Category: Minor Leagues

New York Minor League Report 6-15-16

Things have not been going well lately for both New York baseball teams. Both the Mets and Yankees are in the midst of three-game losing streaks that are pushing them a bit farther away from playoff contention. Mind you, the Mets are in a much better position than their crosstown rivals but if they continue to be futile offensively, they might be viewing the postseason from home. So let’s move on to happier things, shall we? We can always find happy things going on in the Minor Leagues. Here is a look at one player and one team from each organization that had the best week.

credit: Bruce Adler of the Binghamton Mets

credit: Bruce Adler of the Binghamton Mets

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The Mets

Last week, third baseman T.J. Rivera from the Triple A Las Vegas 51’s was named the Pacific Coast Player of the Month for May. The Bronx native banged out 47 hits and 31 RBI’s during the month, both tops in the PCL. He has kept it going in June. The 27-year old Rivera has eight hits over his last 20 at-bats to raise his batting average to .363, second best among all hitters. He is also tied for second in RBI’s with 52 and is tenth in on-base percentage at .402. Rivera is listed as a shortstop but has primarily seen time at third base. He has also played a total of 25 games between first, second and left.

The St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League went 5-2 over the past week, punctuated by back-to-back shutouts of the league-leading Tampa Yankees. They also scored 27 runs in taking three out of four from the Dunedin Blue Jays. The Mets enter play today with a record 32-31, two games behind the South-leading Bradenton Marauders. The first half of the season in FSL will be finished next week with the second half of play to begin shortly afterwards.

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The Yankees

We stay in the Florida State League for the Yankees as Chance Adams was named the FSL Pitcher of the Week. On Friday, June 10th, the 21-year old right-hander threw five no-hit innings and struck out a career-best ten batters as Tampa defeated Bradenton by a score of 3-2. Adams, the club’s fifth round pick last season, has struck out 73 hitters in 57 2/3 innings, a span covering 12 starts. Opponents have hit only .196 off him and his WHIP (Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched) is 0.96. Adams’ stellar campaign in Tampa earned him a promotion to Double A Trenton this past Monday.

The Charleston River Dogs captured the first half title of the Southern Division in the Class A South Atlantic League. It represents the first playoff appearance for Charleston in 11 years. They currently own a record of 39-25, a game off the best overall record in the league which is owned by the Hagerstown Suns. The River Dogs went 5-3 over this past week including back-to-back 3-0 shutouts of the Asheville Tourists. The main reason why Charleston won the first half crown was their pitching staff which owns league bests in ERA (2.88 only team under 3.00) and WHIP (1.13).

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New York Minor League Report 6-8-16

Since I started this weekly Minor League update, I have focused on the individual statistics of the players on all levels of both New York organizations. I have looked at top prospects such as Aaron Judge and Gavin Cecchini and less heralded guys such as Chris Gittens and Kevin McGowan. With more Single A teams getting ready to start their season shortly, it’s time to look at how each farm club is performing in their respective leagues. Will one of these squads take home a championship?

Courtesy: newsday.com

Courtesy: newsday.com

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The Mets

The Las Vegas 51’s of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) are currently in second place in the Southern Division with a mark of 31-27. Ty Kelly, whom the Mets called up May 23rd, was among the PCL Leaders in hitting with a .391 average. Shortstop T.J. Rivera is now the club leader at .358. As a team, Vegas’ .284 average is second in the league behind the torrid .316 clip of El Paso and their .361 on-base percentage is only four points behind the Chihuahuas. On the mound, right-hander Gabriel Ynoa sports a 6-1 record and his 2.84 ERA is fourth among all PCL starting pitchers. The 51’s team ERA is a league-worst 5.29 and the staff has allowed 614 hits, the only unit that has surrendered over 600.

The Binghamton Mets of the AA Eastern League are having a subpar season with a record of 24-32, fifth place in the Eastern Division. This is the current home of first baseman Dominic Smith, one of the top prospects in the organization. He leads the team in RBI’s with 35, seventh in the league. As a unit, the B-Mets are hitting .252, good for fifth in the 12 team league while their .320 OBP is seventh. Right-handed pitcher Robert Gsellman has pitched better than his 3-4 record. His 2.71 ERA is sixth among all starters while his WHIP (Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched) ranks fifth at 1.09. It’s a mixed bag for the rest of the pitching staff. Their 4.19 ERA places them eighth in the league while their 423 strikeouts puts them in third.

