The Yankees farm report: The playoffs and beyond

. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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The Gulf Coast Yankees East

The GC Yankees East have already won their post-season tournament. When they did, they also became the first minor league champions of 2017.

The GCY East (33-27) had to win a one game semifinal and a best of three final, but they came home with the title. The Yankees were led by LF Canaan Smith, who was also the only Yankees Post-Season All-Star in the entire Gulf Coast League.

A word about nomenclature. In the minor league system, they have a mid-season All-Star game, to which they name All-Stars; yes, please take a moment for a collective, “no doy.”

But they also name the best players at the end of the season and use the title, Postseason All-Stars (PAS). The title does not imply that the players did so well in the playoffs that they earned an All-Star attribution. God, I hope that was worth the time.

Raising Canaan

Back to Smith. In the one game semi, he went two-for-three. But if you know Canaan, you know he is all about OBP; a player for Stick Michael’s heart. So, of course, he also walked once, getting on base three out of four times.

In the three games he played in, Canaan collected four hits, three walks, and three RBI’s. And one of the hits was a home run. I don’t know where Smith will play next year, but it won’t be the GCL.

Sadly, though, is that a part of the mystery of where he will play is that Smith left game three of the playoffs with an injury and placed on the 60-day DL.

Here is the part where we get to act as a baseball community. I have no idea what the injury was or what it bodes. But I bet one of you does. This article will not be complete until someone with knowledge of the situation helps us all and explains the injury. Thank you, in advance.

If Smith was the Yankees playoff offensive MVP, then RF Jhon Moronta was the hero. His one out single to right in the top of the ninth in game three won the game, the series, and the title.

A Great First Impression

Earning honorary notices are SS Jose Devers—he was the man on third when Moronta stroked his single—2B Borinquen Mendez, RP Luis Rijo, and SP Brett Morales.

Morales is of special note. He is one of those pitchers the Yankees, and others, sign even though he recently had Tommy John surgery. Brett had the surgery last summer, was signed by the Yanks soon after, and proceeded to miss the next twelve months.

Making his debut only on August tenth, Morales made but four regular season starts before the playoffs. But his confidence had to be high as he finished his brief 2017 campaign with a 0.93 ERA and thirteen strikeouts to go with one walk in 9 and 2/3 innings.

Still, he was being thrust into a do-or-die, one game elimination semifinal after missing a year. The fact that he pitched five innings and gave up one hit, and no runs, makes Morales a pitcher to at least crane our necks at when 2018 begins.

Sadly, it is the GCL Yankees West (32-27) who finished third in a tougher division and out of the playoff picture. But they were the only farm team not to make noise in the playoffs. And the next sound you hear will be that of the Pulaski Yankees.