NY minor league prospect news (2021 edition)

jon abbey

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Florial struggling in AAA after his first game HR, 3-21 overall with 9 Ks. Keep in mind he is only in AAA because he is on the 40 man and NY is seriously low on OFs, otherwise he would still be in AA.

My man Luis Medina, on the other hand, badly needs a promotion. He has allowed only 5 hits (not runs, hits) in his first 4 starts, 18.2 5 3 3 9 32, opponent batting average of .086. Yesterday his line was 5.2 1 1 1 2 11, which you would think would make him a lock for best pitching performance of the night in the NY minors.

But Glenn Otto in AA says 'hold on one second'. He has had three starts so far, #1 was six shutout innings (pitcher of the week for the league), #2 was the opposite end of the spectrum (7 ERs and 10 hits allowed in 5.1 innings, although 8 Ks/0 BBs is still good) and #3 last night, 5.1 2 0 0 1 14 (!!!!). He will likely need to be protected next winter or be the latest NY pitching prospect grabbed by another organization.

Also Ezequiel Duran is waking up, the other middle infielder in high A alongside Oswald Peraza (who has cooled down the last few games). Duran turns 22 this weekend and is already a Fangraphs top 100 prospects, he is 10-16 in his last 4 games and hit his first HR of the season last night, up to a .896 OPS for the yeat now.
 

jon abbey

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Ken Waldichuk is a hard throwing lefty SP who was NY's 5th round pick in 2019, and who has been incredible so far this year in high A. His line today: 4.1 1 0 0 1 10. His season line: 14.1 7 0 0 6 29. He and Medina need to be promoted to AA ASAP, Otto and Gil to AAA.
 

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Hi, Jon. FYI, in case these are helpful (updated daily):

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mls/NewYorkYankees.html

Low-A Southeast has an additional tranche of fun data...

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mls/cgi-bin/team.cgi?team=Tampa&bp=adv_batting

...and you can find the Tampa pitchers' Statcast data on their individual player pages. For example, you can find Trevor Holloway's (who leads the team in CSW%) by going here...

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mls/cgi-bin/team.cgi?team=Tampa&bp=pitching

...and then clicking on his name, which brings you to this:

http://www.minorleaguesplits.com/mls/cgi-bin/player.cgi?player=681012/Trevor-Holloway&bp=pitching
 

jon abbey

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Yay, Josh Smith sighting! He joins all the other recent high draft picks in the Tampa lineup, leading off tonight in his season debut, 1-1 with a walk early. He was NY’s 2nd round pick in 2019, a 2B/SS from LSU who has drawn LeMahieu comparisons (also LSU).
 

jon abbey

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Update on the four pitching prospects currently crushing for NY:

AA:

Luis Gil: 21.1 14 6 4 7 36, 1.69 ERA, .179 BAA
Glenn Otto: 21.1 19 9 9 5 35, 3.80 ERA, .241 BAA

high A:

Luis Medina: 23 8 4 4 12 39, 1.57 ERA, .110 BAA
Ken Waldichuk: 18.2 8 0 0 8 38, 0.00 ERA, .131 BAA

combined: 84.1 49 19 17 32 148, 1.81 ERA, 15.8 K/9 (not worth it to figure combined BAA)
 

jon abbey

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NY sure has a type of hitter they go for, powerful with top exit velocity. Fangraphs has only two prospects in all of MLB listed as 80/80 current power/future power. One is 27 year old Chris Gittens, who NY may be calling up today (fingers crossed.) The other is a little known 23 year old 1B in the SF system named Connor Cannon who has yet to play in 2021, and yesterday he was announced as the PTBNL coming to NY in the Tauchman deal.