The Class A St. Lucie Mets (27-29) are in fifth place in the Florida State League’s South division. This, despite the fact they are sending four players to the FSL All-Star Game. Shortstop Amed Rosario, outfielder Wuilmer Becerra, catcher Tomas Nido are the position players while lefty reliever Alberto Baldonado represents the pitchers. Baldonado will not play as he was promoted to the B-Mets. Becerra’s .338 batting average is second in the league while Rosario’s 31 RBI’s are tied for fifth. As a unit, the .254 batting average is fourth while their .326 OBP is third. Right-hander Ricky Knapp‘s 2.17 ERA is seventh overall.  The Mets’ 3.41 ERA is seventh in the league while their 380 strikeouts places them next to last.

The lower Class A Columbia Fireflies sport a record of 29-29, fifth place in the South Atlantic League’s Southern division. Three Fireflies were named to the All-Star Team: infielders Vinny Siena and David Thompson and left-handed pitcher P.J. Conlon. Thompson’s 42 RBI’s are tied for the league lead while Siena’s .430 OBP ranks second. Columbia’s team batting average of .242 is tenth in the 14 team league while their .327 OBP places them fourth. Conlon is arguably the league’s best pitcher as he ranks first in ERA at 1.21 and is second in WHIP at 0.94. The team’s ERA of 3.46 places them fifth which is where they are ranked in both strikeouts (467) and WHIP (1.26).

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The Yankees

The Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders (AAA) are 32-27 and in third place in the International League’s North division. They are only two games out of first in a division where every team is .500 or better. Top prospect Aaron Judge is struggling with a .235 batting average and a .303 OBP. Scranton is tied for 11th in the 14 team league in hitting at .249 while their .313 OBP is tied for next-to-last. Right-hander Chad Green has been outstanding despite his 4-5 record. His 1.61 ERA ranks second in the league and 1.12 WHIP places him seventh. Overall, the staff has enjoyed a nice year, with a league-leading 2.92 ERA with a second-best WHIP of 1.19.

The Double A Trenton Thunder have enjoyed a solid season thus far with a record of 34-23, good for second place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division. Infielders Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade own OBP’s of .367 and .366, respectively, good enough to place in the top ten among all league batters. As a team, they rank in the middle-to-bottom half of the league in average, runs scored and OBP. The strength of Trenton is on the mound. Lefties Dietrich Enns and Jordan Montgomery are in the top ten in ERA while the overall unit ranks first in strikeouts, second in ERA and third in WHIP.

The Tampa Yankees own the Florida State League’s best mark at 37-20. Four Yankees were named to the FSL All-Star Game:  Infielders Miguel Andujar and Jorge Mateo, outfielder Mark Payton and pitcher Chance Adams, who was just named FSL Pitcher of the Month. As a team, Tampa is first in runs scored and OBP, second in average and third in home runs. On the pitching side, Adams’ 63 strikeouts are tied for first in the league. The team ranks second in strikeouts, fourth in WHIP and fifth in ERA.

Another first place Yankees’ farm team is the Charleston River Dogs of the South Atlantic League. They own a mark of 34-23, four games in front of their nearest competitor. Shortstop Kyle Holder leads the club with a batting average of .284 while Chris Gittens‘ .384 OBP ranks 12th. The mound is where it’s at for the River Dogs. Right-handed pitchers Cody Carroll, Daris Vargas, and Andrew Schwaab all have been selected to the All-Star Game. Charleston’s pitching staff leads the league in ERA, strikeouts and WHIP.

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New York Minor League Report for 6/1/16

Phil Coke, starting pitcher? It’s hard to believe that the veteran reliever would agree to such a move but since coming back to the New York Yankees’ organization, the 32-year old Coke has made three starts for Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. He has allowed a grand total of one run in 15 2/3 innings pitched. It’s hard to say if the role will become permanent for him and perhaps he won’t be starting a game in the Bronx any time soon, but at least he is making himself more attractive, be it to New York or some place else. Who knows, if the Yanks decide enough is enough with Michael Pineda in the rotation, Coke could take his place in the rotation. Stranger things have happened.

Courtesy: nypost.com

Courtesy: nypost.com

On to the rest of your Minor League recap.

