MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

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rpimpsner
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby rpimpsner » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:04 pm

Here it is, our interview with Yankees second draft pick Josh Smith

https://pinstripedprospects.com/intervi ... ith-41642/
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby rpimpsner » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:49 am

One of our writers had the chance to talk to 9th round pick Spencer Henson. Had an interesting comparison in there:

https://pinstripedprospects.com/intervi ... son-41453/
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BigGuy
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby BigGuy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:20 pm

Yankees prospect Chris Gittens is forcing the issue

Gittens is off to a tremendous start for the Trenton Thunder, and he’s forcing the Yankees to take notice.

By Dan Kelly Jun 6, 2019, 12:00pm EDT

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Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

At six-foot-four and 250 pounds, Chris Gittens cuts an imposing figure manning first base for Double-A Trenton. The 25-year-old steadily rose through the Yankees system after being drafted out of Grayson County College in Denison, Texas. This season, however, he has broken out in a big way.

Gittens showed promise from the start of his professional career, posting a 1.097 OPS in the Gulf Coast League during the 2015 campaign. In subsequent seasons with increased playing time, he showed more solid offensive production, moving through Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa with a combined 34 home runs in 180 games.

After three years of steady progress, though, Gittens faced adversity in 2018. While starting the season with the Trenton Thunder, he sustained a left hip injury that forced him to the injured list multiple times, limiting him to 57 ineffective games. The leap from High-A to Double-A ball is considered by many as the biggest jump a player will face in the minors. It proved difficult to tell if Gittens was hampered by his injuries, or if the more advanced pitchers at the next level exposed his weaknesses.

Through his play this season, however, Gittens has shown he can handle his own. He is near the top of the Eastern League in most of the offensive categories, hitting .311/.434/.574. He is also near the top of the league with 10 home runs and 33 RBI. From a sheer production standpoint, Gittens compares favorably to the numbers current Mets rookie Pete Alonso produced at this level in 2018. In 65 games in the Eastern League last season, Alonso slashed .314/.440/.573 before earning a promotion to Triple-A.

Gittens does many things that the Yankees value as an organization. He is walking at a rate of 17%, allowing him to have a high on-base percentage. As a right-handed hitter, he generates most of his power to the opposite field. This approach is perfectly suited to take advantage of the Yankees Stadium short porch should he continue to move through the system.

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Credit: Baseball Savant

Already beyond his first season of Rule 5 eligibility, Gittens’ improved play is forcing the organization to make a decision on his future with the franchise. As a first baseman and designated hitter, he will face strong internal competition for a 40-man roster spot. Luke Voit, the major-league incumbent, has a spot locked down. Meanwhile Mike Ford is having a tremendous season for Triple-A Scranton, thus leaving Gittens competing with the oft-injured Greg Bird and Ryan McBroom for a roster position.

Gittens’ play this season is demanding positive attention. Will he be a solid trade chip this July? Will he be the one who bounces Bird off the 40-man roster ahead of his second season of arbitration? Or will the Yankees be comfortable carrying a host of first basemen in Voit, Ford, Bird, McBroom and Gittens through the winter? Time will tell, but Gittens’ performance is definitely worthy of discussion.
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby BigGuy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:36 pm

Yankees 2019 MLB Draft in review

The Yankees selected 41 players in the 2019 MLB Draft. Here are some of the highlights.

By Aaron Esposito Jun 6, 2019, 2:00pm EDT

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 MLB Draft is in the books, and the Yankees will now turn their attention to signing their picks and officially adding them to the farm system. All in all, the Yankees made 41 selections, 10 from the high school ranks, two from junior college, and 29 from four-year colleges. Here’s how the past few days of draft action all went down.

The first round
Many speculated that the Yankees would select infield prospects in the early rounds, and that’s exactly what they did. They decided on high school shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe with the 30th overall selection. The 5-foot-11 Volpe attended the Delbarton School in New Jersey, but really made waves as a standout on Team USA’s 18-and-under team, and again at USA Baseball’s National High School Invitation.

MLB Pipeline ranked Volpe as the 63rd best prospect on their top 200 list, but he gets stellar reviews for his work ethic and makeup; the Yankees obviously see more upside than most for the young infielder. He’ll need to be signed away from a commitment to Vanderbilt, but it’s hard to imagine the Yankees would draft him in the first round without a strong indication that he’s willing to sign.


With the 38th overall selection, the Yankees drafted left-handed pitcher T.J. Sikkema out of the University of Missouri. Sikkema, similar to Volpe, isn’t widely considered a high-upside prospect, but scouts like his competitiveness and overall demeanor. There’s some conflicting opinions if his future is in the bullpen or towards the back of a rotation, but he has a high floor and a great track record against strong SEC competition.

The six-foot, 220 pound southpaw pitches in the low-90s and has good command of his slider and changeup. He doesn’t dazzle with velocity, but he recently passed Max Scherzer on the all-time strikeout list at Missouri. That record should tell you all you need to know about his ability to work with his offerings. Sikkema pitched to a 1.36 ERA in 17 appearances (13 starts) for the Tigers this season and was named a Golden Spikes Award Nominee for his efforts. That’s a solid body of work for the draft pick the Yankees acquired in the Sonny Gray deal this past offseason.

The early rounds
The Yankees made another attempt to strengthen their system’s infield depth in the second round by selecting second baseman Josh Smith out of LSU. Smith is considered a high-floor prospect that could be a future utility player. New York clearly put a lot of stock in college results this year, as Smith is another player who had a big year in the talent-rich SEC. The left-handed hitting infielder isn’t known for any one tool, but is solid across the board. He batted .346 and clubbed nine home runs for LSU this season, after missing most of his sophomore year with a back injury.

