Archive for Minors

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%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Apr
09

2014 Draft: Opening Thoughts

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2014 DraftIn my opinion, the 2013 draft was the Yankees’ strongest in several years. Obviously having three first round picks helped — their natural first rounder plus compensation picks for Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano — but they landed three legitimate first round talents with those picks, plus they unearthed some gems in the middle rounds. The farm system has been in need of impact talent, and they definitely added some last summer.

Thanks to their offseason spending spree, the Yankees forfeited their top three picks in this June’s draft. That means their first rounder is gone, ditto the compensation picks for Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. Their top selection right now comes in the second round, the 55th overall pick, but they could always surrender that to sign Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales. Heck, they could sign both and forfeit their second and third round picks. I’d bet against that though. Here is the team’s draft pool situation, courtesy of Baseball America (no subs. req’d):

  • Second round, 55th overall: $1,018,700
  • Third round, 91st overall: $585,100
  • Fourth round, 122nd overall: $424,000
  • Fifth round, 152nd overall: $317,500
  • Sixth round, 182nd overall: $232, 600
  • Seventh round, 212nd overall: $178,300
  • Eighth round, 242nd overall: $157,000
  • Ninth round, 272nd overall: $146,500
  • Tenth round, 302nd overall: $137,600

That all adds up to $3,202,300 for the top ten rounds, or $3,359,212 if you include the 4.9% each team is allowed to exceed their pool before getting slapped with the really harsh penalties, specifically forfeiting future first rounders. The Yankees did exceed their draft pool last year, but only by 1.4%. Exceeding by the pool by no more than 4.9% results in a tax of 75% on the overage, which is a pittance for most MLB clubs.

It’s easy to say the Yankees will grab whatever top talent falls into their lap for that 55th overall pick, and while that’s probably true, they have shown a tendency to take “their guy” in the early rounds. It’s not just SS Cito Culver and 3B Dante Bichette Jr., either. The Yankees took both OF Slade Heathcott and 2B Gosuke Katoh higher than projected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make it tough to pin down the players they could be targeting.

In the past, the Yankees were all about high school position players and polished college pitchers. The gears have shifted the last two years, as they’ve taken high school arms (RHP Ty Hensley, LHP Ian Clarkin) and college bats (3B Eric Jagielo, OF Aaron Judge, C Peter O’Brien) in the early rounds. In fact, they took two college hitters (Jagielo and Judge) in the first round last summer after taking one college hitter (OF John-Ford Griffin) in the first round from 2001-12. Is this a new trend, or a blip in the radar? I think it’s the former, but again, this makes it tough to pin down who they are looking at.

The Yankees are reportedly planning a huge international spending spree, and that’s how they will add the bulk of their young talent in 2014. Draft talent has come off the board much more linearly — the best players go early and very few fall into the later rounds, and those that do usually end up not signing — since the spending limits were implemented, so club can only add so much talent this draft. This year’s class is very deep in college right-handed pitchers and I do think the Yankees will look to replenish the pitching pipeline this year, at least in the middle rounds, but that’s just a hunch.

As I’ve done the last two years, I’m going to put together short posts for individual prospects in the weeks leading up to the draft. Here’s the Jagielo post from last year, for example. I used to group players together based on similar traits (college bat, power arms, whatever) but I think the individual posts work better. Because the Yankees don’t have a first rounder this year, I won’t be focusing on the top talents. There are plenty of places you can read about those guys. I want to look at players who could still be around when the Yankees pick. It’ll be difficult this year, but I think that will make it more fun too.

Categories : Draft
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Courtesy of Matt Eddy, here are all the players who opened the season on the minor league disabled list. Some of them are actually hurt, some are on the phantom DL as teams manipulate their rosters.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (5-0 loss to Rochester in seven innings)

  • DH Jose Pirela, C John Ryan Murphy & 3B Zelous Wheeler: all 0-3 — Murphy and Wheeler struck out
  • 2B Scott Sizemore: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 K — 6-for-12 with five strikeouts after this game, so it’s pretty much been either a hit or a strikeout so far
  • RF Zoilo Almonte: 1-3
  • CF Ramon Flores: 1-3, 1 2B
  • RHP Bruce Billings: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 54 of 85 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • LHP Fred Lewis: 1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — 11 of 17 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 14 of 23 pitches were strikes (61%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Triple-A Scranton Game One (3-0 loss to Syracuse in seven innings) make up of Friday’s rainout

  • RF Ramon Flores, LF Zoilo Almonte & DH Russ Canzler: all 0-3, 1 K
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 K — three weeks and four days until he can opt-out
  • 1B Corban Joseph & C John Ryan Murphy: both 0-3
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 31 of 47 pitches were strikes (66%)
  • RHP David Herndon: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB – nine of 12 pitches were strikes … I guess he didn’t opt out of his contract last Sunday
  • RHP Graham Stoneburner: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GB/FB – 25 of 37 pitches were strikes (68%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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OF Tyler Austin left Extended Spring Training in Tampa and is on his way to Double-A Trenton, according to his mother’s Twitter feed. Yes, his mother’s Twitter feed. Austin’s missed a chunk of last season with a wrist problem and it slowed him down again in camp. He was behind the other position players, so he stayed back in ExST to prepare. Glad he’s back so soon.

