DotF: Andujar continues to struggle in winter ball

MLB.com put together a neat feature on OF Estevan Florial, who is a star prospect on the field and the team chef off the field. Florial regularly cooked for his teammates while playing in the Arizona Fall League this year. Pretty cool. The video if above. Here are some minor league notes:

  • Jim Callis ranked the top 25 prospects in the AzFL this year. Braves OF Ronald Acuna topped the list, predictably. Florial (No. 8), LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 9), RHP Albert Abreu (No. 10), SS Thairo Estrada (No. 15), and RHP Cody Carroll (No. 23) all made the list.
  • Bill Mitchell also ranked the top AzFL prospects. He ranked ten. Acuna was No. 1, of course. Sheffield (No. 4), Abreu (No. 5), and Florial (No. 8) all made the top ten while Estrada earned an honorable mention. Sheffield and Abreu above Indians C Francisco Mejia is pretty wild. Mejia is a top ten prospect in baseball in my opinion.
  • Jonathan Mayo wrote about the top breakout prospects in the AzFL. Abreu, Carroll, and Estrada were among them. Also, Mike Rosenbaum wrote about AzFL prospects who most stood out to him. Estrada and Carroll both made his write-up. Carroll’s getting some love this fall, huh?
  • The Yankees signed C Chace Numata to a minor league deal, according to Matt Eddy. The 25-year-old is a former 14th round pick. He hit .249/.318/.351 (83 wRC+) in 84 Double-A games with the Phillies this season. Numata’s an organizational depth catcher.

Arizona Fall League

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 20 G, 27-79 (.342), 13 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 R, 3 BB, 19 K, 3 SB, 1 CS, 2 HBP (.342/.381/.430) — all told, the Summer of Thairo featured a .307/.356/.397 line in 142 games this year
  • OF Estevan Florial: 19 G, 20-70 (.286), 14 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 4 RBI, 10 BB, 29 K, 2 SB, 2 CS, 1 HBP (.286/.383/.414) — considering he only has about a month of High-A time under his belt, this was a real nice AzFL showing for Florial … too many strikeouts, for sure, but everything else looks good
  • SS Kyle Holder: 11 G, 15-45 (.333), 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 CS, 1 HBP (.333/.367/.511) — hot take: Holder’s going to be on the 40-man roster 12 months from now … he’ll be Rule 5 Draft eligible next year and the bat is kinda sorta starting to come around
  • 1B/OF Billy McKinney: 19 G, 19-68 (.279), 8 R, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 11 BB, 16 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP (.279/.373/.426) — thought he would’ve hit for more power out here given his regular season, but weird things happen in 19-game samples
  • RHP Albert Abreu: 6 G, 6 GS, 27.2 IP, 21 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 14 BB, 23 K, 3 HR (2.60 ERA and 1.27 WHIP) — a few too many walks, but otherwise that’s a really strong AzFL showing
  • RHP Cody Carroll: 9 G, 11.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 18 K (0.00 ERA and 0.60 WHIP) — seven pitchers did not allow a run in the AzFL this year and Carroll led those seven in innings
  • RHP Andrew Schwaab: 9 G, 11.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 7 BB, 8 K, 1 HB (6.35 ERA and 1.85 WHIP)
  • LHP Justus Sheffield: 5 G, 5 GS, 20.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 22 K, 3 WP (3.10 ERA and 0.84 WHIP)

The AzFL season ended a few weeks go — the Peoria Javelinas beat the Mesa Solar Sox in the Championship Game — so those stats are final.

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DotF: Justus Sheffield exits final AzFL start with an injury

LHP Justus Sheffield was removed from yesterday’s Arizona Fall League start after two innings as a precaution after taking a line drive to his left thigh. The video is above. That’s going to leave a bruise. The AzFL season ends Thursday, so that was his final start. Tough way to end the season, but a good season it was. Here are some other minor league notes:

  • Randy Miller spoke to a scout who saw all seven players the Yankees sent to the Arizona Fall League this year, so check that out. The six actual prospects the team sent to the AzFL received strong reports. (Sorry, RHP Andrew Schwaab.)
  • Danny Wild spoke to RHP Cody Carroll about his career to date, and the things he’s working on in the AzFL. Carroll throw very hard. The goal now is to improve his secondary stuff and command.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 5), RHP Albert Abreu (No. 6), and SS Thairo Estrada (No. 10) all appeared on last week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. The AzFL is usually very hitter friendly. Glad to see the Sheffield and Abreu are doing well out there.

