NY minor league prospect news (2019 edition)

jon abbey

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Getting Tyler Wade redux vibes from Volpe, but I know nothing. It'll be cool if they get the Delbarton double with Leiter at 38 though...
 

jon abbey

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And another SEC player at #67, 3B/SS/2B Josh Smith from LSU, 22 in August. Nick Solak type with more defensive flexibility?

Josh Smith | Rank: 76
School: Louisiana StateYear: JuniorPosition: SSAge: 21 DOB: 08/07/1997Bats: L Throws: RHeight: 5'10" Weight: 178 lb.Previously drafted: 2016, 38th (1135) - DET
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Scouting grades:
Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45

The starter at third base as a freshman on Louisiana State's 2017 College World Series runner-up team, Smith was slated to move to shortstop as a sophomore. Those plans went awry, however, as a stress reaction in a lumbar vertebra limited him to just six games and forced him to miss summer ball as well. He has returned this season and been the Tigers' best hitter, playing his way into the top three rounds of the Draft.

Smith makes repeated contact from the left side of the plate, using the entire field and controlling the strike zone. He has solid raw power and drives the ball consistently enough to provide 15 or more homers per season. He has solid to plus speed and the savvy to use it well on the bases.

Smith also shows good instincts in the field, giving him a chance to stay at shortstop even if many scouts project him to shift to second base at the big league level. He's more steady than spectacular at short, displaying reliable hands and solid arm strength. He doesn't have a true plus tool but he also doesn't have a glaring weakness, and he has a high floor as a good bet to become at least a utilityman.
 

jon abbey

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Sikkema is shall we say, big boned, and he is only 20. He looks like he could be a helpful reliever pretty quickly though, multi-inning lefty.

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TJ Sikkema | Rank: 57
School: MissouriYear: JuniorPosition: LHPAge: 20 DOB: 07/25/1998Bats: L Throws: LHeight: 6'0" Weight: 217 lb.Previously drafted: Never
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Scouting grades:
Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 50

Since 2003, Missouri has produced nine big league arms and 12 pitchers taken in the top five rounds of the Draft, most notably Max Scherzer and Kyle Gibson. Sikkema will add to the latter list this June and is a safe bet to add to the former in a couple of years. He's a left-hander with three effective pitches and a history of success in a variety of roles, not to mention competitiveness and confidence that are off the charts.

Sikkema usually operates at 89-91 mph with run and sink on his fastball from a lower three-quarters arm angle, though he can raise his slot and reach back for 93-95 mph when needed. He has tremendous feel for manipulating the shape of his high-spin slider, which ranges from 78-83 mph and is a plus pitch at its best. He also has advanced feel for a sinking changeup that he'll throw in any count.

Sikkema's stocky frame and crossfire delivery aren't pretty but his stuff plays up because of the angle and extension he creates and his willingness to attack hitters. He not only throws strikes, but he'll also use any pitch in any count and work inside against left-handers and right-handers. He has one of the higher floors among college pitchers in this Draft, projecting as at least a lefty reliever at the Major League level, and his deception and conviction could carry him to a role at the back of a rotation.
 

jon abbey

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Anthony Volpe | Rank: 63
School: Delbarton (N.J.) HSYear: SeniorPosition: SSAge: 18 DOB: 04/28/2001Bats: R Throws: RHeight: 5'11" Weight: 180 lb.Commitment: Vanderbilt
WATCH
Scouting grades:
Hit: 50 | Power: 35 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50

Scouts have been able to get a two-for-one deal when traveling to Delbarton Prep in northern New Jersey. Not only could they see right-hander Jack Leiter, but they could get a look at Volpe, who has shone under the spotlight, including for Team USA's gold medal-winning 18-and-under team last fall and then for Delbarton when they competed at USA Baseball's National High School Invitational this spring.

Volpe is the kind of player who grows on evaluators the more they see him, with his whole being greater than the sum of his parts. He gets an 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale for his makeup and work ethic. He does have a solid approach at the plate with excellent bat control and while he doesn't have a ton of power, there is enough strength to keep pitchers honest, like when he went deep at the NHSI. Though he's not a burner, Volpe runs well and has good instincts on the bases and defensively. He has good hands and footwork and while he might have an average arm, some feel it might mean that second base will be a better long-term home for him, even if a team sends him out as a shortstop initially

Because of his track record for performing well against good competition and his makeup, it might be wrong to bet against Volpe. Whether a team is willing to draft him early enough to sign him away from his commitment to Vanderbilt, where he could continue being teammates with Leiter if neither signs, remains to be seen.
 

Wingack

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Not sure about Volpe but I like the other two picks. Sikkema seems like a real weapon that they currently don’t have and Josh Smith sounds like maybe he could be a Neil Walker/Scooter Gennett type.
 

jon abbey

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With the very very large exception of Aaron Judge, NY has been much better at drafting in lower rounds than with their first few picks in recent years, so I'm curious to see the rest of their draft.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Just learned that my son once threw BP at a clinic to Anthony Volpe and to Jack Leiter. Volpe took my boy deep twice.

At the time, my son was a good (for NYC) high school pitcher and he said he was throwing the BP in the mid-70s.

