Archive for Minors

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)
Apr
02

The 2014 Eric Jagielo Watch

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(Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)

(Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)

Two years ago it was OF Mason Williams, last year it was OF Tyler Austin, and this year it will be 3B Eric Jagielo. The Yankees’ first first round pick in last summer’s draft won our Prospect Watch vote convincingly, receiving nearly 29% of the over 5,400 votes submitted. That’s way more votes than I expected, so thanks to everyone for taking the time to click.

Here are the full voting results:

  1. 3B Eric Jagielo, 28.7%
  2. C Gary Sanchez, 22.2%
  3. OF Aaron Judge, 17.4%
  4. LHP Manny Banuelos, 12.1%
  5. OF Slade Heathcott, 8.6%
  6. 1B Greg Bird, 7.4%
  7. OF Tyler Austin, 1.9%
  8. OF Mason Williams, 1.8%

No love for Austin or Williams, huh? Cold. I guess they’ve already had their moment in the Prospect Watch sun though. Same with Banuelos. I suspect Bird and Judge will have their time in the sidebar in a year or two. With Heathcott already on the 40-man roster and heading to Triple-A this year, it’s possible he will go his entire minor league career without being part of the Prospect Watch despite being a first round pick. Weird.

Jagielo, 21, was the 26th overall pick in last year’s draft, and he signed quickly for a $1,839,400 signing bonus, which was exactly slot money. The third baseman out of Notre Dame hit .266/.376/.451 (153 wRC+) with 14 doubles and six homers in 218 plate appearances for the Short Season Staten Island Yankees after turning pro. He will open 2014 with High-A Tampa and a promotion to Double-A Trenton at midseason is very likely if he hits like he did with the Baby Bombers. For more on Jagielo, check out his Prospect Profile.

The Prospect Watch will be up in the sidebar tomorrow afternoon. Jagielo and his Tampa Yankees teammates open the season tomorrow night, as do the other three full season affiliates. Austin was a bit of a dud last year because of his nagging wrist injury, but Williams had a very strong year in 2012 and Banuelos was solid in 2011. Barring injury, Jagielo should have no trouble putting up big numbers in Single-A. If we doesn’t, well, that will only add fuel to the Curse of the Prospect Watch fire.

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Mar
31

Poll: The 2014 Prospect Watch

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Last year's Prospect Watch. (Presswire)

Last year’s Prospect Watch. (Presswire)

Everyone is focused on Opening Day tomorrow and rightfully so, but let’s not forget the minor league season is right around the corner as well. The four full season affiliates open their seasons this coming Thursday, and obviously this is a huge year for the farm system. The Yankees need some prospects to take steps forward with their development and stay healthy following last summer’s injury and disappointment filled nightmare.

If you’re new to RAB, one of our regular features is the Prospect Watch. Every year we pick a prospect and track his progress throughout the season in the sidebar. Past Prospect Watches include Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, Andrew Brackman, and Mason Williams, among others. Last season we tracked Tyler Austin, who put up a disappointing .257/.344/.373 (103 wRC+) batting line with six homers in 366 plate appearances for Double-A Trenton while batting a wrist problem. Hopefully 2014 will go better, both for Austin and the Prospect Watch.

As we’ve done the last two years, we’re going to open up the Prospect Watch decision to the readers. I used to just pick a top prospect — it was pretty easy in the cases of Hughes, Joba, and Montero back in the day — but this is better. I don’t think there’s an obvious choice this year. In fact, I think there are too many good candidates. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. Here are my eight hand-picked nominees (listed alphabetically) with their rank in my Preseason Top 30 List in parentheses. Vote at the bottom of the post.

OF Tyler Austin (4)
We’ve had the same player be the Prospect Watch in back-to-back years before (Montero) and I’m certainly not opposed to doing it again. Austin, 22, is only a year removed from his monster .322/.400/.559 (~163 wRC+) campaign, during which he hit 17 homers and stole 23 bases. It’s important to keep in mind that his wrist gave him a problem early in camp, so he will be held back in Extended Spring Training as he prepares for the season. He won’t be ready to go on Thursday.

