Archive for Minors

Sep
04

2014 Minor League Awards

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Judge. (MiLB.com)

Judge. (MiLB.com)

After the nightmare that was 2013, the Yankees’ farm system rebounded to have a strong but not really great year in 2014. It was more of a normal season than anything. There were a few surprises, a few disappointments, a bunch of injuries, and several comebacks. Pretty typical year for a minor league system, and, for the Yankees, a typical year meant a huge step up from last season.

The team’s seven domestic minor league affiliates combined to go 387-373 (.509) this summer, so after having their consecutive winning season streak snapped at 30+ years last year, they got turned things around quickly. None of the four full season affiliates qualified for the postseason, however. Only the two Rookie GCL Yankees squads did. The system did not have at least one league champion for only the third time in the last eight years.

As a reminder, this annual awards post has nothing to do with prospect status. This is all about recognizing 2014′s notable performances in the farm system. Pure production with future outlook taking a backseat. These are also my awards and my opinions, so you’re welcome to disagree. There is no right answer with stuff like this. Here are my 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 awards posts. So, without further delay:

Minor League Player of the Year: 2B Rob Refsnyder
From start to finish, the best and most consistent player in the system this year was Refsnyder. The 23-year-old opened the year with Double-A Trenton, hit .342/.385/.548 (159 wRC+) with 19 doubles and six homers in 60 games, then was promoted up to Triple-A Scranton. Refsnyder hit .296/.386/.453 (135 wRC+) with 19 doubles and eight homers in 77 games with the RailRiders, giving him an overall .317/.385/.495 (~145 wRC+) batting line. The team’s fifth round pick in the 2012 draft led the farm system in batting average (min. 400 PA), doubles (38), and total bases (255) while placing second in hits (163). He also cut his error total from 25 in 108 games last season to 12 in 122 games this season. Refsnyder put himself on the map a year ago and this year he proved he was no fluke. He’s played his way into big league consideration just two years after being drafted and asked to change positions.

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This is the final DotF of the year, folks. The 2014 minor league season is over for all six of the Yankees’ affiliates. The Arizona Fall League season starts on October 7th — the Yankees are sending several high-profile prospects to the desert this year — and the other winter leagues start, well, in the winter, but we’ll keep you updated along the way. Until then, DotF is on hiatus until the AzFL.

Triple-A Scranton Game One (2-1 win over Lehigh Valley, walk-off style) completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain in the top of the eighth

  • 2B-SS Jose Pirela: 0-4, 1 K — hit .305/.351/.442 with 21 doubles, eleven triples, ten homers, 15 steals, 37 walks, and 73 strikeouts in 130 games
  • DH Chris Young: 0-3, 1 K — played yesterday, not today
  • PH-DH Scott Sizemore: 0-1, 1 K — played today, not yesterday
  • CF Zoilo Almonte: 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
  • RF Ramon Flores: 0-4, 1 K
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 2-3, 1 2B – played yesterday, not today … finishes the season with a .246/.292/.397 batting line and nine doubles, six homers, 13 walks, and 42 strikeouts in 51 Triple-A games, a disappointing follow-up to last year’s breakout
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-1, 1 2B, 1 RBI — took Murphy’s spot in the lineup today and hit a walk-off double
  • RHP Diego Moreno: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 5/2 GB/FB — 30 of 50 pitches were strikes
  • RHP Danny Burawa: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1/1 GB/FB – 26 of 44 pitches were strikes (59%) … back up from Trenton for the final weekend of the season … finishes the year with a 79/30 K/BB in 62 innings after a 66/42 K/BB in 66 innings last year
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 24 of 39 pitches for strikes (62%) … last year’s seventh rounder climbed four levels this year and posted a 2.67 ERA with a 83/18 K/BB in 60.2 innings
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, zeroes, 3 K — eleven of 18 pitches were strikes (61%) … last year’s tenth rounder climbed three levels this summer and had a 97/22 K/BB in 69.2 innings

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Just as a heads up, tomorrow will be the final DotF of the season since none of the full season affiliates nor Short Season Staten Island made the postseason. The Arizona Fall League begins in early-October.

Triple-A Scranton‘s game was suspended due to rain in the top of the eighth inning. They’ll finish it tomorrow. Here’s the box score if you can’t wait that long.

Double-A Trenton (4-2 loss to Reading)

  • RF Jake Cave: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LF Ben Gamel: 1-5, 2 K — had been in a 4-for-37 (.108) slump
  • C Gary Sanchez: 1-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • DH Greg Bird: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • CF Mason Williams: 3-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB — great game, but a little too late to turn his season around
  • RHP Jaron Long: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 10/0 GB/FB — 66 of 100 pitches were strikes … finishes the year with a 2.18 ERA and a 122/22 K/BB in 144.1 innings, third most in the system behind RHP Zach Nuding (153) and LHP Matt Tracy (149) … not bad at all for an undrafted free agent
  • LHP James Pazos: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/3 GB/FB — 22 of 35 pitches were strikes (63%) … finishes the year with a 75/25 K/BB in 67 innings

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Via Ken Rosenthal: The Yankees are unlikely to call up left-handed reliever and 2014 second round pick Jacob Lindgren in September due to workload and 40-man roster concerns. The team acquired Josh Outman on Thursday to upgrade over Rich Hill and add more lefty depth. Outman joins David Huff as Joe Girardi‘s two southpaw options in the bullpen.

Lindgren, 21, has already thrown 80 innings this year between college and pro ball. He’s reached Double-A and struck out 48 batters in 25 innings since signing, and a scout recently told John DeMarza that Lindgren could get big leaguers out right now. You don’t draft a reliever with your top pick unless you think he can get to the big leagues in a hurry, but Lindgren has already pitched a ton this year and the Yankees are facing a big 40-man crunch after the season. It would be disappointing if he isn’t called up when rosters expand but also understandable. I’d still expect Lindgren to come to big league camp next spring with a chance to win a bullpen job.

