way to becoming one of the team’s top pitching prospects before blowing out his elbow last summer. Also, no Yankees farmhands made the first Prospect Hot Sheet of the season.
Triple-A Scranton was rained out. The season started last Thursday and this is already their fifth rain out. Stuff like this is why LHP Manny Banuelos is in Tampa right now. Anyway, they’ll play a doubleheader tomorrow.
Double-A Trenton (5-4 loss to Erie)
- CF Mason Williams: 0-5, 1 K
- DH Ben Gamel: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
- 3B Tyler Austin: 2-5, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) — they said they wanted to try to maintain some of his versatility, so he’ll see time at third and first base in addition to his usual right field
- C Gary Sanchez: 2-5
- 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 K — 13 strikeouts in 29 at-bats
- RHP Zach Nuding: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 6/1 GB/FB — 58 of 88 pitches were strikes (66%)
- RHP Jairo Heredia: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 12 of 21 pitches were strikes (57%)
Baseball America published their updated list of the top 50 prospects for this year’s draft yesterday (no subs. req’d). NC State LHP Carlos Rodon came into the spring as the overwhelming favorite to go first overall, but his stuff has not been as electric this spring and he is no longer a lock to go even in the top three. California HS LHP Brady Aiken is the consensus top prospect for the draft right now.
The Yankees do not pick until the second round (55th overall) because of their offseason spending spree, but in all likelihood a few of the players in this edition of the top 50 will be available when that selection comes around. This draft is very deep in right-handed pitchers — 19 of the top 50 are righties — and really light on impact bats. The Yankees need some arms, and while drafting for need in the early rounds isn’t ideal, they could definitely add a quality pitching prospect to the organization with that 55th pick this year.
Here is a really excellent article from Ben Badler about teams scouting 14-year-old kids down in Latin America. Agents are scouting 12-year-olds. Thanks to MLB’s international spending restrictions, clubs are looking to find prospects and get them to agree to contracts as soon as possible to keep them away from the competition. You don’t need a subscription to read the article, so make sure you check it out.
Triple-A Scranton (7-2 win over Syracuse)
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1CS
- RF Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
- C J.R. Murphy: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K — four hits in his last nine at-bats after going 0-for-10 to start the year
- SS Zelous Wheeler: 0-0, 1 E (throwing) – left the game with some kind of back or side injury according to Donnie Collins
- RHP Graham Stoneburner: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 5/3 GB/FB — 48 of 76 pitches were strikes (63%)
- RHP Danny Burawa: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GB/FB — 20 of 30 pitches were strikes … 8/1 K/BB in four innings
- RHP Mark Montgomery: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 23 of 38 pitches were strikes (61%)
Triple-A Scranton (7-6 loss to Rochester)
- 2B Jose Pirela: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B
- 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K — eight hits and three are doubles
- C John Ryan Murphy: 2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K — that’s more like it
- LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 1 BB, 4 K
- SS Zelous Wheeler: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K – having a nice little start to the season
- RHP Chase Whitley: 3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/1 GB/FB — picked a runner off first … 38 of 51 pitches were strikes (75%)
- RHP David Herndon: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 23 of 37 pitches were strikes (62%)