LHP Manny Banuelos (10)
Banuelos, 23, was our Prospect Watch back in 2011, a year before his elbow starting barking. He eventually had Tommy John surgery and he has not pitched in a regular season game since May 2012. Banuelos is healthy now and will start the season on time. The injury makes it easy to forget how good he was back in the day, like when he had a 2.51 ERA (~2.18 FIP) back in 2010. Banuelos is the only pitcher nominee for the Prospect Watch, not surprising given the state of the system.

1B Greg Bird (11)
No one in the farm system had a better statistical season in 2013. The 21-year-old Bird hit .288/.428/.511 (170 wRC+) with 20 homers and 107 walks for Low-A Charleston last season, a year that bests Austin’s 2012 effort. Bird, however, dealt with a back issue in camp and he will not start the season on time. Like Austin, he will open the year in Extended Spring Training making up for all the time he lost this spring.

OF Slade Heathcott (3)
Armed with a brand new 40-man roster spot, Heathcott is coming off a .261/.327/.411 (104 wRC+) season with Double-A Trenton, hitting 22 doubles, seven triples, and eight homers while stealing 15 bases. The 23-year-old has the loudest tools in the organization and could put it all together at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, like Austin and Bird, Heathcott will start the season in Extended Spring Training. He’s working his way back from offseason knee surgery.

3B Eric Jagielo (5)
Jagielo, 21, was the first of last summer’s three first round picks. His pro debut was a smashing success: .264/.376/.451 (152 wRC+) with six homeruns in 229 plate appearances. Jagielo is slated to open the season with High-A Tampa and as a polished college bat, he should have a field day with Single-A pitching.

OF Aaron Judge (7)
The 21-year-old Judge was the second of the team’s three first rounders last year. He did not play at all after signing due to a minor quad injury, but he is healthy now and will open 2014 with Low-A Charleston. Judge is physically huge (listed at 6-foot-7 and 255 lbs.) and he has huge raw power, enough that he could become the organization’s first true prospect to hit 25+ homers since Brandon Laird in 2010.

C Gary Sanchez (1)
The system’s top prospect for two years running has not yet been featured in our Prospect Watch. Sanchez, 21, hit .253/.324/.412 (~109 wRC+) with 27 doubles and 15 homers split between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last year, and he will return to the Thunder to start 2014. Sanchez has the best combination of power, hitting skills, and overall approach in the organization, hence his status as the top prospect.

OF Mason Williams (6)
Two years ago we following the 22-year-old Williams and he had a marvelous season, hitting .298/.346/.474 (~125 wRC+) with 11 homers and 20 steals in only 397 plate appearances. His follow-up performance wasn’t nearly as good, just a .245/.304/.337 (83 wRC+) batting line with four homeruns and 15 steals in 537 plate appearances. The raw talent is there though, Williams’ tools are right up there with Heathcott. Remember, he’ll be Rule 5 Draft eligible this winter and a 40-man roster spot is a great motivator.

* * *

I opted not to include C John Ryan Murphy, my number two prospect, because there’s a decent chance he’ll wind up in the big leagues as a backup, sitting around for days on end. Don’t want the Prospect Watch to go unused. I was planning to include RHP Ty Hensley in this post, but his recent hernia injury will keep him out for a few weeks. Others like 2B Gosuke Katoh and RHP Luis Severino fell victim to the numbers crunch. They’ll have more chances in the future.

The poll will remain open until 10am-ish ET on Wednesday, so you have plenty of time to vote if you’re unable to make up your mind right now. I know I can’t, so you’re not alone. Here’s the poll:

Update: Poll’s closed! Thanks for voting!

Categories : Minors, Polls
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