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Triple-A Scranton (3-2 loss to Lehigh Valley in eleven innings, walk-off style) their season ends Monday and they’ve already been eliminated from postseason contention

  • LF Chris Young: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K — if Jacoby Ellsbury‘s ankle injury turns out to anything more than a minor nuisance, Young might play more than originally expected come September
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 1-5, 2 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 0-4, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RF Zoilo Almonte: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
  • DH Adonis Garcia: 1-5, 1 R, 2 K — quietest 21-game hitting streak ever thanks to a stint on the disabled list
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB
  • C Austin Romine: 0-4, 2 K, 1 E (throwing)
  • RHP Zach Nuding: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 8/3 GB/FB — 63 of 93 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • RHP Bryan Mitchell: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/0 GB/FB, 1 E (throwing) — 23 of 38 pitches were strikes (61%) … finishes the minor league season with 94/45 K/BB in 103 innings … I assume he came out of the bullpen as a prep for that role come September
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 15 of 26 pitches were strikes (58%)
  • LHP Taylor Dugas: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GB/FB — seven pitches, six strikes … always rough when a position player takes a loss

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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OF Jake Cave placed eighth on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet while 2B Gosuke Katoh made the No So Hot section.

Triple-A Scranton (6-5 loss to Lehigh Valley)

  • SS Jose Pirela: 0-2, 1 K — left the game in the fourth for an unknown reason
  • RF Chris Young: 1-4, 1 K
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 0-4, 1 K
  • LF Ramon Flores: 0-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 E (fielding) — left the game in the eighth, a few innings after getting hit by the pitch
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K — second homer in his last six games
  • LHP Manny Banuelos: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/4 GB/FB — 48 of 73 pitches were strikes (66%) … finishes the minor league season with a 71/31 K/BB in 76.2 innings
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GB/FB — 14 of 19 pitches were strikes (74%)
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, zeroes, 0 K, 2/0 GB/FB — six pitches, three strikes

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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The Yankees have released both RHP Alfredo Aceves and IF Corban Joseph from Triple-A Scranton, according to Chad Jennings. Aceves was serving a 50-game suspension for a drug of abuse and was released as soon as he was eligible to be activated. Matt Eddy says they also released the just signed RHP Wilking Rodriguez. Maybe he was hiding an injury or something.

Triple-A Scranton (11-3 loss to Buffalo)

  • SS Jose Pirela: 2-5, 1 K — 15-for-41 (.366) in his last ten games
  • RF Chris Young: 1-4, 1 RBI, 2 K – first game since signing a minor league deal, and it’s no coincidence he’s playing right field
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder & CF Zoilo Almonte: 0-4, 2 K
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 1-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — 9-for-14 (.643) in his last five games
  • DH Ramon Flores: 0-3, 1 BB
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • RHP Chris Leroux: 2 IP, 9 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2/2 GB/FB – 46 of 77 pitches were strikes (60%) … egads
  • SwP Pat Venditte: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/3 GB/FB — 34 of 49 pitches were strikes (69%)
  • RHP Chase Whitley: 1 IP, zeroes, 2/1 GB/FB – eight pitches six strikes
  • RHP Preston Claiborne: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — 11 of 17 pitches were strikes (65%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Triple-A Scranton Game One (6-5 loss to Buffalo in seven innings) makeup of the April 25th rainout

  • CF Jose Pirela & DH Ramon Flores: both 0-4 — Pirela struck out once, Flores twice
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
  • 1B Kyle Roller: 1-3, 1 R
  • 3B Scott Sizemore: 1-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 E (fielding) – 9-for-28 (.321) with three doubles and a homer in his last ten games
  • LF Zoilo Almonte: 0-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • C John Ryan Murphy: 0-2, 1 RBI
  • LHP Matt Tracy: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 8/5 GB/FB — 55 of 94 pitches were strikes (59%)
  • LHP Tyler Webb: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 16 of 30 pitches were strikes (53%) … melted down in the seventh and started the five-run rally for the Bisons
  • RHP Edgmer Escalona: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 10 of 15 pitches were strikes … allowed Buffalo to finish off the comeback

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Via MLBTR: The Yankees were among the teams to scout Cuban left-hander Misael Siverio during a showcase event back in June. He is scheduled to throw for teams again on Friday, according to Jon Heyman. Siverio has already been declared a free agent by MLB and cleared by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, so he is free to sign at any time.

Siverio, 25, is a small guy listed at 5-foot-9. Heyman says he has a low-90s fastball with a “tight offspeed variation” that includes a curveball, a changeup, and a splitter. The recent history of Cuban defectors heavily favors position players, but both Orlando Hernandez and Jose Contreras (after he left the Yankees) had success in the big leagues not too long ago. The Yankees signed Cuban lefty Omar Luis to a $2.5M deal a few years ago and there’s no word on what kind of bonus Siverio is expected to command.

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The notes:

Triple-A Scranton had a scheduled off-day.

Double-A Trenton (5-0 win over Akron)

  • CF Jake Cave: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI — 9-for-18 in his last four games
  • LF Ben Gamel: 0-4
  • C Gary Sanchez: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — picked a runner off second with a snap throw
  • DH Dante Bichette Jr.: 0-4, 2 K — Double-A has not been too kind to him
  • RF Mason Williams: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 K
  • RHP Jaron Long: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 9/0 GB/FB – 116/22 K/BB in 132 innings for the hitting coach’s kid
  • LHP Jacob Lindgren: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1/0 GB/FB — up to 48 strikeouts (and ten walks) in 24.2 pro innings
  • RHP Mark Montgomery: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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