And at the time, Volpe was 9 years old. Nine.

My son still calls it one of the most remarkable things he ever saw.
 

jon abbey

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Wow, that's crazy! I had to check what grade 9 year olds are typically in, 4th grade!!!

NY seems to be focusing on lefty pitchers this draft like they did catchers last one, 3 of the first 6 picks are LHPs.
 

Wingack

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Wow, that's crazy! I had to check what grade 9 year olds are typically in, 4th grade!!!

NY seems to be focusing on lefty pitchers this draft like they did catchers last one, 3 of the first 6 picks are LHPs.
I like it.

I also like the OF bat they picked in the fourth round. Read on NYYF that he has some of the best raw power in the draft.
 

crow216

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Just learned that my son once threw BP at a clinic to Anthony Volpe and to Jack Leiter. Volpe took my boy deep twice.

At the time, my son was a good (for NYC) high school pitcher and he said he was throwing the BP in the mid-70s.

And at the time, Volpe was 9 years old. Nine.

My son still calls it one of the most remarkable things he ever saw.
I mean, how can this be true? I can't believe a 9 year old hit 2 homers off of 70mph pitches.
 

Big John

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Dec 9, 2016
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The international signing period begins on July 2, yes? Any word on whether or not the Yankees plan to trade for more pool money, as they did last year?
 

jon abbey

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The international signing period begins on July 2, yes? Any word on whether or not the Yankees plan to trade for more pool money, as they did last year?
They will have to, their entire pool is basically committed to Jasson Dominguez (see separate thread) and they are linked to another top 20 guy also.
 

jon abbey

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Dunno how seriously to take this, but Heyman tweeted:

"One scout’s view 1st 10 rounds, best drafts:

1) Yankees
2) Diamondbacks
3) Marlins
4) Rays
5) Tigers
6) Mets"
 

jon abbey

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NY took Jack Leiter after all, in the 20th round. Highly highly unlikely they can/will sign him or they would have taken him higher, but it is worth noting that the only two high school players (more expensive usually) they have taken in 21 picks are Volpe and Leiter, the Delbarton teammates.
 

jon abbey

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Luis Gil is one of NY's top pitching prospects, just turned 21 last week. Tonight he had a fun duel in low A Charleston against....

yep, a coming back to speed Dallas Keuchel. Both pitched seven scoreless, 7 1 0 0 1 9 for Keuchel and 7 3 0 0 1 10 for Gil, and Charleston ended up losing 1-0 in 10.
 

jon abbey

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The Ballad of Breyvic (Valera) continues, 4-5 tonight lifting his average back to .429 (39 for 91). You know you're going well when a 4-5 barely lifts your OPS because they were all singles (1.234 to 1.252).
 

jon abbey

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Some of the Yankee potential stud teenagers are starting to debut as short-season ball starts, today it was 17 year old Cuban SP Osiel Rodriguez, who was throwing 96 at 15 and is already 6'3", 200 pounds. NY got the money to sign him as part of the already lopsided Luke Voit deal last trading deadline, they traded Chasen Shreve (a bust) and Gio Gallegos (who is pitching great in relief for STL) for Voit and the cap money to sign Osiel.

 

jon abbey

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AA Trenton has a must-win game tonight, if they win, they win the first half division and if they lose, they don't. They have their ace and NY's top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia on the mound and wow has he risen to the occasion so far. Batter by batter:

K (swinging)
K (swinging)
K (swinging)

K
K
K (swinging)

K
K (swinging)
weak groundout

K (swinging) (batter reaches first on a WP)
K
K
groundout

K (swinging)
K (swinging)
double
BB
line out

85 pitches through 5 with a 5-0 lead, so he might be done, 5 1 0 0 1 13. That seems good.
 
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jon abbey

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Nope, one more inning, 6 1 0 0 1 15 on 98 pitches, final line. He just turned 20 last month and is crushing AA, hope they can keep him at the deadline.
 

jon abbey

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Ha, so much info and I never said his name, will go back and edit it in.
 

jon abbey

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Deivi day again, and he absolutely dominated again in AA, 5 0 0 0 2 9 on 92 pitches, this time against a good Reading lineup led by a rehabbing Haseley and then Bohm and Moniak, who went a collective 0-6 with 5 Ks.

He is out now but he is just crushing AA and I believe he is the second youngest player in the Eastern League behind the WAS SS prospect Luis Garcia (who is not doing well). It is crazy that he is still not on some of the big top 100 lists, Keith Law has been high on him since the offseason.

That is a combined 11 1 0 0 3 24 in his last two starts, I wonder what he has to do to get promoted again. this was his 10th start in AA (9th this season). For reference Casey Mize was the #1 overall pick in 2018 and is the #1 pitching prospect in the minors currently (#2 overall on mlb.com behind just wunderkind Wander Franco), I am not comparing anything here but age and strikeouts since they are both pitching in the same league (although Mize has been shut down for a bit with 'minor shoulder inflammation'):

Mize (22, born in May 1997) has 50 Ks in 52 innings in 9 starts.
Garcia (20, born in May 1999) has 76 Ks in 47 innings in 9 starts.