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The Yankees

Shortstop Jorge Mateo is the Tampa Yankee everyone has eyes on. However, perhaps more attention should be paid to the player to Mateo’s right. Third baseman Miguel Andujar is proving to be no slouch himself with the bat. The 21-year old Andujar is excelling once again in this, his second season in the Florida State League, leading all hitters in RBI’s with 37. He also has nine home runs, second league-wide and his 51 hits tie him for eighth. The right-handed batter was signed as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2011. Andujar had a solid 2014 for Charleston of the South Atlantic League with 25 doubles, four triples, ten home runs and 70 RBI’s for the River Dogs. Last year, he won the Florida State League Home Run Derby and also led Tampa in doubles with 25 and hits with 119. Andujar seems to have outgrown the FSL and a trip up to Double A should happen before the end of 2016.

Outside of the big three guns, the rest of the Yankees’ bullpen has been hit or miss. Perhaps this will open the door for 25-year old right-hander Mark Montgomery, currently at Scranton. Promoted from Double A Trenton on May 4th, Montgomery has pitched 7 2/3 innings for the Railriders so far, allowing only four hits and no walks while striking out nine. Taken in the 11th round of the 2011 Draft, he has risen steadily through the system with all but four of his 200 career Minor League games coming in relief. Control has sometimes been an issue with Montgomery but interestingly enough, between a 2015 stint in Scranton and this year, he has not walked a batter in 15 1/3 innings.

Who says big guys don’t have good batting eyes? Charleston First baseman Chris Gittens, all 6-foot-4, 250 pounds of him has a career on-base percentage of .398. The 22-year old first baseman was taken in the 12th round of the 2014 Draft from Grayson College in Denison, Texas. The lefty-swinging Gitens hit .363 with eight home runs in 143 at-bats for the Rookie League Gulf Coast Yankees in 2015. He then moved up to Tampa, struggling a bit with only two hits in 14 at-bats. This year, his 24 runs scored, 25 RBI’s and .371 OBP is tops on the River Dogs. A move back up to Tampa by season’s end remains a possibility as long as he continues getting on base lifts his power numbers.

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The Mets

Unfortunately for the Mets, their bullpen let them down last night. Right-handed reliever Kevin McGowan hasn’t let the St. Lucie Mets down much this season. McGowan, 13th round selection in 2013 from Franklin Pierce College, has allowed only three earned runs in 27 innings of work, converting both of his save opportunities. The last time he pitched exclusively out of the bullpen was in 2013 for the Brooklyn Cyclones. In 23 starts plus one relief appearance last year for St. Lucie, the 24-year old McGowan went 6-10 with a 4.50 ERA, allowing 139 hits and 49 walks in 132 innings. The bullpen seems to be a much better fit for him. He has walked only two batters and struck out 29 in which all but one of his 13 games came in relief.

How close is it to being Brandon Nimmo time in Queens? The 2011 first round selection doesn’t have great home run power but he has good extra base skills with 12 doubles and four triples for Triple A Las Vegas. His most impressive attribute is his ability to get on base. He has a .383 on-base percentage for the 51’s with a lifetime mark of .381 in his six-year Minor League career. Nimmo has been hot over his last 10 games, hitting .351 with seven RBI’s and six runs scored. The Mets don’t need someone in the outfield but they could use a player that can balance out their power-laden lineup. Nimmo would be a good fit but there is not a spot for him at the moment.

Another reliever doing excellent work out of the bullpen is Columbia Fireflies’ right-hander Tyler Bashlor. An 11th round selection in 2013 from South Georgia State, the 23-year old Bashlor has allowed only 14 hits and three earned runs in 22 2/3 innings. He will need to bring down his 13 walks but his 27 strikeouts are a solid number. This makes for a great story as Bashlor has missed the last two years because of injuries, including Tommy John surgery. If he can harness his control, expect Bashlor to get a promotion later this year to St. Lucie.

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New York Minor League Report 5-25-16

The big news in the land of the Minor Leagues is that Alex Rodriguez landed at Double A Trenton on Tuesday evening. The New York Yankees’ designated hitter began a rehab assignment with the Thunder as he works his way back from a hamstring strain. The thought was the Yanks were going to activate Rodriguez once they returned home from Oakland but evidently, the front office changed their minds. However, it still might be a short stay for the veteran as the organization will re-evaluate him after Wednesday’s game in Trenton.

