Prospects to Follow 2012
When the minor league season starts this year our article every night, “Minor Night Cap” will of course show the wins and loses of each level of the Yankee system. We will also show you stats of the games as usual but this year we are going to do something new where we will also highlight a pitcher and a hitter from each level. Below are the ones we have selected. In doing this we hope it helps you follow some players you might have not followed during the season. The blurbs about each player came from our Top 40 Prospects which our writer Fishjam put together earlier this year.
And away we go….
AAA – Empire State Yankees
(They are only using this name for this season while they are on the road all year due to ballpark renovations)
Hitter – Austin Romine (most likely will start off the season on the DL) His defense behind the plate is MLB-ready now. His bat isn’t special but will be good enough for him to have a long career as a starting catcher in the bigs.
Pitcher – Dellin Betances – This is a big year for Betances. At 24, he needs to have a good year in AAA to prove he can pitch in a MLB rotation. Has plus, swing-and-miss stuff but most improve his control to cut down his pitch counts.
AA – Trenton Thunder
Hitter – Zolio Almonte – Solid all-around skills. Good defense, speed and power that has improved the last 2 years. Yanks added the switch-hitter to their 40-man to protect him from Rule 5 draft and he could be a candidate to make the team in 2013.
Pitcher – Brett Marshall - Now fully recovered from his 2009 Tommy John Surgery, he threw career high 140 IP with 3.24 FIP. Has good low 90s sinker and makings of a plus slider. Has flashed mid 90s velocity at times and will be interesting how he does in AA this year.
High A – Tampa Yankees
Hitter – J.R. Murphy - Improved his game offensively & defensively before ending season early with leg injury. Rips line drives to all fields and scouts now believe he has the ability to remain as a catcher while also showing the athleticism to play 3B and OF. Could become a very versatile asset in the Majors.
Pitcher - Nik Turley - 6’7″ lefty reminds me a litle of Andy Pettitte. Took a step forward with 2.51 ERA and 8.9 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 82 IP in Charleston til a broken hand ended his season after being promoted to Tampa.
Low A – Charleston River Dogs
Hitter – Dante Bichette, Jr. – Drafted for his plus power, he’s shown better defense than was thought. He’s really impressed the organization with his intangibles & makeup – namely his work ethic, advanced approach, knowledge of the game & leadership. Baseball America named him top prospect in Gulf Coast League and VP of baseball operations Mark Newman calls him “a special player and person.”
Pitcher – Bryan Mitchell – Plus stuff but still very raw. Put things together by end of year and shows strikeout (8.6 K/9) and ground-ball stuff (2.19 GO/AO rate)