Jorge Vazquez (1B) has also continued to make his presence known. He is hitting .333/.342/.750/1.092 with five homers and fourteen RBIs. The downside is that he has struck out ten times while only drawing one walk. Jordan Parraz (OF) has been terrifying opposing pitching as well. He is hitting .412/.444/.676/1.121 with a double, a triple and two homers over eight games.
The news has not all been good for Yankee prospects in Scranton, however. Brandon Laird (IF) and Kevin Russo (IF) have both struggled at the plate. Laird is hitting .133/.156/.167/.333 with six strikeouts and one walk. Russo is hitting .094/.121/.094/.215 with ten strikeouts and no walks.
Scranton will have to keep hitting the ball as they have recently lost two of their pitchers to the majors. Hector Noesi was called up earlier this week when Luis Ayala went on the DL, and Lance Pendleton made his major league debut last night, after being called up for Phil Hughes.
Trenton Thunder (AA): Trenton is coming off another strong season, having lost to the Altoona Curve in the Eastern League Championship last year. The Thunder is going to have to pick it up a bit if they are going to repeat last year’s success, as they are off to a 3-5 start this season. After winning the season opener against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Thunder dropped the next three games. Trenton split a two-game series against the Portland Sea Dogs, after the third game was rained out. They are in the middle of a four game set against Harrisburg and have taken one of two.
The Thunder are struggling at the plate. With Cody Johnson (LF) providing some strong offense, many others are searching for their swings. Johnson is hitting .321/.375/.560/.875 with one homer, two doubles and six RBIs. Austin Romine (C), one of the Yankees’ big catching prospects, has had a slow start. He is hitting just .222/.344/.296/.640 with two doubles. There are some good signs though, as he has drawn five walks and only struck out three times.
Trenton probably has one of the stronger pitching staffs in AA. Graham Stoneburner has put together two solid starts, going 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in eleven innings of work. He has given up just two runs, despite opposing batters getting thirteen hits off him. Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos each had a decent first start before being placed on the DL earlier this week with blister problems.
Tampa Yankees (A+): The back-to-back Champions of the Florida State League are looking to threepeat in 2011. They split their opening series against Lakeland, before losing two of three against Brevard County. Today they have a chance for their first series sweep, as they have won their first two games against Dunedin.
Robert Lyerly (3B) has provided a big bat for Tampa. He is hitting .359/.375/.615/.990 with ten RBIs, two homeruns, a triple and two doubles. Luke Murton has also given Tampa some offense, hitting .333/.410/.545/.956 with a homer, triple and double along with four RBIs. The Tampa Yankees have also gotten some strong pitching from Josh Romanski. In his two starts he has picked up two wins and has an 0.82 ERA, giving up just one run on five hits over eleven innings. He has struck out six and walked just two.
Charleston RiverDogs (A-): Charleston should be an interesting team to watch this season, as they have some good prospects to keep an eye on. Charleston is 4-5 at this point. They split their first series with Lexington and lost three of four to Greenville. In a game that could really spark something for the RiverDogs, they had a huge comeback last night against Rome, scoring four runs in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the tenth and won when Rob Segedin was hit by a pitch, bringing the winning run home.
Slade Heathcott (CF) is starting strong for Charleston, hitting .395/.400/.789/1.189 with eight RBIs, two homers, two triples and five doubles. The Yankees’ 2009 first round draft pick needs to work a bit on his plate discipline, however, as he has struck out thirteen times and failed to draw a walk. J.R. Murphy (C) is the catching prospect that probably gets ignored the most, with Montero, Romine and Gary Sanchez ahead of him. He hasn’t let that get in the way, however, as he is off to a strong 2011. He is hitting .324/.351/.647/.998 with nine RBIs, three homers and two doubles. Sanchez knocked a homer on Opening Day, but has cooled off some since then. He is hitting .238/.273/.476/.749. He has two RBIs, a homer and two doubles in his five games. He recently hit the DL with an abdominal strain, which may explain the slow start.