Courtesy: nj.com

Courtesy: nj.com

On to the actual Minor Leaguers:

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The Yankees

Undrafted free agents are the longest of longshots to make it to the Major Leagues. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to make it to the Show. Billy Fleming is such a player, having been signed by the Yankees in July of 2014 after a three-year career at West Virginia in which he was an All-Big 12 selection after his Junior season. The 23-year old Fleming spent time at four different levels of ball starting with Pulaski of the Appalachian League and ending with the Thunder. This year, the righty swinger hit .329 with a .395 on-base percentage for Class A Tampa before being promoted back to Trenton on Monday.

Another longshot finds his way onto our report this week. Last year’s 33rd round selection, right-handed pitcher Christian Morris has been outstanding for the Charleston River Dogs of the South Atlantic League. The 22-year old Morris, who went to school at the University of Indiana, is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA in five starts. In 24 1/3 innings pitched, he has allowed only 17 hits and six walks while striking out 21. Opponents are hitting .205 off him. He had a rough go during his first professional season with a 5.59 ERA in hine appearances.

Climbing up the selection ladder, we have Tyler Webb, a left-handed pitcher who was taken in the 10th round of the 2013 Draft. The 6-6, 225 pound Webb went to the University of South Carolina and has now reached Triple A with the Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders. He has been sparkling out of the bullpen, allowing only three earned runs in 17 2/3 innings allowing 13 hits while striking out 25 batters. Webb has pitched as a reliever throughout his Minor League career and reached Triple A in 2015. However, he missed over two months with a tendon injury and subsequently spent time in the Arizona Fall League.

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The Mets

The Triple A Las Vegas 51’s had their second award winner in as many weeks. Shortstop T.J. Rivera was named the Pacific Coast Player of the Week Award seven days after Rafael Montero claimed the pitching award. The 27-year old right-handed hitter from the Bronx is hitting a blistering .523 over his last ten games, raising his season average to .377, second in the PCL to the just-promoted Ty Kelly. Rivera has hit at every single level of the Minors with a lifetime .323 average and .370 on-base percentage. He has 25 or more doubles three out of the past four years, all the more puzzling as to why the Mets have not brought him up yet.

Speaking of awards, right-handed pitcher Ricky Knapp was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. The 2013 8th round pick from Florida Gulf Coast allowed only six hits and one earned run in 15 innings last week. Knapp, age 24, now has a 1.64 in seven starts, eight games total, with a seven inning complete game shutout tossed on May 18th. In 49 1/3 innings, he has surrendered 423 hits and only 11 walks while fanning 26. He seems to be on track for a promotion to Double A Binghamton.

One of the most eye-popping seasons so far in Minor League ball belongs to Columbia Fireflies’ left-handed starter P.J. Conlon. The 13th round pick, who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, sports a 1.06 ERA in 51 innings, covering eight starts. The 22-year old Conlon has given up 43 hits and only six walks while striking out 43. This comes less than a year after he pitched in 17 games, all in relief for the Brooklyn Cyclones, and allowing zero earned runs in 17 innings. All told, in 25 Minor League games, Conlon sports a 0.79 ERA.

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New York Minor League Report for 5/18

One item of note took place in the farm system of the New York Mets earlier in the week.  Rafael Montero was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week after tossing 11 2/3 scoreless innings for Las Vegas. Montero, once regarded as one of the best Met pitching prospects, is trying to re-establish himself after earlier stints with the big club didn’t go so well. The 25-year old right-hander has a 3.94 ERA in six starts while allowing 32 hits and 13 walks in 29 1/3 innings.

Now it’s on to the rest of this week’s update featuring the prospects of the Mets and New York Yankees:

Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP

Credit: Ron Sachs / CNP

**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************The Yankees

The team’s first round pick in 2013, left-handed pitcher Ian Clarkin has rebounded nicely after missing all of 2015 with an elbow injury. His journey back began in the 2015 Arizona Fall League by pitching 24 2/3 innings. This year, the 21-year old left-hander has sprinkled in some sparkling outings with some uneven performances for Class A Tampa. In his last start, Clarkin struck out a career-high ten batters while throwing seven shutout innings. On April 23rd, he hurled 7 2/3 innings and allowed only one earned run. For the season, Clarkin has tossed 37 2/3 innings. surrendering 45 hits and only 10 walks while compiling a 3.82 ERA. Clarkin is ranked #10 by mlb.com on the Yankee prospect list.

