Archive for Minors

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.

Categories : Asides, Draft
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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%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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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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