Archive for Minors

Some notes:

  • The Yankees have signed Lander University SS Graham Ramos as an undrafted free agent, according to Matt Eddy. The right-handed hitter hit .339/.396/.507 with seven homers in 55 games this spring.
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell and OF Jake Cave were Baseball America’s Pitcher of the Day and Hitter of the Day, respectively, for their work yesterday. Pretty cool that Yankees farmhands swept the day.
  • Mitchell and RHP Matt Wotherspoon were named the Pitchers of the Week for the Triple-A International League and Short Season NY-Penn League, respectively.
  • Update: RHP Ty Hensley has been promoted … somewhere, according to Ian Clarkin’s Twitter feed. Short Season Staten Island or Low-A Charleston are the obvious landing spots. We’ll find out soon enough.

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

  • 2B Jose Pirela: 3-4,2 R — had been in a 7-for-37 (.189) slump
  • RF Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B
  • DH Kyle Roller:  2-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Austin Romine: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI — 13-for-40 (.325) in his last ten games
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 1-4, 1 RBI
  • RHP Chris Leroux: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 7/2 GB/FB — 52 of 79 pitches were strikes (66%) … so I guess he cleared waivers and accepted the outright assignment after being designated for assignment the other day
  • RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K,  1/0 GB/FB – 14 of 17 pitches were strikes (82%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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The crew at released the midseason update of their top 100 prospects list late last night. Twins OF Byron Buxton remains in the top spot and is followed by Cardinals OF Oscar Taveras and Astros SS Carlos Correa. The Cubs have three of the top seven prospects in baseball thanks to their high draft picks and recent trade with the Athletics.

Two Yankees farmhands cracked the top 100: RHP Luis Severino is 70th and C Gary Sanchez is 76th. “If Severino continues to fill the strike zone with three quality pitches, he’ll continue to accelerate his timetable,” said the write-up, which also said Sanchez’s bat “would make him a valuable Major Leaguer, even if he had to change positions, but he has star potential as a catcher.” As with all lists, the write-ups include scouting reports/grades and video, and it’s all free. also released an updated top 20 prospects list for each team. Severino and Sanchez top the Yankees list (duh), and are followed in order by 3B Eric Jagielo, LHP Luis Severino, and OF Aaron Judge. I’m pretty sure you won’t see Judge ranked that low by any other scouting publication, which is fine. I enjoy’s occasionally off the beaten path rankings. Again, scouting reports and everything else are free.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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1:43pm: The Yankees are one of three teams that have scheduled a private workout with Castillo, according to Ben Badler. Balder says Castillo is likely to sign within two weeks.

1:00pm: Via Ken Davidoff: The Yankees sent a contingent of four to watch Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo’s showcase in Miami over the weekend. Those four: international scouting director Donny Rowland, international cross-checkers Gordon Blakeley and Dennis Woody, and pro scout Jay Darnell. Their level of interest in unknown. Twenty-eight of 30 teams were in attendance.

Castillo, 27, was said to have an impressive workout with the caveat that it was only a workout, not game action. Walter Villa has an excellent breakdown of the day. Castillo worked out in the outfield and at shortstop, but Villa says the consensus is that he won’t stick at short and his arm isn’t right field caliber. He showed good speed and surprising pop from the right side. “I like him, he’s a Major League player,” said one scout while another estimated he would sign for $25-35M. I have no idea whether he is worth that money or a good fit for the Yankees.

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Some roster moves:

  • RHP Brady Lail has been placed on the High-A Tampa DL, according to Nicholas Flammia. Not sure what’s wrong with him, but it could be an innings management thing. It’s the time of year for that stuff.
  • RHP Danny Burawa has been demoted from Triple-A Scranton to Double-A Trenton while RHP Jaron Long goes from Trenton to Tampa, report Flammia and Matt Kardos.

Triple-A Scranton (3-1 win over Pawtucket)

  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • RF Zoilo Almonte: 0-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller & C Austin Romine: both 0-4 — Roller struck out once, Romine twice
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 5/4 GB/FB — 51 of 82 pitches were strikes (62%) … Good Bryan showed up today … he’s at 75/37 K/BB in 81.1 total innings this year
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB – nine of 17 pitches were strikes (53%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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John DeMarzo wrote an article about UTIL Jose Pirela and the prospect of a call-up. “He’s not a bad player. He’s a Triple-A, emergency call-up kind of guy that can help you … Not a bad player, but he’d be a utility player,” said a scout.

Triple-A Scranton (8-5 loss to Pawtucket)

  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RF Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K — in a 10-for-44 (.227) slump
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 1 BB, 3 K
  • 1B Austin Romine: 1-4, 1 BB
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 2-4, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB — 11-for-32 (.344) in his last nine games
  • RHP Bruce Billings: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 3 WP, 3/4 GB/FB — 52 of 86 pitches were strikes (60%) … so I guess he cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A after being designated for assignment the other day
  • LHP Jeremy Bleich: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 30 of 53 pitches were strikes (57%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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1B Greg Bird placed 12th on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet while OF Tyler Austin squeezed on in the In The Team Photo section.