Arizona Fall League

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 17 G, 24-68, 12 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 19 K, 2 BB, 1 CS, 2 HBP (.353/.397/.426) — lotta strikeouts for the contact guy
  • OF Estevan Florial: 16 G, 15-59, 11 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 10 BB, 24 K, 2 SB, 2 CS, 1 HBP (.254/.371/.339) — started great, but he’s hit the skids the last week or two … he’s in a 4-for-32 (.125) rut at the moment
  • SS Kyle Holder: 10 G, 14-40, 4 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 CS, 1 HBP (.350/.386/.525) — had a great second half and a great AzFL … I think next year will be a big year for him
  • 1B/OF Billy McKinney: 16 G, 17-57, 8 R, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 20 RBI, 11 BB, 13 K, 1 SB, 1 HBP (.290/.391/.455) — so far he’s played nine games at first base, six in left field, and one at DH
  • RHP Albert Abreu: 5 G, 5 GS, 22.2 IP, 15 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 12 BB, 23 K, 3 HR (3.18 ERA and 1.19 WHIP) — at one of his recent starts, Jonathan Mayo had Abreu at 92-96 mph with his fastball, 88-91 with his changeup, and 80-82 with the curveball … Mayo also mentioned Abreu as a possible top 100 prospect in a recent mailbag
  • RHP Cody Carroll: 8 G, 10.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 16 K (0.00 ERA and 0.56 WHIP) — lights out
  • RHP Andrew Schwaab: 8 G, 9.1 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, 1 HB (6.75 ERA and 1.93 WHIP)
  • LHP Justus Sheffield: 5 G, 5 GS, 20.1 IP, 14 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 22 K, 3 WP (3.10 ERA and 0.84 WHIP)

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DotF: Austin heads to winter ball, Abreu dominates in AzFL

Last week SS Thairo Estrada finished third in the annual Arizona Fall League Hitting Challenge behind Twins 3B Chris Paul and Mets C Tomas Nido. During the Hitting Challenge players aim for targets on the field to accumulate points. It’s pretty neat. The video is above. Here are some minor league notes:

  • SS Gleyber Torres has started hitting off a tee as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery, according to his Instagram feed. Good news. Seems everything is going well. Torres blew out his non-throwing elbow sliding into home plate in June and is expected to be ready in time for Spring Training.
  • Both 3B Miguel Andujar and 1B Tyler Austin will play winter ball in the Dominican Republic this winter, according to MLB Pipeline. Austin missed a bunch of time with injuries this past season, and could be a 40-man roster casualty this winter. Andujar needs to work on his defense. The more reps, the better.
  • LHP Justus Sheffield (No. 1) topped last week’s Prospect Hot Sheet following his dominant Arizona Fall League debut, then both RHP Albert Abreu (No. 2 ) and OF Estevan Florial (No. 7 ) made this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. I can’t remember the last time the Yankees had this strong a group of prospects in the AzFL.
  • Player development analyst Dan Greenlee has left the Yankees to join Gary Denbo with the Marlins, reports Joel Sherman. Greenlee will be Miami’s director of player personnel, which is quite the promotion. He’d been doing minor league analytical work for the Yankees.
  • The Yankees have started interviewing internal candidates to replace Denbo, reports George King. Pro scouting director Kevin Reese, director of minor league operations Eric Schmitt, director of performance science John Kremer, and field coordinator Carlos Mendoza have interviewed so far.
  • So long, 1B Ji-Man Choi. He elected free agency, reports Matt Eddy. We’ll always have those dingers. Also, the Yankees re-signed C Sharif Othman. The organizational depth catcher hit .223/.265/.345 (74 wRC+) in 72 games at three levels in 2017.

Arizona Fall League

  • SS Thairo Estrada: 10 G, 16-41, 9 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 2 HBP, 2 SB (.390/.432/.512)
  • OF Estevan Florial: 10 G, 12-38, 9 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 18 K, 1 HBP, 1 SB, 1 CS (.316/.422/.447) — Josh Norris said Florial got chewed up by breaking balls in one of the games he saw, which included six swings and misses on breaking stuff
  • SS Kyle Holder: 6 G, 10-24, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 CS (.417/.444/.625) — he’s on the taxi squad, so he only plays Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • 1B/OF Billy McKinney: 9 G, 11-36, 5 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP (.306/.372/.528) — so far he’s played five games at first base, three in left field, and one at DH … some AzFL parks are equipped with Statcast, and among the games recorded, McKinney had one of the ten hardest hit balls
  • RHP Albert Abreu: 3 G, 3 GS, 15 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 15 K, 1 HR (1.20 ERA and 0.80 WHIP)
  • RHP Cody Carroll: 5 G, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 11 K (0.00 ERA and 0.86 WHIP)
  • RHP Andrew Schwaab: 5 G, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HB (8.31 ERA and 1.85 WHIP)
  • LHP Justus Sheffield: 4 G, 4 GS, 19 IP, 13 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 21 K, 1 WP (2.39 ERA and 0.79 WHIP) — Josh Norris has a write-up of Sheffield’s second AzFL start, and said his stuff was as good as his first start … “The 21-year-old sat between 94-97 mph with his fastball for most of his 4.1 inning out and touched 98 once. Just like he did on Tuesday, he also showed two potential plus offerings in his mid-80s slider and high-80s slider,” said the report.