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2021-prospect-list/scouting?type=1&pos=&team=&sort=6,1&filter=

(click on the raw PV/FV column a few times until it sorts correctly)
 

jon abbey

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21 year old Yoendrys Gomez making his season debut tonight for low A Tampa, he is already on the 40 man and is one of the high ceiling SPs NY protected this winter. Welcome back!
 

jon abbey

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Oswald Peraza and Trevor Hauver each named league player of the month (high A/low A respectively).
 

jon abbey

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Anthony Volpe had 2 HRs and 2 SBs in the first 4 innings tonight.
 

jon abbey

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And Chris Gittens is 2-2 with a walk, putting him right at an absurd .500 OBP (14-48 with 19 BBs and a HBP).
 

jon abbey

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The four NY farm teams have impressive winning percentages so far:

Scranton: 18-7
Somerset: 18-7
Hudson Valley: 14-11
Trenton: 19-8

Total: 69-33 (110-52 pace).
 

jon abbey

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Oswald Peraza into Baseball America's top 100 today. He was already in the Fangraphs one this offseason (good call) at I think #68, dunno why he is not in the mlb.com one yet but he should be soon.
 

jon abbey

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Peraza promoted to AA, hopefully Josh Smith gets the corresponding promotion to high A.
 

jon abbey

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Ken Waldichuk is a hard throwing lefty SP who was NY's 5th round pick in 2019, and who has been incredible so far this year in high A. His line today: 4.1 1 0 0 1 10. His season line: 14.1 7 0 0 6 29. He and Medina need to be promoted to AA ASAP, Otto and Gil to AAA.
Waldichuk has still not given up an earned run this season, through seven starts now after six more scoreless tonight. Season line now up to 30.2 12 0 0 13 55.
 

jon abbey

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Neither Hoy June Park or Trey Amburgey is considered much of a prospect but here are the OPS leaders for AAA East so far, minimum 50 ABs.

Trey Amburgey: 1.257 OPS in 58 ABs (26 years old)
Abraham Almonte: 1.167 OPS in 62 ABs (31 years old and now up and hitting well for the Braves)
Franchy Cordero: 1.158 OPS in 53 ABs (26 years old)
Hoy Jun Park: 1.153 OPS in 61 ABs (25 year old SS, 15 BBs)
Travis Demeritte: 1.091 OPS in 78 ABs (26 years old, on the IL now but got a few hundred ABs for DET in 2019/2020)
Chris Gittens: 1.071 OPS in 53 ABs (27 years old)
 

amRadio

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I just looked up Waldichuk and got depressed. 16 K/9, 4.2 K:BB. As mentioned above, stacked 30 IP without a run at high A ball. Wtf? Wesneski has pretty impressive K:BB numbers too. If they have success at AA this year, they're going to be in NYC sooner than later.
 

jon abbey

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I just looked up Waldichuk and got depressed. 16 K/9, 4.2 K:BB. As mentioned above, stacked 30 IP without a run at high A ball. Wtf? Wesneski has pretty impressive K:BB numbers too. If they have success at AA this year, they're going to be in NYC sooner than later.
Wesneski is adding to those numbers today (pre-promotion), dominating the Brooklyn Mets, including a rehabbing Jeff McNeil (0-2) and some top prospects in Mauricio, Baty and Alvarez (0-6 combined), Wesneski is at 7 2 0 0 2 9.
 

jon abbey

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Update on this...

The four NY farm teams have impressive winning percentages so far:

Scranton: 18-7
Somerset: 18-7
Hudson Valley: 14-11
Tampa: 19-8

Total: 69-33 (110-52 pace).
Scranton: 23-11
Somerset: 23-13
Hudson Valley: 20-14
Tampa: 27-10

Total: 94-48 (107-55 pace)

Deivi Garcia gave up 5 in the first while getting just 1 out (2 hits, 4 walks) to the Mets' AAA team Syracuse. It was still 6-2 in the 7th before Scranton scored 3 in the 7th and 7 in the 8th, 12-6 final. The other three teams also all won: 10-1, 6-5 (also coming back from 4-0 down), and the slugging Tarpons 10-5.

In AA, 25 year old Glenn Otto showed why he also should have been part of the mass promotions today, with a 7 3 1 1 2 14 gem, just 90 pitches. He has given up some runs, but his K/BB ratio is 69/11 in just 41 innings.
 

jon abbey

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Also Florial with two good games in a row, 3 for 4 with 3 singles on Sunday and 3-5 with 2 doubles and a HR and 4 runs scored tonight. Still just 23...

And it was Oswald Peraza's 21st birthday today, the third youngest player in his AA league. He hadn't hit much in his first week in AA but he went 3 for 4 with a triple in his home debut, OPS up to .729. Also he debuted in the MLB.com top 100 today, giving NY 4 of the top 100 (Deivi is a game or two from graduating, whenever that comes).