There continues to be a steady stream of talent coming over from South Korea. 20-year old shortstop Hoy Jun Park is the Yankees’ import from Seoul, signing with the organization in July 2014. As a 19-year old in Rookie ball, Park out up a solid .351 on-base percentage for Pulaski of the Appalachian League last year. He was named the Appalachian League Player of the Week for games that ended on August 16th. Now at Single A Charleston, the lefty-swinging Park has six doubles and six triples in 118 at-bats. He has also been perfect in eight stolen base attempts. He is currently rated as the Yanks’ 14th-best prospect by mlb.com.

Organizations today crave versatility. Teams carry much more relief pitchers than they did years ago, thereby leaving short benches. Tyler Wade, a 2013 fourth round selection can play both second base and shortstop. The 21-year old Wade is hitting .272 with a .364 on-base percentage for Double A Trenton. The 6-1, 185 pound lefty-swinger also likes to run with 22 stolen bases in 2014 and 35 in 2015. This year, Wade has five thefts in six attempts. He was named to the Florida State League Post-Season All-Star team last year on the strength of his team-leading 103 hits for Tampa. He is currently ranked as the organization’s eighth-best prospect according to mlb.com.

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The Mets

Sometimes being the son of a former Major League player can be a burden. Try being L.J. Mazzilli, the son of one of one the most popular player in Met history, Lee Mazzilli. The fourth round selection in the 2013 Draft, Mazzilli had a solid 2014 campaign across three levels of A ball with 11 home runs while batting .301. However, at age 25, he seems to have been stuck in a rut at Double A Binghamton. This is the second season for Mazzilli with the B-Mets and this year he has only 25 hits in 115 at-bats. He hasn’t shown any power since A ball with zero home runs in over 400 at-bats at Double A. To compound matters, Mazzilli was suspended for 50 games in 2015 for an unspecified drug violation. Still, mlb.com ranks him as the organization’s 26th-best prospect on the strength of his ability to play multiple positions.

Before being placed on the disabled list with a sore back, shortstop Gavin Cecchini was on fire. He had 15 hits and eight runs scored in his last 34 at-bats with seven RBI’s. For the season, the 22-year old Cecchini has a .388 on-base percentage with 25 hits in 26 games. The Mets’ number one selection in 2012, Cecchini was named the Eastern League Rookie of the Year in 2015 as he was among the league leaders in hits with 194, batting average at .317 and doubles with 26. Another positive to the lefty-swinger’s game is that he doesn’t strike out too much with only 55 whiffs in 439 at-bats last season. He is listed as the Mets’ number three prospect by mlb.com and was invited to Spring Training with the big club. It is a pretty safe bet that we will see Cecchini at Citi Field at some point in 2016.

How many Major League players can you think of that have come from the Virgin Islands? Right-handed pitcher Akeel Morris hopes to be one of the few that make it all the way to the Show. The 2010 10th round pick has been primarily a reliever since his second year of Rookie ball in 2012. The 6-1, 195 Morris has had some dominating season in the lower levels of the Mets’ organization. In 2014, Morris had 16 saves in 17 opportunities with an ERA of 0.63. Last year at High Class A St. Lucie, he saved 13 of 14 contests with an ERA of 1.69 before being moved up to Binghamton. He actually appeared in one game for the Major League Mets, a contest in June in which he surrendered five runs in 2/3 of an inning. With the B-Mets, Morris has a 4.41 ERA in 13 games but has struck out 19 batters in 16 1/3 innings while holding opponents to a .203 batting average. MLB.com has him listed as the team’s 16th-best prospect.

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New York Minor League Report for 5/11

At this juncture, the Minor League teams of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets are right in the middle of the pack of their respective leagues. However, in the Class A South Atlantic League, the Charleston River Dogs (Yankees) are in first place, leading the Columbia Fireflies (Mets) by two and-a-half games in the league’s Southern division. While the goal is always winning, the farm is more about player development so guys that are having great years on the lower levels usually get pulled up to the next level, regardless of the team’s record. With that being said, here is your recap of prospect play in both organizations.

