Yankees Triple-A Club is Ready and Restocked with Replacements

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Yankees pulled most of their best talent from Scranton to the Bronx earlier this year. And now several new Railriders are playing well enough to help the big league club.

Yankees farm hands know that there has never been a better time to break in. If you look like you can help in New York, you will get your chance. It’s just that the 2017 New York Yankees have had so many players shine in Triple-A, and one who got hurt, that they called up all their best Scranton talent by the end of June.

It seemed like the cupboard was bare, at least until better prospects moved up. That process might have taken the rest of the year. Instead, the Yankees might be going to round two of call-ups before September, with high expectations.

Two of the players excelling at Scranton we already saw, with mixed results. Utility player Tyler Wade came up because he was hitting for a good average in the minors. But he only managed to slash .107/.219/.179 in his limited big league tryout.

But he has gone back down and picked up where he left off, collecting six hits in his five games back with the Railriders and batting over .300. Wade remains ready for another call-up.

Short but Sweet

The Yankees gave 3B Miguel Andujar an even shorter tryout but had even better results. He played in only one game but collected three hits, including a double, and one walk leading to four RBI’s. It is meaningless as a sample size but still is promising.

And his Triple-A numbers do nothing to diminish that promise. Andujar started the year at Double-A, so it would be understandable if he needed a couple hundred at bats to get used to tougher competition; guess not.

In 89 games overall for the RR’s, Miguel is hitting .315/.354/.528 with four home runs. And he has 11 home runs between Trenton and Scranton for the year.

But he has been doing even better than that lately. In his last ten games, Andujar is hitting .368 with two walks, three home runs, and seven RBI’s. And he’s only struck out five times during that span. I know we are going to see him in September. I just don’t know if we will have to wait that long.

Those are returning players, and it is unsurprising that they are playing well. Suddenly, they are not the only ones.


One-time prospect Jake Cave has spent this season revitalizing his status. He started at Trenton but was called up more to fill out the team with the departures of Clint Frazier and Dustin Fowler. He has not let the opportunity slip away.

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In 115 AB’s at Scranton, Cave has a .348/.400/.643 slash; eye-popping. And, like Andujar, he has been even better lately, hitting .444 with four home runs in his last ten. Between Cave and Andujar, I would think the RailRiders have been doing pretty well lately. If the Yankees need yet another outfielder, Cave certainly is having a great year.

Jake might prove the theory that you don’t have to be good all the time, just at the right time. RF Billy McKinney might prove it first. He came over last year in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Scouts said he swung the best bat in the second half last year; he did not swing the best bat for the first half of this year.

Kept at Double-A, McKinney merely hit .250/.339/.431 with six homers in 232 at-bats. But he was called up anyway, for the same reason as Cave. And he has responded the same, as well. In his 62 AB’s at Scranton, Billy is hitting .339/.379/.613 with four home runs already.

As long as he can play both left and right, he will come up in September to give extra rest to Judge, Gardy, and Hicks.

First but Last

The overlooked 1B Mike Ford, perhaps the only upper-level first base prospect who did not get a chance to wear pinstripes, continues to hit at Scranton. And the Yankees continue not to care. Ford has spent most of the season at Double-A to make room for more promising players. His average there is a respectable .284 with ten home runs.

But he was recently promoted back to Scranton and has responded. In his first five games back, he has five hits in 18 at-bats and has scored ten runs. Overall for the RR’s, his slash reads .296/.415/.611 in just 54 AB’s.

None of this means that Ford is now a prospect; he’s not. It just means that he is playing well now and could be used as a short term solution at the big league level.

Use Him or Lose Him, to Injury

Finally, SP Dietrich Enns has probably done enough to warrant attention, especially as we head

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Into August. The oft-injured 26-year old lefty missed time this year but returned on June 26.

All he has done since then is earn the right to be next arm up. In those five starts, totaling 29.1 innings of work, Enns has only given up six runs.

His worst start back was his second, on July 1st, when he gave up three runs in five innings. But he did have six strikeouts and a WHIP of one in that game. In no other start has he given up more than one run.

And his last start, on July 20th, was his best so far: seven innings pitched, six hits and one walk for a WHIP of one, with one earned run and seven strikeouts.

For the year, he has 40 innings pitched, an ERA of 1.79, and a WHIP of 0.83. The Yankees currently use Luis Cessa in the rotation. He has a 4.61 ERA, and 29 hits in 27 innings pitched. It seems likely Enns will get a chance at some point soon.

Next: Yankees Six Degrees of Separation: Blake Rutherford to Yu Darvish

The season can be long, and it takes a lot of players for the team to be successful. They don’t all have to have great careers (Shelley Duncan), just be playing well when the team needs them. Even after removing Clint Frazier, Dustin Fowler, and Jordan Montgomery, the Yankees have several players ready to fill in.

That’s a comfort to the fans. And a challenge to the current Yankees players.