In the third round, the Yankees took a chance on a player who basically came out of nowhere this season, left-handed hitting outfielder Jacob Sanford from Western Kentucky. Sanford received no Division I baseball offers coming out of high school in Canada, and he chose to walk on at McCook Community College. He transferred to Western Kentucky this season and won the triple crown in Conference-USA by slashing .402/.488/.828. He has a funky load in his swing, but it’s hard to argue with the results. The Yankees took their first real swing for the fences in round three.



A flurry of pitchers
The Yankees turned their attention to the mound and selected pitchers in rounds four through eight. They took back-to-back southpaws in the fourth and fifth rounds, American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year Jake Agnos and Ken Waldichuk out of St. Mary’s. At 5-foot-11, Agnos reaches the mid-90s with his fastball and is known for his lethal 12-6 curve, which accounted for many of his 124 strikeouts in 83 regular-season innings for East Carolina.


Waldichuk is a six-foot-four, 220 pound left-hander who went 5-6 with a 3.69 ERA in 15 starts for St. Mary’s this season.

The Yankees used their next three picks on righ- handers Hayden Wesneski (Sam Houston State), Nick Paciorek (Northwestern), and Zach Greene (South Alabama).

Taking a flyer
After Volpe, the Yankees selected 20 straight players out of four-year colleges. Then they selected Volpe’s high school teammate Jack Leiter in the 20th round. It’s widely believed Leiter, the son of former Yankees pitcher Al Leiter, is set on honoring his commitment to Vanderbilt, but the Yankees figured it was worth a shot on a first-round talent.

Finding a sleeper
In the ninth round, the Yankees selected first baseman Spencer Henson from Oral Roberts University. The six-foot-two, 235 pound Oklahoma native won the Summit League triple crown in 2018 with a .364/.433/.541 slash line, and followed it up with an even better .362/.509/.768 line in 2019. The Yankees’ front office could very well see some Luke Voit in Henson’s physique and production.

The Yankees targeted another college slugger in the 19th round when they selected Chad Bell with the 585th overall pick. The six-foot-three, 210 pound left-handed hitter blasted a school-record 21 home runs at the University of Louisiana-Monroe in 2019 and his 1.096 OPS reflects the power and patience he brought to the Warhawks offense.
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rpimpsner
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby rpimpsner » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:22 pm

Here is the interview we did with Mitch Spence. I should have a couple more interviews in the morning.

https://pinstripedprospects.com/intervi ... nce-41465/
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby rpimpsner » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:00 pm

Here is our interview with 12th round pick Ryan Anderson

https://pinstripedprospects.com/intervi ... son-41661/
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby rpimpsner » Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:55 am

Chance Adams has quietly re-established himself as a top arm this year. Check out our feature on him:

https://pinstripedprospects.com/chance- ... rms-42327/
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby rpimpsner » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:03 pm

Had the chance to talk to Nate Espelin. Here is that interview:

https://pinstripedprospects.com/intervi ... lin-42394/
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BigGuy
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby BigGuy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:03 am

MLB Draft 2019: Delbarton’s Anthony Volpe, Yankees’ top pick, to sign Monday

Updated 7:26 AM


Delbarton’s Anthony Volpe signs with Yankees

By James Kratch | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEW YORK -- Anthony Volpe is officially a Yankee.

The Delbarton star is at Yankee Stadium after general manager Brian Cashman said he will sign Monday during an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

The Yankees drafted the shortstop with the 30th pick in the first round of last week’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. Volpe then capped his high school career later in the week by helping Delbarton win a state title. Volpe’s draft spot comes with a $2.37 million slot value.

“We like a lot about him,” Yankees vice president of domestic amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer said last week. “He’s going to be a shortstop: the guy can hit, he can run, he’s got plus actions, he’s got really good hands, and he’s got a shortstop’s arm. He’s got tools. He’s been on the big stage with the USA national teams, so he’s got performance, and with a deluxe make-up, the kid brings it every day.”

Here’s a portion of MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on Volpe, whom it said was the 63rd best player in the draft class:

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.
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Re: MINOR LEAGUE NEWS UPDATES

Postby BigGuy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:09 am

Yankees’ top prospect Estevan Florial turning heads in return from broken wrist

Updated 10:45 AM; Today 10:44 AM

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New York Yankees' Estevan Florial is impressing for Single-A Tampa.

By Mike Rosenstein | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Estevan Florial is the top prospect in the New York Yankees’ farm system. And he’s been playing like it since returning last week following a broken right wrist. Florial has played seven games for the Single-A Tampa Tarpons. His stats jump off the page:


7 games played
8-24, .333 batting average
2 doubles, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 5 runs scored
5 walks, 5 strikeouts, 3 stolen bases
.448 OBP, .542 SLG, .990 OPS


Florial suffered the wrist injury crashing into the center-field wall in a spring training game March 16. He was cashing a Danny Jansen drive to center in the eighth inning of a 17-7 win over the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

It’s the second straight season Florial has dealt with a right wrist problem. He played just 84 minor-league games last year due to hamate bone surgery.

Florial hit .255 with three homers, 27 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 75 High-A games last year.

He had a strong spring training, hitting .355 with a homer and four RBI in 13 games.

MLB Pipeline ranks Florial, a 21-year-old center fielder, the Yankees’ top overall prospect.

Here’s a portion of MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on Florial:

Florial excites scouts with three tools that grade as well above average: his raw power, speed and arm strength. With the bat speed and loft in his left-handed swing, he’s well equipped to take advantage of Yankee Stadium. He’s still raw and overly aggressive as a hitter, leading to concerns about whether he can make enough contact to realize his full potential, though he did post the best walk rate (13 percent) and second-best strikeout rate (25 percent) of his career during his truncated 2018 season.
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