New York Yankees 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (18) | 2009 (15) | 2008 (5) | 2007 (7) | 2006 (17) | 2005 (24) | 2004 (27)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [95 – 67] AL East
AAA: [85 – 56] International League – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
AA: [83 – 59] Eastern League – Trenton
A+: [78 – 57] Florida League – Tampa
A: [65 – 74] South Atlantic – Charleston
A(ss): [34 – 40] New York – Pennsylvania League – Staten Island
R: [24 – 32] Gulf League
The Run Down
For as much as the media lambasts the Yankees receive for trading their prospects, they have a wealth of talent that is often ignored. The Yankees didn’t make too many trades during the season, it was the preseason trade of Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy for Curtis Granderson that shook the 2009-2010 offseason. In July, the Yankees received Lance Berkman for Mark Melancon and Jimmy Peradas – this was the most talent lost in a trade during the season. Zach McAllister to the Indians in the Austin Kearns deal was about getting the most value for McAllister who has a declining a strikeout rate, and it wasn’t great in the beginning (7.0 K/9 for career, but 6.0 K/9 in 139 innings at Double-A). The Yankees have one of the best hitting prospects in the game with Jesus Montero, who, despite having a good year, was pushed off the prospect-hype scene as he struggled out of the gate. There are also a few intriguing arms in the higher minors, and some young arms that will most likely be good trade bait in the upcoming year(s). With an aging squad and questions about pitching, the infusion of young talents, such as Jesus Montero, Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi, David Phelps, and Andrew Brackman may see extensive major league time this year.
(2B/3B) Ramiro Pena
Arizona Fall League Players – Phoenix Desert Dogs
Pitchers: (RHP) Craig Heyer; (RHP) George Kontos; (RHP) Aaron Pribanic; (RHP) Brian Leach
Hiiters: #2 (C) Austin Romine; #13 (2B) Corban Joseph; (1B/OF) Brandon Laird;
Players of Interest
#1 Jesus Montero | C | D.o.B: 11-28-89 | Stats (AAA): .289/.353/.517 | 453 AB | 58 XBH | 21 Hr | .228 ISO | 0/0 SB/CS | 91:46 K:BB | .319 BABIP
What else is there to say that you haven’t heard. From the 2009 Minor League Review, “Scouts and insiders in the Yankee organization claim that Montero is the best pure hitter since Derek Jeter … [but with] much more power … [defensively] he can’t field … [l]ong term he is a DH, not a catcher, especially with Austin Romine just a step behind Montero. Keep your expectations for 2010 in check. 2011, that’s a different story.” Well, the upcoming year is 2011 and Montero finished the year strong, much like Mark Texiera is known to do. With an ISO of .228, a decent strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a great slash line (.289/.353/.517), Montero didn’t just survive Triple-A at the ripe age of 20 (turned 21 in November), he excelled. Read Grey’s excellent Fantasy Outlook on Montero. (Note from Grey: That Montero post was from before Russell Martin ended up in the South Bronx.)
#2 Austin Romine | C | D.o.B: 11-22-89 | Stats (AA): 268/.324/.402 | 455 AB | 41 XBH | 10 Hr | .136 ISO | 2/0 SB/CS | 94:37 K:BB | .316 BABIP
Baseball America states he has the “tools to be an average or plus defender.” What are those tools? Good defense, an above-average arm and a “good athlete.” Scouts say he has good raw power but struggles handling velocity, lacks patience at the plate and swing gets long while he needs to add polish. Sounds like another year until Romine sees extensive time at the major leagues. He is still considered the Yankees backstop of the future. Expect a .250 to .270 average in the majors with high strikeouts but 17 to 20 home runs in his prime.
#10 Andrew Brackman | RHP | D.o.B: 12-4-85 | Stats (A+/AA): 8.1 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 140 2/3 IP | 3.90 ERA | 3.12 FIP (A+); 3.32 FIP (AA) | 1.30 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 9.2 H/9 | .354 BABIP (A+); .320 BABIP (AA)
His fastball has been clocked at 99 MPH, but usually sits between 92 to 96 MPH, flashes a plus-plus curveball and his changeup is harder to find than a unicorn. He has great arm strength and is physically what a pitcher should look like. However, as John Sickels says, “[He’s] wild … inconsistent … has awkward mechanics.” That might explain his elbow reconstruction surgery. Brackman’s 2010 season was the opposite of his career norm. He had control, he thrived in the mid-minors (Double-A) where he threw 80 2/3 innings, and his lucky was unlucky. I wouldn’t expect Brackman to be a starter in the majors, unless his mechanics have changed drastically. There is power reliever written all over Brackman.
#24 Hector Noesi | RHP | D.o.B: 1-26-87 | Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 8.6 K/9 | 1.6 BB/9 | 160 1/3 IP | 3.20 ERA | 2.20 FIP (A+); 2.99 FIP (AA) | 1.10 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 8.3 H/9 | .319 BABIP (A+); .302 BABIP (AA)
Although Noesi struggled at Triple-A in 18 2/3 innings, this Tommy John survivor has some intriguing potential. Sickels “loves [his] control and velocity combo.” Scouts believe he can add velocity with his easy delivery. Noesie throws a 88 to 92 MPH fastball with good life up in the zone, has a deceptive changeup but his curveball needs to be tighter. I like Noesi as a possible filler, end of the rotation option if Ivan Nova struggles.
