Minors Review: June

With trade season upon us, a fair amount of the conversation revolves around the Yankees lack of prospect trading chips. Given that, it is hardly surprising the mediocre performances the Yankees’ affiliates have put together this season. There are some strong individual performances to be sure, but of all the full season teams, the only team not to have a losing record in June was Tampa, who went .500.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders:
The Yankees’ Triple-A team went 12-17 in June, putting them 10.5 games behind Syracuse in the IL North Division as of Sunday afternoon. Losing Ramon Flores and Mark Montgomery to the DL this past month certainly hasn’t helped matters. While the Railriders are struggling to pick up the wins, their team statistics are not as dire as one would expect. On the mound, Scranton owns a 4.34 ERA, which is the fourth highest. They have minimized damage by the long ball, as their 53 homers are the third lowest in the IL.

As a team Scranton is hitting .270/.335/.407, giving them the second highest batting average and slugging percentage in the International League. They have the fourth fewest strikeouts (633) and the most triples (27), but they also have the least amount of walks taken.Robert Refsnyder was promoted in June and put together a .364/.494/.606 line in his first 20 games in Triple-A. He had nine RBIs and three homers. Jose Pirela also had a strong June, hitting .336/.385/.504 with 18 RBIs, five stolen bases and four homers.

Trenton Thunder:
While Scranton’s June wasn’t great, Trenton’s was abysmal. They went 9-19, including a seven game losing streak at one point. They now find themselves 18.5 games behind Portland. Neither pitching or hitting is giving the Thunder much to get excited about. Their 4.03 ERA puts them in the middle of the road and while they have the third most Ks (659) and third fewest homers (52), they also have the third most walks (308). In the batter’s box, Trenton is towards the bottom of the Eastern League with a team slash line of .254/.321/.382.

Peter O’Brien, who started the year strong, hit .198/.250/.386 in June. He managed five homers during that time, but he also struck out 33 times, drawing just five walks. Mason Williams, who has struggled this season, had his best month so far. He hit .253/.292/.343 with a pair of homers and six stolen bases. Manny Banuelos, continuing his return from Tommy John surgery, threw eleven innings in June and gave up two walks and three runs, striking out eleven.

Tampa Yankees:
Tampa went 13-13 in June and find themselves just one game behind Brevard County in the young second half of the season. They ended the first half 33-37, which put them 13.5 games behind Dunedin. Another positive sign was that they ended June and started July with a six game win streak. As a team, Tampa’s hitting statistics general put them in the middle of the pack. They hit .254/.320/.367. Their 711 Ks is the most in the FSL, but they also have 49 homers, the second most. There are some good signs on the mound, where they have allowed the least homers (28) and have 680 strikeouts (2nd). Their ERA is 3.31 which puts them in the middle.

Rafael De Paula had an up and down June. He went 3-3 with a 6.29 ERA, in large part to two ugly games in the middle of the month. He ended June with two scoreless outings. De Paula continues to strike out batters, notching 30 Ks in June and only walking seven, but he got hit for a hefty .337 average. Luis Severino was promoted and is off to a strong start. He went 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in JUne, striking out fourteen and walking two. He allowed batters to hit just .139 off him. On offense, Jake Cave went .298/.360/.556 and Greg Bird went .291/.390/.419 with eleven doubles.

Charleston RIverDogs:
The RiverDogs went 9-18 in June, including an eight game losing streak to end June and start July. As the Sally League starts their second half, Charleston already sits nine games back with a 4-13 record, after ending the first half thirteen games out of first place. Their pitchers know how to strike out other teams, picking up a league leading 754 strikeouts so far. Their 3.95 ERA isn’t particularly exciting, but over all their pitching does not seem to be their main problem. They have only allowed forty homers and have the least hit batters in the league. Then again, when you are looking for positives and one of the best things you can come up with is least hit batters, you may be grasping at straws. Ian Clarkin put in some strong outings in June, going 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts. He did not give up a homer, struck out 28 and walked just eight while allowing hitters to hit just .216.

At the plate, Charleston is hitting just .251/.333/.379. They have swiped 96 stolen bases, the third most in the SAL, but they have also struck out 684 times, the fourth most. Eduardo De Oleo hit .321/.381/.571 in June with four homers and ten RBIs. Michael O’Neill managed to go .278/.358/.433 wth two homers, seven doubles and five stolen bases.

Staten Island Yankees:
The New York-Penn League started in June and the Staten Island Yankees are currently sitting 4.5 games behind Hudson Valley in the McNamara Division. They went 10-7 in June, primarily thanks to some strong pitching performances. They have a 2.98 ERA and lead the league with 207 strikeouts, walking just 75. They have only let opposing teams hit four homers, the least of any team in the NYPL. At the plate, Staten Island is struggling for sure. They went .229/.313/.327 so far and have just five homers, tying them for the least. The Yankees have 25 stolen bases, so when they are on base they can do some damage.

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help.

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