Triple-A Scranton (10-2 loss to Pawtucket)

  • 1B Jose Pirela: 1-5, 1 R, 2 K — apparently he’s going to work out at every position of need at the big league level but not get called up
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 1-4, 1 RBI
  • DH Kyle Roller: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 0-4, 2 PB
  • LHP Matt Tracy: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HB, 2/3 GB/FB — 59 of 94 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 2/2 GB/FB — only 18 of 37 pitches were strikes (49%) … 49/26 K/BB in 39.2 innings
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 4 K, 1 WP — 18 of 24 pitches were strikes (75%) … 77/17 K/BB in 53.1 innings

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Via George King: The Yankees will be among the teams to watch Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo at his showcase in Miami (at Alex Rodriguez Park!) tomorrow. “He reminds me of (Dayan) Viciedo, not with the power, but with the way he plays and he has very good speed,” said one scout. “He is not (Yasiel) Puig. Some teams think he is a fourth outfielder but others believe he can be more.”

Castillo, 27, has already been declared a free agent by MLB and is free to sign. He is represented by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. “Castillo has good strength for his relatively short stature and is an athletic player whose best tool is his plus-plus speed … Castillo can sting the ball from the right side of the plate, projecting as a line-drive bat who hits a lot of doubles and triples rather than home runs. He’s an aggressive hitter with good bat speed, though his swing can get long at times and he will expand his strike zone,” wrote Ben Badler recently. Here’s the obligatory highlight video.

Because of his age, Castillo would not count against a team’s international signing pool, not that it matters for the Yankees at this point. They haven’t signed a big name Cuban player since getting burned by Jose Contreras, though they did show serious interest in Aledmys Diaz earlier this year and appear to be ready to get back into the market. I have no idea what kind of contract Castillo will command or if he makes sense for the Yankees, who already have two low-power outfielders signed for big bucks long-terms. Either way, they’ll be on hand to see up close this weekend.

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In case you missed it earlier today, I posted my Post-Draft Top 30 Prospects List this morning. There’s a new number one!

Triple-A Scranton Game One (12-4 win over Gwinnett) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain with two outs in the top of the third

  • LF Taylor Dugas: 2-5, 1 R, 1 BB
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — 13 homers in 101 games this year after six homers in 130 games last year
  • RF Zoilo Almonte: 4-6, 3 R, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K – hit two homers yesterday before the rain and the third today (that’s the * in the title)
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-5, 1 R, 2 K
  • C Austin Romine: 3-5, 1 R — 12-for-36 (.333) in his last ten games
  • RHP Joel De La Cruz: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 13 of 18 pitches were strikes (72%) … pitched before the rain yesterday
  • LHP Nik Turley: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 WP, 1 HBP, 4/1 GB/FB — 49 of 88 pitches were strikes (56%)
  • RHP Matt Daley: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 26 of 31 pitches were strikes (84%) … 46/7 K/BB in 31.2 innings at this level

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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"What do you mean I'm not a prospect anymore?" "You're a big leaguer now." (Elsa/Getty)

“What do you mean I’m not a prospect anymore?” “You’re a big leaguer now.” (Elsa/Getty)

The draft signing deadline was last Friday, and the Yankees were able to sign everyone they were expected to sign. There were no surprises, good or bad. Because they didn’t have a first round pick (or a supplemental round pick), this wasn’t the most exciting draft for the Yankees, who went heavy on college pitching and took a reliever with their top selection.

The Yankees did, however, add an amazing amount of talent to the farm system through international free agency earlier this month. My unofficial tally puts the spending spree at approximately $28.5M total between bonuses and penalties, though I’m sure there have been several deals that were not reported. Most of those players signed 2015 contracts and are not technically Yankees yet, so they are not included in this snapshot of the farm system. I usually wait until international signees show up in the U.S. to rank them anyway.

Two players — righties Dellin Betances and Chase Whitley — have graduated to the big leagues since the pre-draft list was posted late-May. I’ve been doing these for eight years and this is the very first RAB prospect list without Betances. I’m kinda sad. Another prospect, righty Rafael DePaula, was traded away just this week. Those three departures plus the draft and some stateside debuts have led to a healthy amount of turnover since the last list in May.

I feel like it’s clear who the top two prospects are (in whatever order), clear who the next seven prospects are (again, whatever order), and then a total mess after that with no obvious order. As always, this list is my personal opinion and based on how I value things like tools and probability and performance and all that. You’re welcome to disagree with the rankings. I’m sure you will. Rankings don’t mean anything anyway. They’re just fun to look at it. Anyway, the ages listed are as of today, and the levels listed are the player’s current level. The fun starts after the jump.
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Categories : Minors
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Matt Eddy (no subs. req’d) went back and ranked the most productive drafts of the last ten years. The 2004 Astros, led by Hunter Pence and Ben Zobrist, claim the top spot. The 2005 Yankees are eighth thanks mostly to Brett Gardner and Austin Jackson. I’m surprised the 2006 Yankees draft didn’t make the list. It produced arguably three of the ten best relievers in baseball (David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Mark Melancon) as well as the solid Ian Kennedy and serviceable Joba Chamberlain. I guess the WARs don’t add up.

Triple-A Scranton‘s game was suspended due to rain with two outs in the top of the third inning. They’ll finish it up tomorrow. Here’s the box score until then. OF Zoilo Almonte hit two homers already. Hopefully he’ll be in the Bronx tomorrow.

Double-A Trenton (5-2 win over New Hampshire)

  • CF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
  • LF Ben Gamel: 1-5, 2 K
  • DH Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K — 9-for-33 (.272) during his little eight-game hitting streak
  • 1B Peter O’Brien: 3-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 8-for-14 (.571) with four doubles and a homer in his last four games
  • RF Tyler Austin: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI — 15-for-36 (.417) with four doubles and a homer in his last ten games
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 7/8 GB/FB — 66 of 97 pitches were strikes (68%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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