#16 Ivan Nova | RHP | D.o.B: 1-12-87 | Stats (AAA): 7.1 K/9 | 3.0 BB/9 | 145 IP | 2.86 ERA | 3.54 FIP | 1.26 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 8.4 H/9 | .298 BABIP
Speaking of Nova, his strong 42 innings in the majors during the 2010 season have people excited about his fantasy sleeper potential. However, a 5.6 K/9 combined with a 3.6 BB/9 and a 4.36 FIP in those innings at the major league level don’t inspire hope, not when they are combined with boring numbers like 7.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 at Triple-A, a 89 to 93 MPH fastball, command that Baseball America states is fringe-average and a changeup that is fringe at best. His ceiling is a number four starter.
#25 David Phelps | LHP | D.o.B: 10-9-86 | Stats (AA/AAA): 8.0 K/9 | 2.0 BB/9 | 158 2/3 IP | 2.50 ERA | 2.44 FIP (AA); 2.92 FIP (AAA) | 1.10 WHIP | .3 Hr/9 | 7.9 H/9 | .267 BABIP (AA); .337 BABIP (AAA)
Phelps is poised to be a Jon Garland or Joe Saunders at his best. Possessed with a 91 to 95 MPH fastball and good control, a changeup that is below average and a fringe slider; I’m not too excited about Phelps. He is definitely a more valuable real world pitcher than fantasy. He did split his 2010 season at Double-A and Triple-A (88 1/3 IP at AA and 70 1/3 IP at Triple-A). He is a back end starter.
Brandon Laird | 1B/3B/OF | D.o.B: 9-11-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): .281/.336/.482 | 531 AB | 55 XBH | 25 Hr | .201 ISO | 2/2 SB/CS | 111:42 K:BB | .315 BABIP (AA); .298 BABIP (AAA)
Laird has a quick bat according to John Sickels. Defensively, he’s average at best when playing third base, above-average at first base with good mobility, and he has a strong, or slightly above-average arm. Sickels states he could be a “surprise success.” That’s what I’m hoping for. Although Laird smashed Double-A pitching, he struggled at Triple-A hitting .246/.268/.344 in 122 at bats. He needs more seasoning.
#6 Manuel Banuelos | LHP | D.o.B: 3-13-91 | Stats (A+/AA): 11.8 K/9 | 3.5 BB/9 | 64 2/3 IP | 2.51 ERA | 1.71 FIP (A+) | 1.22 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 7.5 H/9 | .370 BABIP (A+)
From the archives of Baseball America, “Throws an 88 to 92 MPH fastball and can touch 94 mph in relief, changeup rates as solid-average and curveball is fringy. Good mound presence, poise and makeup. A number three starter who can eat innings.” Made three starts at Double-A in which he lost some control (4.7 BB/9) but strikeouts remained (10.0 K/9).
#28 Dellin Betances | RHP | D.o.B: 3-23-88 | Stats (A+/AA): 11.4 K/9 | 2.3 BB/9 | 85 1/3 IP | 2.11 ERA | 1.83 FIP (A+); 3.97 FIP (AA) | .88 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 5.6 H/9 | .272 BABIP (A+); .255 BABIP (AA)
Benefited by great luck (.272 BABIP (A+); .255 BABIP (AA)) during his 17 starts (14 at A+), Betances throws a 93 to 94 MPH fastball that peaks at 97 MPH, a plus-curveball but lacks command – at least in the past. A fair warning: he has also had Tommy John surgery in the past. Also, he has been compared to Daniel Cabrera due to having plus-stuff but not learning how to pitch.
#26 Adam Warren | RHP | D.o.B: 10-25-87 | Stats (A+/AA): 8.4 K/9 | 2.2 BB/9 | 135 1/3 IP | 2.59 ERA | 2.72 FIP (A+); 2.56 FIP (AA) | 1.14 WHIP | .3 Hr/9 | 8.0 H/9 | .302 BABIP (A+); .333 BABIP (AA)
Here is another shout out to a back-end rotation starter, middle reliever, or possible trade bait. Warren throws a 90 to 92 MPH fastball with good command and sinking action, a cutter, solid-average changeup, a slow curveball.
Pat Venditte | RHP/LHP | D.o.B: 6-30-85 | Stats (A+): 10.5 K/9 | 1.7 BB/9 | 72 2/3 IP | 1.73 ERA | 1.88 FIP | .87 WHIP | .2 Hr/9 | 6.1 H/9 | .277 BABIP
The switch-pitcher. He has been kept in the low minors, but not because he hasn’t pitched well. Receiving only two innings of work at Double-A, I’m starting to question if Venditte will ever get a chance to reach the majors. I wrote a Scouting the Unknown back in early September of 2009. It’s a good article, you should check it out. He still needs to prove himself at Double-A. Still an intriguing prospect to watch.