- If you’re still holding out hope the Yankees will find a way to keep Gary Denbo, stop. The Marlins officially announced his hiring this past Tuesday. Here’s the press release. The Yankees have not yet announced who will replace Denbo as their player development department head. It might not happen until after the postseason.
- Matt Eddy ranked the 30 teams by farm system production, and the Yankees led the way with +13.2 WAR from their prospect class in 2017. The Rockies were a distant second with +7.4 WAR. OF Aaron Judge is the headliner, obviously, but both LHP Jordan Montgomery and RHP Chad Green had close to +3 WAR seasons too.
- Baseball America (subs. req’d) posted their 2017 draft report card for the Yankees recently. Most notably, the write-up says OF Steven Sensley has 70 power. Huh. Didn’t expect that. Sensley hit .292/.370/.584 (157 wRC+) with 13 homers in 50 games after being this year’s 12th round pick.
- The Yankees have re-signed C Francisco Diaz, according to Eddy. Diaz, 27, hit .261/.315/.322 (79 wRC+) in 58 games at three levels as an organizational depth catcher this year. This is at least the second time he’s re-signed with the Yankees as a minor league free agent.
AzFL Scottsdale (7-4 win over Mesa) Tuesday’s game
- SS Thairo Estrada: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K — the Summer of Thairo is now the Autumn of Thairo (the Fall of Thairo sounds bad)
- DH Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K
- RF Estevan Florial: 1-4, 2 K — threw a runner out at the plate
- LHP Justus Sheffield: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 6/1 GB/FB — 40 of 62 pitches were strikes (65%) … Keith Law and Eric Longenhagen had Sheffield sitting 94-96 mph … Law said this game was the best he’s ever seen Sheffield, and a scout told Josh Norris: “That was No. 1 starter stuff right there” … in a post (subs. req’d), Law said Sheffield was “absolutely filthy in his AFL debut, sitting 94-96 with a plus slider at 86-87 and above-average changeup at 86-89, better at the 86-87 part of that range”
- RHP Cody Carroll: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GB/FB — 16 of 31 pitches were strikes (52%)
AzFL Scottsdale (9-4 loss to Mesa) Wednesday’s game
- 2B Kyle Holder: 1-3, 1 RBI — looks like he’s a taxi squad player, meaning he is only eligible to play Wednesdays and Saturdays … he can still take batting practice and go through infield drills and all that the other days
- RHP Albert Abreu: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/3 GB/FB — 40 of 67 pitches were strikes (60%) … in his write-up (subs. req’d), Law said Abreu was “working at 94-96 and showing promise with both a low-80s power curveball and an action changeup at 83-86” … Abreu replaced RHP Dillon Tate on the roster for whatever reason, in case you missed that
AzFL Scottsdale (8-0 win over Salt River) Thursday’s game
- RF Estevan Florial: 4-5, 3 R, 1 K, 1 SB — in his write-up (subs. req’d), Law said Florial “swung and missed at almost every off-speed pitch I’ve seen him get this week … he has four tools, but the one that matters most isn’t here yet,” meaning the ability to make consistent contact
- 1B Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 1 K — first pro game at first base
- SS Thairo Estrada: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
- RHP Andrew Schwaab: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 12 pitches, six strikes … so I guess he filled that last TBA pitching spot
AzFL Scottsdale (6-4 loss to Salt Rivera) Friday’s game
- RF Estevan Florial: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K — now 6-for-13 (.462) through three games
AzFL Scottsdale (11-1 loss to Surprise) Saturday’s game
- 2B Kyle Holder: 1-4 — Wednesday and Saturday, so yep, taxi squad
- DH Thairo Estrada: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB — now 5-for-13 (.385) through three games
- RHP Cody Carroll: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 12 pitches, six strikes
AzFL Scottsdale had a scheduled off-day Sunday.
The Australian Baseball League season doesn’t begin until late next month. The rosters have not been released yet, so there’s no word on whether any Yankees farmhands will be out there this year.
Dominican Winter League
- 1B Mike Ford: 1 G, 0-5, 1 K — Ford will be Rule 5 Draft eligible this offseason and a minor league free agent next offseason, and when guys like him play winter ball, it’s usually because they’re looking for exposure … Ford hit .270/.404/.471 (144 wRC+) with 20 homers and way more walks (94) than strikeouts (72) at Double-A and Triple-A during the regular season
- IF Abi Avelino, UTIL Wilkin Castillo, RHP Raynel Espinal, RHP Anyelo Gomez, RHP Jose Pena, RHP Eduardo Rivera, and RHP Adonis Rosa are all listed on rosters but have not yet played. It’s entirely possible they won’t play either. They’re listed on rosters because that team controls their winter ball rights. It doesn’t mean they intend to play (or received permission to play) though.
Mexican Pacific League
- The Yankees do not have any players playing winter ball in Mexico this offseason. That’s not terribly uncommon. The vast majority of these players play in the Mexican League during the regular season, not affiliated ball.
Venezuelan Winter League
- C Francisco Diaz: 3 G, 1-10, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 K
- OF Alex Palma: 5 H, 12-22 (.545), 6 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K, 1 BB — looking to build on a strong regular season in which he hit .280/.322/.435 (120 wRC+) with 17 doubles and four homers (and seven outfield assists!) in 54 Single-A games … Palma is Rule 5 Draft eligible this offseason, though I don’t see him getting popped, even with the recent trend of teams taking Single-A and rookie ball kids and letting them get overwhelmed in the big leagues for a year just to acquire talent
- RHP Daniel Alvarez: 1 G, 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- RHP Luis Cedeno and RHP Gabriel Gonzalez are also listed on rosters, but have not yet played.
The Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League announced winter ball will not be played in Puerto Rico this year due to the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.