Triple-A Scranton‘s doubleheader was rained out. They will make up one game as part of a doubleheader tomorrow and the other as part of a doubleheader on June 26th.

Double-A Trenton (6-5 win over New Hampshire, walk-off style)

  • CF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — walk-off single … he’s off to a nice start
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — still looking for his first hit of the year
  • 3B Rob Segedin: 2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — has two hits this year, and they’re both doubles
  • DH Ben Gamel: 1-4, 2 K
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 9/1 GB/FB — 60 of 95 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K — 18 of 29 pitches were strikes (62%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Baseball America published a list of the youngest players at each level (no subs. req’d). Who is youngest player in MLB? Bryce Harper, even though he is now in his third big league season. Crazy. OF Ramon Flores is the fourth youngest player in the Triple-A International League, C Gary Sanchez is the sixth youngest in the Double-A Eastern League, and C Luis Torrens and 3B Miguel Andujar are the second and tenth youngest players in the Low-A South Atlantic League, respectively.

Triple-A Scranton was rained out. They’re going to play a doubleheader tomorrow. Donnie Collins says RHP Chase Whitley will start the first game, RHP Graham Stoneburner the second game. This will make it each to get both C John Ryan Murphy and C Austin Romine a game behind the plate.

Double-A Trenton (7-3 loss to New Hampshire)

  • OF Mason Williams: 1-4, 1 BB – threw a runner out at third
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-5, 2 K
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Jeremy Bleich: 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HB, 4/1 GB/FB — 50 of 82 pitches were strikes (61%) … not sure how starting will work for him, but he’s in the rotation because they need some arms early in the season
  • RHP Branden Pinder: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Sure, the Yankees opened their season in Tuesday, but now the 2014 season is officially underway. The minor league season started today and all four of the team’s full season minor league affiliates were in action. Here are some quick notes before we get to the games.

  • RHP Jose Ramirez (oblique), UTIL Ronnie Mustelier (hamstring), 1B Greg Bird (back), LHP Nik Turley (arm), and RHP Jose Campos (being eased back in) are among those opening the year on the DL. Slade Heathcott (knee) and OF Tyler Austin (wrist) are working their way back after being slowed in camp, like Bird and Campos. They should join their teams soon.
  • Following today’s starter, LHP Manny Banuelos, the High-A Tampa rotation will be LHP Eric Wooten, RHP Rafael DePaula, LHP Daniel Camarena, and RHP Brett Gerritse. Wooten is a former independent baller who had 88 strikeouts, nine walks, and one homer allowed in 90 innings at three levels last season. The rotations for the other levels can be found right here. [Josh Norris]
  • Here is Baseball America’s minor league roster analysis for the AL East, if you’re interested.

Since it’s Opening Day, here are the full lineups and results.

Triple-A Scranton (4-1 win over Syracuse)

  • 2B Jose Pirela: 1-4, 1 R, 2 K, 1 E (fielding) — led off the game with the team’s first hit of 2014
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 3-3, 1 R, 1 BB — can opt-out of his deal on May 1st
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4 — drove in the first run of the year with a GIDP
  • 1B Russ Canzler: 2-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI — he always mashes at Triple-A
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 0-4 — threw out the only runner who attempted a steal … as expected, he’ll get the majority of the playing time behind the plate.
  • CF Adonis Garcia: 0-4
  • RF Ramon Flores: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K — threw a runner out at home … very nice Triple-A debut
  • DH Austin Romine: 0-4
  • SS Zelous Wheeler: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K — was drafted as a shortstop and has played a handful of games there each year, so it’s not an entirely new experience to him … SS Carmen Angelini replaced him for defense in the ninth
  • RHP Bruce Billings: 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/4 GB/FB — picked a runner off first … 53 of 82 pitches were strikes (65%)
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight of 15 pitches were strikes (53%)
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 13 of 17 pitches were strikes (76%) … if he continues to throw pitches like this, he’ll be in the big leagues later this year
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, zeroes, 1/2 GB/FB — eight of 14 pitches were strikes (57%)
  • RHP Matt Daley: 1 IP, zeroes, 3 K — nine of 13 pitches were strikes (69%) … caps off an excellent day for the bullpen

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Baseball America published their updated farm system rankings yesterday (subs. req’d), which were topped by the Pirates. Even with RHP Gerrit Cole graduated to MLB, they still have a pretty stacked system. The Red Sox and Twins round out the top three while the Brewers and Angels predictably rank 29th and 30th, respectively. They never seem to have good farm systems.