The Martian is all the way up to #25 despite still not having a professional AB. That will change on the 28th, I guess. Clarke Schmidt is #72, Deivi is #81 and now the next Wizard of Os is #100. mlb.com does not reorder their lists in between updates, so they just move everyone up one each time someone graduates, and it often means they are a bit behind the other lists as to how guys are actually progressing.
 

jon abbey

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Jim Callis on Ken Waldichuk in today's mailbag. Obviously I knew he was leading the minors in ERA (0.00 will do that) but strikeout percentage and opponent average too, very impressive.

============================

Ken Waldichuk is 23 and was not highly thought of coming into the season. He just dominated in [High-A] and was promoted. With much improved velocity this year, what is his upside now? -- @zs190

Waldichuk dominated as a Saint Mary's sophomore in 2018 but got caught up seeking more velocity in his Draft year and had a so-so season that dropped him to the Yankees in the fifth round. The left-hander posted a 49/7 K/BB ratio in Rookie ball during his 2019 pro debut, then had to work out on his own during last year's pandemic shutdown, so he didn't attract much attention.

That's changing now that Waldichuk has opened this season with 30 2/3 scoreless innings in High-A and leads the Minors in ERA, strikeout percentage (49 percent) and opponent average (.120). After employing an 89-92 mph two-seam fastball in college, he now works in the mid-90s with a four-seamer and has a sharper curveball and slider. Promoted to Double-A on Tuesday, he could become a No. 3 starter if he can maintain this stuff and refine his command.

https://www.mlb.com/news/pipeline-inbox-rising-pitchers-shortstops-in-draft
 

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Jim Callis on Ken Waldichuk in today's mailbag. Obviously I knew he was leading the minors in ERA (0.00 will do that) but strikeout percentage and opponent average too, very impressive.

============================

Ken Waldichuk is 23 and was not highly thought of coming into the season. He just dominated in [High-A] and was promoted. With much improved velocity this year, what is his upside now? -- @zs190

Waldichuk dominated as a Saint Mary's sophomore in 2018 but got caught up seeking more velocity in his Draft year and had a so-so season that dropped him to the Yankees in the fifth round. The left-hander posted a 49/7 K/BB ratio in Rookie ball during his 2019 pro debut, then had to work out on his own during last year's pandemic shutdown, so he didn't attract much attention.

That's changing now that Waldichuk has opened this season with 30 2/3 scoreless innings in High-A and leads the Minors in ERA, strikeout percentage (49 percent) and opponent average (.120). After employing an 89-92 mph two-seam fastball in college, he now works in the mid-90s with a four-seamer and has a sharper curveball and slider. Promoted to Double-A on Tuesday, he could become a No. 3 starter if he can maintain this stuff and refine his command.

https://www.mlb.com/news/pipeline-inbox-rising-pitchers-shortstops-in-draft
Trade bait?
 

jon abbey

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Who Cashman might trade is at least somewhat connected to who he will be able to protect going forward, and I don't have nearly enough info for that. I'm also not sure short-term trades are the way to go for NY right now, given that everyone else in the division seems to have a wave of young talent on the way.
 

jon abbey

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Not really worth a thread bump, but I thought it was cool the way that Tampa just came back. They were down 5-2 in the 7th, Anthony Volpe (SS prospect) hit a three run HR to tie it, then Austin Wells (C prospect) followed with a a bunt single and ended up coming around to score the go-ahead run. They have five of the six RBIs between them and Wells scored the sixth run.

Edit: The ending made the post worth it, Bradenton tied it up in the 8th and Volpe hit another HR to win it in the bottom of the 9th, so Volpe and Wells went 5-9 with 3 HRs and 6 RBIs between them in a 7-6 win.
 

jon abbey

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The current SS depth in NY's minors is impressive:

AAA: Hoy Jun Park. Part of the acclaimed (and mostly duds) 2014 international signing class, Park is not a huge prospect but has blown up since being promoted to AAA a few weeks into the season. He leads AAA East in a bunch of offensive categories, with an 1.172 OPS and 6 HRs in 86 ABs.