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DotF: Sheffield dominant in Arizona Fall League opener

Now that the various fall and winter leagues have started their seasons, it’s time for a minor league update. I usually only do these once a week during the offseason. Before we get to the game action, here are some stray notes and links.

  • 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%)

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DotF: Scranton’s season ends with Championship Series loss

Triple-A Scranton (6-4 loss to Durham) they lost the best-of-five International League Championship Series three games to one, so they will not repeat as Triple-A champs … their season is over

  • CF Mason Williams: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
  • 2B Donovan Solano: 1-5 — went 13-for-33 (.394) n the postseason
  • RF Billy McKinney: 1-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 K
  • DH Mike Ford: 3-5, 1 R, 2 2B — he did his part
  • 1B Garrett Cooper: 1-4, 1 HBP
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 E (missed catch) — the missed catch on a play at the plate allowed a run to score
  • LF Jake Cave: 0-5, 1 RBI, 3 K — went 1-for-23 (.043) with 12 strikeouts in the postseason
  • SS Jonathan Diaz: 1-1, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 HBP
  • RHP Brady Lail: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 49 of 76 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • RHP Jonathan Holder: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 26 of 38 pitches were strikes (68%)
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — eight pitches, eleven strikes

The season is over for Double-A Trenton, High-A Tampa, Low-A Charleston, Short Season Staten Island, Rookie Pulaski, and the two Rookie GCL Yanks affiliates. GCL East won their league championship while GCL West did not qualify for the postseason. Every other affiliate has been knocked out of the postseason.

Two things now that the minor league season is over for the Yankees affiliates. One, I imagine there will be a few September call-ups tomorrow. Holder, Andujar, Higashioka, and Cooper seem likely. Domingo German too. And two, no more DotF. Season’s over. The minor league updates will return once the Arizona Fall League begins in October, though I usually only do those weekly or bi-weekly. Not every night. Thanks for sticking around and reading for another season, folks.

Update: Andujar and Holder will join the Yankees tomorrow, according to Conor Foley. Higashioka and German are going to Tampa to continue working, to stay sharp in case they’re needed later. No idea what’s up with Cooper. If he doesn’t get called up … yikes. Doesn’t bode well for his future in the organization.

DotF: Adams and Carter struggle in postseason losses

A couple notes before we get to the games:

  • Baseball America posted the Yankees’ Instructional League roster, if you’re interested. As always, it is mostly lower level kids and recent draftees, as well as Arizona Fall League players who need to stay sharp the next few weeks. Instructs should be starting any day, if they haven’t already.
  • Keith Law (subs. req’d) posted a bunch of scouting notes on Yankees prospects. He reiterated RHP Dillon Tate was back to where he was at the time of the 2015 draft — which means he still needs to improve his command — and also praised RHP Jonathan Loaisiga. “He has quickly established himself as one of the system’s best starting pitching prospects. Loaisiga was 92-96 that evening with a power two-plane curveball at 80-84 and some feel for a changeup at 85-87 … I like his chances to remain a starter given the potential for three pitches and the way he repeats his delivery,” said Law of Johnny Lasagna.

Triple-A Scranton (6-2 loss to Durham) they trail the best-of-five International League Championship Series two games to one

  • CF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • 2B Donovan Solano: 2-5, 1 RBI — he’s been their best player all postseason
  • RF Billy McKinney: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 K — 4-for-28 (.143) in the postseason and hitless in this series
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 0-4, 3 K
  • 1B Garrett Cooper: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 K — 13-for-40 (.325) in his last ten games overall
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
  • RHP Chance Adams: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1/5 GB/FB — 47 of 80 pitches were strikes (59%) … shortest start of the season (that didn’t involve a rain delay)
  • RHP J.P. Feyereisen: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0/2 GB/FB — ten of 14 pitches were strikes (71%)

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DotF: German dominates, Scranton evens championship series

Triple-A Scranton (4-0 win over Durham) the best-of-five International League Championship Series is now tied at a game apiece

  • CF Mason Williams: 1-5, 1 R, 1 K
  • 2B Donovan Solano: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB — he’s been a beast all postseason
  • RF Billy McKinney: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
  • 3B Miguel Andujar: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • DH Garrett Cooper: 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI — got a hit against former Yankee Nathan Eovaldi, who threw an inning out of the bullpen this game … Eovaldi’s rehabbing from his second career Tommy John surgery
  • C Kyle Higashioka: 1-4
  • RHP Domingo German: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 9/3 GB/FB — 62 of 103 pitches were strikes (60%) … huge final start of the season for Domingo … I imagine he’ll get called up as soon as this series is over, though who knows whether he’ll actually pitch
  • RHP Nick Rumbelow: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — eleven of 17 pitches were strikes

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