The Yankees rank 13th, though that is because Baseball America considers RHP Masahiro Tanaka a prospect. Both Keith Law (#20) and Baseball Prospectus (#23) ranked them lower without Tanaka, understandably. “[Tanaka's] acquisition masks a down year from the system last year at the upper levels. New York’s volume approach internationally, plus three first-rounders in a potentially strong 2013 draft, infused talent to the lower levels,” said the write-up, which also listed RHP Bryan Mitchell as a sleeper. The minor league season begins today.

Categories : Asides, Minors
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6:00pm: Baseball America (no subs. req’d) has the individual slot values for the draft and international pools. The international slots are for used in trades. The Yankees are slotted for $1,018,700 for that 55th overall pick. Their third rounder falls all the way to $585,100.

12:00pm: Via Jim Callis: Bonus pools for the draft and international free agency have increased 1.7% this year. The Yankees have been slotted $3,202,300 for the 2014 draft, the second smallest pool, ahead of only the Orioles. They have also been slotted $2,193,100 for international free agency, which is more middle of the pack (17th most).

The Yankees forfeited their top three draft picks — their first rounder and the compensation picks for Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano — to sign free agents last winter, so their first selection is in the second round, 55th overall. That may change slightly if Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales ever get around to signing. That $3.2M pool still gives them enough cash to sign a big money prospect or two, as long as they grab cheap college seniors in rounds five through ten to compensate. They’ve done that the last two years.

Based on what we heard over the winter, the international spending pool is meaningless this year. The Yankees are said to be planning a huge spending spree, upwards of $15M on prospects and then another $15M in penalties. They reportedly have some agreements already in place. If they do spend huge like that, they will not be allowed to sign anyone to a bonus larger than $300k the next two years. That might not matter with an international draft looking more and more likely. The international signing period opens July 2nd.

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The RailRiders' Opening Day Starter. (Presswire)

Triple-A Scranton’s Opening Day Starter. (Presswire)

The minor league season starts tomorrow and the Opening Day rosters for the various full season affiliates are now available: Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa, and Low-A Charleston. Not sure why OF Aaron Judge is listed as a first baseman with the River Dogs, but it’s probably just a mistake. As always, the rosters are subject to change. Here are some more notes on the final day of the minor league offseason:

  • The upcoming Triple-A Scranton rotation will be RHP Bruce Billings, RHP Chase Whitley, RHP Graham Stoneburner, RHP Brian Gordon, and then TBA. RHP Shane Greene is with the club and will eventually fill a rotation spot, but he is not stretched out after pitching in relief during Spring Training. [Donnie Collins]
  • Neither C Austin Romine nor C John Ryan Murphy were told how their playing time will be split, though it sounds as though Murphy will be the priority, as he should. OF Ramon Flores and 2B Jose Pirela will be everyday players and RHP Matt Daley is the closer according to manager Dave Miley. [Donnie Collins]
  • The Double-A Trenton rotation will be, in order, RHP Bryan Mitchell, LHP Jeremy Bleich, RHP Zach Nuding, RHP Joel De La Cruz, and LHP Matt Tracy. Manager Tony Franklin confirmed the top four hitters in the lineup will be OF Mason Williams, 2B Rob Refsnyder, 3B Rob Segedin, and C Gary Sanchez. [Nick Peruffo]
  • In order, the Low-A Charleston rotation will be RHP Rookie Davis, RHP Luis Severino, RHP Gio Gallegos, RHP Brady Lail, and LHP Caleb Smith. Still no word on High-A Tampa’s starter for Thursday. [Josh Norris]
  • The Yankees have released another five players, according to Matt Eddy: RHP Kenedy Agramonte, RHP Zach Arneson, RHP Adam Smith, RHP Zach Varce, and RHP Derek Varnadore. Arneson, a hard-throwing but very wild reliever, was the team’s ninth round pick in 2011 and the best prospect of the bunch.

Update: According to Collins, UTIL Addison Maruszak has been released. Between that and Eduardo Nunez being designated for assignment, I have absolutely no idea who will play shortstop for Triple-A Scranton.

Categories : Minors
Comments (39)