AA: Oswald Peraza. Peraza is the most highly acclaimed of these guys, leading all of the minors in DRS and his bat has caught up this year. He has also already been promoted once, high A OPS was .917 and AA OPS is .867 (47 ABs). He is the most likely of these guys to be the regular Yankee SS in the future.

high A: Josh Smith. Smith was a 2nd round pick from LSU in 2019, he turns 24 in August. He has also been promoted once already (after a late start to the season), but he has massive offensive numbers in both leagues, 1.275 OPS in low A (39 ABs) and now a 1.058 OPS in high A (38 ABs), 8 HRs in 77 ABs between the two levels.

low A: Anthony Volpe. Volpe was NY's first round pick in 2019 out of high school (teammates with Jack Leiter), he just turned 20 in April. He has a 1.020 OPS in 153 ABs, 8 HRs.

not assigned: Alexander Vargas. Just 19, he was a big international signing in 2018 and will presumably be in the GCL when it starts next week.

not signed yet: Roderick Arias, the 16 year old stud who NY is supposedly signing in January, every Instagram pic he posts he is wearing a Yankee hat. He is a star prospect, with Lindor comparisons.
 

jon abbey

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Also NY has few enough potentially ready rotation options in the minors right now that they should probably promote Glenn Otto to AAA. His two starts this week were a combined 13 6 1 1 4 19, 74/12 K/BB ratio in 47 innings. He is second in the minors in strikeouts, just ahead of Hunter Greene and behind Cade Cavalli. He is 25 years old and rule 5 eligible (he was not selected last winter), so let's move him up and see what we've got.
 

terrynever

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It hasn’t been definitively announced but likely a week from today, along with all of NY’s other teenage prospects.
Seems like Yanks are being very careful with Dominguez. And he lost a year to COVID.
By comparison, Boston signed Rafael Devers at age 16 in 2013. He was in Low A ball two years later and tore up the Eastern League in his age 19 season.
Mickey Mantle made the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup in 1951 at age 19.
 

jon abbey

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Seems like Yanks are being very careful with Dominguez. And he lost a year to COVID.
By comparison, Boston signed Rafael Devers at age 16 in 2013. He was in Low A ball two years later and tore up the Eastern League in his age 19 season.
Mickey Mantle made the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup in 1951 at age 19.
Covid messed up everyone as you said, but Dominguez has a good chance to be in low A pretty quickly (this season), I think.
 

terrynever

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Covid messed up everyone as you said, but Dominguez has a good chance to be in low A pretty quickly (this season), I think.
Jasson Dominguez turned 18 in February. If he climbs like a rocket, he could be playing centerfield for the Yankees sometime in 2023, at age 20. Admittedly, that is a fast track but if he’s as good as everyone says, it can happen.

And he’s a left handed power hitter, sorely needed.
 

jon abbey

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And his struggles are presumably a big reason why they have been stretching out Nick Nelson in AAA, very quietly he may be NY's 6th SP right now (with Deivi shaky and Kluber/Severino/Clarke Schmidt out). Tonight Nelson threw 5 innings, 5 3 2 2 3 3, 70 pitches, 2 of the 3 hits to a rehabbing Didi Gregorius.
 

jon abbey

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My man Chris Gittens is 4-5 in his first game back in Scranton, he really should have made the team out of spring training after Voit went down.
 

jon abbey

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NY minor league teams went 4-0 again tonight (31-9 in total runs) after BA posted this:

View: https://twitter.com/baseballamerica/status/1408092640051093505?s=21


NY lost some pitchers like Whitlock and Ort and Trevor Stephan last winter but they grabbed a few too. Matt Krook they took from Tampa in the minor league rule 5, a 26 year old who has a sub-2 ERA in the AA rotation, just promoted to AAA recently.

And in keeping with Cashman’s fascination with giant human beings, NY signed 25 year old Stephen Ridings as a minor league FA, the tallest player in the organization at 6’8”, Betances-sized. Something seems to have clicked for him and he has been incredible as the AA closer, hitting 100 and 101 frequently. The article below is from minor league Opening Day, his stats so far show that he is most certainly backing up the hype.