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The Mets

MLB.com rates first baseman Dominic Smith as the Met organization’s top prospect. The 20-year old Smith, taken in the first round of the 2013 Draft is playing ball at Double A Binghamton where he has rebounded nicely after a slow start. He has seven RBI’s in 40 May at-bats with five runs scored and a .325 batting average for the month. For the season, Smith leads the Eastern League in hits with 35 and is third in RBI’s with 23. In 2015, he batted .305 for the Class A St. Lucie with a .354 on-base percentage. Still not old enough to drink, the 6-0, 230 pound Smith has already played in 324 Minor League games.

Courtesy milb.com

Courtesy milb.com

Nothing in Amed Rosario‘s previous Minor League stops would have predicted the start he has had for the St. Lucie Mets. The 20-year old shortstop has been blistering Florida State League pitching to the tune of a .342 batting average in 132 plate appearances. What a difference a year makes. On that same level in 2015, Rosario hit .257 in 417 plate appearances , eventually earning a brief call up to Binghamton. He was signed by the organization in 2013 as a 17-year old free agent from the Dominican Republic. He then immediately played for Kingsport of the Appalachian League where he batted a respectable .241.

What would a Met prospect review be without a pitcher? This week, we take a look at Robert Gsellman, the team’s 13th round selection in the 2011 Draft. The 22-year old right-hander is having a tremendous season for Binghamton so far with a 1.77 ERA in six starts. Gsellman is holding opposing batters to a .194 average and has allowed only 24 hits and 12 walks in 35 2/3 innings. He ripped through the Florida State League last year with a 6-0 mark and a 1.76 ERA in eight starts, earning him a promotion to Double A ball. If the 6-4, 200 pound Gsellman continues to pitch like this, the bright lights of Las Vegas will be beckoning.

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Everyone loves a big-time power hitter. The Yankees employ one of those guys in their system, the 6-7 right-fielder Aaron Judge. If the Yankee offensive woes returns, there will be calls to bring up Judge for some desperately needed punch. Though he needs a little bit more time with Triple A Scranton-Wilkes Barre, a promotion later in the year is not out of the question. Judge is tied for second in the International League home run standings with seven including five over his last ten games and tied for second in RBI’s with 20. With Carlos Beltran a free agent at the end of the year, expect Judge to be the favorite to take his place.

Shortstop Jorge Mateo is one of the most exciting Yankees’ prospects. Only 20 years old, Mateo is tearing up the Florida State League for the Tampa Yankees, hitting .369 with a .427 on-base percentage. Mateo, signed as a free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2012, swiped 82 bases in 2015 between two levels of A ball. He has added some more power to arsenal, collecting 12 extra-base hits so far in 2016. The 6-0, 190 pound Mateo is ranked as the Bombers’ top prospect by mlb.com and number 27 overall. He will need to improve defensively at short as he committed 30 errors there a year ago.

Right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera isn’t listed among the top 30 prospects of the Yankees by mlb.com. Perhaps they should re-think this decision. Herrera, who just turned 21, sports a 2.55 ERA in five starts for the Double A Trenton Thunder. He has allowed only 20 hits and nine walks while striking out 32 in 32 1/3 innings. Herrera made one start in April from Scranton but was hit hard to the tune of seven hits and five runs in five innings. Perhaps his size (5-11, 185 pounds) is why he is overlooked by scouts. Herrera came to the Yankees in November from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Jose Pirela.

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New York Minor League Update

Who doesn’t like to read about the stars of tomorrow? Each week at this time, I will be looking at the happenings on the farm of both the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Reading about these players is almost just as fun as watching the Major Leaguers play ball. Here is how the first few weeks are going for some of New York’s top prospects.

The Yankees

The organization received a scare last week with last year’s first round pick, pitcher James Kaprielian. The right-hander reported some soreness in his pitching elbow and went for tests. Once you hear that, you automatically think of the worst. Fortunately, there was no damage and nothing to be concerned about so the 22-year old Kaprielian was placed on the 7-day disabled list on April 26th with elbow inflammation. Before the injury, he was dominating at Tampa in the Florida State League with 22 strikeouts in 18 innings, allowing only eight hits and three walks. Kaprielian is listed as the Yanks’ #4 prospect according to mlb.com.

Courtesy: newsday

Courtesy: newsday

Cale Coshow of the Double A Trenton Thunder has allowed a single unearned run over his last two starts. The 6-5, 260 pound right-hander has surrendered six hits and five walks during that span which has come over 11 2/3 innings. The 23-year old Coshow hasn’t found the win column in five starts but does sport a 2.89 ERA. He was originally selected in the 13th round of the 2013 out of Oklahoma Christian. He is considered New York’s 22nd best prospect according to mlb.com and pitched at three levels in 2015, ending the season with the Thunder.

With Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro patrolling the middle infield spots for the forseeable future, it would seem prospects at those two positions may have a tough time cracking the Major League roster. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t pay attention to them. One such player is Thairo Estrada, who is honing his skills with Charleston of the South Atlantic League. The 20-year old Estrada was signed as an international free agent from Venezeula in 2012. In 84 at-bats this year, he his hitting .298 with a .352 on-base percentage. At 5-10 and 155 pounds, he is not a power threat but he puts the bat on the ball. Estrada is listed at #28 on the Yankees’ prospect list according to mlb.com.

The Mets

It is not often that a pitcher can have a great deal of success in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Mets’ right-handed prospect Gabriel Ynoa has been the exception so far in 2016. In five starts covering 30 2/3 innings, the 22-year old Ynoa has given up only seven earned runs. He was signed as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2009. The 6-2, 190 pound Ynoa opened some eyes in 2013 by going 15-4 with a 2.72 ERA with Class A Savannah. Ranked as the Mets’ 13th best prospect by mlb.com, Ynoa doesn’t wow you with an eye-popping fastball. Instead, he relies on excellent control as evidenced by his 104 walks in 672 Minor League innings.

There aren’t many players in the Mets’ system that have more gaudy numbers than 21-year old outfielder Wuilmer Becerra. Ranked as the #7 prospect by mlb.com, Becerra is hitting .394 over 66 at-bats for St. Lucie of the Florida State League. He wasn’t drafted by the Amazins’; instead he was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. He came to Queens in the big R.A. Dickey deal, which based on his production so far in the Minors and along with Noah Syndergaard, is turning out to be one of the best trades in club history. Becerra’s breakout season came last year at Savannah when he drove in 66 runs with a .342 OBP.

Could the heir apparent at third base for David Wright be 2o15 fourth round selection David Thompson? As a Junior with the Miami Hurricanes, Thompson led the country in RBI’s with 90 and was tied for second in home runs with 19. He was also one of only three players to earn unanimous All-America first-team honors. Thompson got off to a hot start for Class A Columbia this year but has cooled a bit, hitting .211 over his last ten games. As far as his play at the hot corner, mlb.com believes that he is an average defender at best and may eventually slide over to first base. Thompson is currently ranked as the organization’s 25th best prospect.

New York Mets Prospect Review: Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets are going to have a gaping hole to fill in the outfield. It seems all but certain that Yoenis Cespedes will be departing for greener pastures once free agency really kicks into high gear. Juan Lagares seemed to regress in 2015 and it is difficult to tell if the team views him as an everyday player anymore. Will they fill their hole in center field by making a trade or acquiring a free agent? Or is there one other option? Do the Mets go out on a limb and hand the job to top prospect Brandon Nimmo?

Courtesy: milb.com

Courtesy: milb.com

Despite playing high school baseball in Wyoming, the 22-year old Nimmo was taken with the 13th overall pick in the 2011 Draft. Immediately after being selected, Nimmo received 44 plate appearances at two different levels of Rookie ball.  He then spent all of 2012 with Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League and although he hit only .248, his on-base percentage was a robust .372. He moved up to another A ball level in 2013, this time with Savannah of the South Atlantic League where he hiked his average up to .273 but struck out 131 times. Nimmo split the next campaign between Single A St. Lucie and Double A Binghamton, showing a little more pop with ten home runs. In 2015, he played with the B-Mets and Triple A Las Vegas with a .362 on-base percentage in 434 total plate appearances. Power went down as he had only half the home runs he hit the prior year but so did strikeouts, fanning only 75 times.

MLB.com has Nimmo ranked as the organization’s number two prospect behind Steven Matz. Though he hasn’t shown much in terms of power and extra base hit ability, they believe that it will show up more on the Major League level. His ability to play all three outfield spots will certainly warrant a callup at some point in 2016. However, he is not ready to assume a starting outfield spot as the Mets look to defend their National League crown. New York needs an another impact bat in center and Nimmo at the moment is not that guy. He also doesn’t appear to be a guy that will hit 20 home runs a year consistently. However, if he can get to 15 and keep that OBP above .375, the Mets will have a nice compliment to Michael Conforto for the next several years.