The top ten Yankees’ prospects were all finally healthy and on the field. Manny Banuelos was scratched from his Monday start, however, he hopes to throw Thursday and get right back on track. With the elite Baby Bombers at full steam, the farm system has been playing well. Not many Major League clubs can boast that all four of their affiliates are above .500 ball, but the 20th ranked Yankees’ farm system can. Here’s a look at how the brightest of the Yankees’ future are performing.
1. C Gary Sanchez, Trenton Thunder. Sanchez has gone ice cold with the bat, however, he still leads the Thunder in RBI on the season. He hasn’t hit a home run since the last Prospect Watch, but if there is a Yankees’ prospect that you don’t need to worry about, it’s Sanchez. Everyone goes through a funk, Sanchez is getting his out of the way early.
2014 stats: .231, 4 HR, 24 RBI
2. OF/IF Tyler Austin, Trenton Thunder. Although still struggling, Austin is starting to get on base at a little bit higher tick and is scoring some runs along the way. He is currently amid a four-game hitting streak and while he is still searching for that elusive first home run, he has been ripping doubles at a nice pace.
2014 stats: .258, 7 RBI, 14 runs scored
3. Mason Williams, Trenton Thunder. The good news for Williams is that his primary competition (#4 prospect Slade Heathcott) has started off worse than he has. Williams has not found his groove. In fact, since my last Prospect Watch two weeks ago, he has no home runs and no RBI. The Thunder are struggling, but still five games above .500. His defense should be enough to keep him in games and give him a chance to snap out of it, but with Heathcott now in the mix, he better click sooner than later if he doesn’t want a visit to Tampa.
2014 stats: .187, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 23 runs scored (leads Thunder)
4. OF Slade Heathcott, Trenton Thunder. The once top prospect in the Yankees’ system made his long-awaited debut about a week ago. Widely considered one of the better defensive prospects in the system with a cannon of an arm, the Yankees were hoping for a quick rehab at Trenton and to quickly jump up and take over center field for the RailRiders. It hasn’t quite clicked yet, but coming off of surgery, the better news is that there are no set backs. Be patient, he should come around.
2014 stats: .167, 1 RBI (5 games)
5. 3B Eric Jagielo, Tampa Yankees. Jagielo is making the Yankees’ first round investment a good one. He is still struggling with his defense at the hot corner, but man can he hit a baseball. His offensive power numbers all lead the Tampa Yankees who are surging, winning seven of their last eight. Jagielo’s bat has certainly helped that run.
2014 stats: .256, 10 HR, 31 RBI
6. OF/ 1B Aaron Judge, Charleston RiverDogs. The second of the Big Three 2013 first round picks seems to be making his case to join Jagielo at High-A Tampa. Judge has seemingly been doing everything right. While his batting average has slightly dipped since the last Prospect Watch, what is more impressive is how his OBP has risen to an eye-popping .415. Judge has a promising future ahead of him.
2014 stats: .306, 3 HR, 17 RBI
7. 1B Greg Bird, Tampa Yankees. Is it coincidence that the T-Yanks turned around their season when Bird re-entered the lineup? Touted as the most disciplined hitter in the Yankees’ organization, you have to begin to wonder. He is off to a great start since his return from extended spring training and it can only get better.
2014 stats: .302, 2 HR, 4 RBI
8. SP Ian Clarkin, Charleston RiverDogs. Clarkin was rolling in his return from extended spring training until his last outing. The clunker was the worst start of his young career, so it will be interesting to see how he bounces back. Make no mistake. Clarkin, just 19-years-old, has already shown the tools to justify that first round pick last season alone. Everyone is allowed a bad game.
2014 stats: 1-1, 3.66, 20 K
9. SP, Luis Severino, Charleston RiverDogs. Severino has been pitching well enough to be undefeated this season. Somehow, he sits at .500, which means he is undefeated since the last Prospect Watch. His run support issues will subside, so if he keeps up hurling the ball like he is, the wins will come.
2014 stats: 1-1, 1.76 ERA, 43 K/9 BB
10A. SP, Manny Banuelos, Trenton Thunder. The late scratch this past Tuesday from arm fatigue is worrisome, especially considering that Tampa has yet to really stretch Banuelos out yet this season. He has not shown the confidence or consistency the Yankees were hoping for at this point, but it is important to remember he basically hadn’t pitched in two years.
2014 stats (Trenton): 0-1, 5.59 ERA, 9 K/6 BB
10B. C/OF Peter O’Brien, Trenton Thunder. It’s time we start to consider O’Brien the way he is handling the bat this season. He started catching in Tampa where he batted .321 with 10 HR, 19 RBI, and 19 runs scored. He has shifted to the outfield and DH since his promotion, but Double-A pitchers can’t figure him out either. Is O’Brien a viable consideration for the 2015 Yankees’ outfield? He is sure making his case.
2014 stats (Trenton): .310, 7 HR, 16 RBI in just 10 games
Others to keep an eye on:
RP Danny Burawa (SWB) is back from the DL, He remains at 2-0, but has still yet to allow a run this season… OF Adonis Garcia (SWB) has been on fire with the stick. blasting home runs in consecutive games. He is batting .340 on the season… 2B Jose Pirela (SWB) has had a nice few weeks. He has raised his average to .301 with three home runs and 14 RBI… IF Zach Wilson (Tampa) has been on a tear of late, now batting .346 on the year… OF Jake Cave (Tampa) provided a lot of the fireworks on Tampa’s 7-game win streak. His average sits at .319 with two homers on the season…SP Caleb Smith (Charleston) has lost a few, but is still pitching very well. His ERA still remains under one (0.70) even though his record dropped to 3-3. He has also K’ed 44 batters this season… 1B Mike Ford (Charleston) is refusing to slow down his hot start. He is now batting .312 with four home runs… OF Michael O’Neill (Charleston) can’t get his batting average up, but he is showing he has the complimentary tools to stick around. He has 5 home runs and 14 stolen bases to go along with 22 RBI on the season.