17 6 2 1 2 27 (!!), that’s a 0.47 WHIP.

https://www.nj.com/yankees/2021/05/stephen-ridings-yankees-new-6-foot-8-flame-thrower-opens-eyes-in-somerset-patriots-opening-night-win.html

https://www.milb.com/player/stephen-ridings-670050

Tonight Ridings was perfect, 2.1 0 0 0 0 3 on 27 pitches to get the W in a 5-4 10 inning win. NY has a ton of relief depth in AAA, I wonder where he is on their depth chart.
 

jon abbey

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It looked like a rare losing night for the four minor teams, Tampa rained out again, Scranton lost and Hudson Valley down 8-3 after 6. Then they scored 4 in the 7th and 4 in the 8th, Seigler with a RBI single in the 7th and a bases-clearing double in the 8th, he and Breaux are both showing more signs of offensive life lately. The system is gradually filling up with catching depth but they take forever to develop. Luis Torrens is still under 350 career PAs, NY signed him in 2012 (!).

Anyway, Hudson Valley steals the 11-9 win and a 2-1 night again for the system.
 

jon abbey

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Seigler's OPS for the season is still just .676, but he hit a game-winning grand slam in the bottom of the 9th today, 10 RBIs in his last three games now.
 

jon abbey

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Quite a doubleheader for Anthony Volpe: 4-5 with a HR, a BB, 2 HBPs, 2 SBs, and 5 runs scored.
 

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Deivi Garcia shelled again, ugly season for him so far.
https://www.nj.com/yankees/2021/06/why-does-deivi-garcia-have-880-era-in-triple-a-mlb-scout-yankees-weigh-in.html


“Deivi Garcia has gone so far backwards that it’s sad to watch,” the scout told NJ Advance Media with a request to remain anonymous so that he could speak freely. “The Yankees changed his delivery and they’re trying to teach him this flat sweeping slider that’s not effective. He had a plus curveball that he’s not throwing it as much. Honestly, I don’t know what the Yankees are doing.

“I think a lot of this is in an effort for Garcia to throw harder. His delivery is very Driveline-like where it’s over-rotational, and when you watch him pitch from his balance point, he flies open. The big thing on Driveline is to land on your front leg and kind of load your body forward, but Garcia is so over-rotational that he spins off, hits his leg and falls off to first base on every pitch.”
 

jon abbey

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Anthony Volpe hit a grand slam last night and today was added to the BA top 100, I believe his first top 100 list.
 

jon abbey

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Volpe is really having an incredible season, 10 HRs and 19 SBs in 174 ABs. He just turned 20 in April and is young even for low A, he has a 1.082 OPS and 45 RBIs even though he hits leadoff.

He should be promoted but NY has a logjam of middle infielders as I detailed here a little while ago, Josh Smith is dominating in high A, Peraza is in AA, and Hoy Jun Park is in AAA. Plus Duran in high A at 2B and Diego Castillo in AA (just named the league player of the month), it's a nice problem to have.
 

jon abbey

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Derek Dietrich, Robinson Chirinos, and Nick Goody all released from their AAA deals, presumably on their request. Chirinos is a real loss as he was their third string catcher and now I guess it is Rob Brantly.
 

jon abbey

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Three of NY's four teams were rained out today, but Tampa is playing a doubleheader, seven innings each. Game 1 is done, Tampa was down 1-0 after 2, then they scored 21 runs in the final 5 innings (4, 4, 4, 6, 3 by inning). Big games from Volpe, Wells and Hauser as usual, and today hitting cleanup behind them was the debut of the first of the young international studs, Everson Pereira, a CF who turned 20 in April, signed in the 2017 international class. He went 3 for 5 with a triple and 3 RBIs, really hoping that NY keeps promoting prospects and we get to see more of these guys at Tampa (Dominguez and Vargas the main ones).

https://www.milb.com/gameday/tarpons-vs-blue-jays/2021/07/08/648657#game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=box,game=648657
 

jon abbey

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Game 2, the baseball gods were evidently not thrilled with Tampa's abusive behavior in game 1 and they lost 3-1 on just 2 hits, although they did sit some of their main guys also. Somehow Volpe and Hauver were still on base five times from the top two spots, 1-3 with 3 walks and a HBP, but the rest of the lineup was 1-19.