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.

Author Archives: Tamar Chalker

Robert Refsnyder moves to the outfield – for now

refsnyder

It has been well documented that Robert Refsnyder has been hitting the ball very well this year. This follows a very quick journey through the Minors after ending his college career with a College World Series title and the MOP award. Last year, the Yankees moved Refsnyder to second base, as they thought his lack of power hitting would play better there than as a corner outfielder. No doubt this move looked even better when Robinson Cano left for Seattle.

Many people tagged Refsnyder as a prospect who could move through the system quickly, but learning a new position was likely to slow this process some. Earlier this week, however, Brian Cashman told the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate to have Refsnyder get back to playing some outfield and added to the rumor mill by saying that if he was to get the call this year it would likely be to play in the outfield. The Yankees sorely need some offense and, after reworking his swing with Marcus Thames in Trenton, Refnsnyder’s bat is begging for a chance in the Bronx (he’s hitting .308/.431/.551 right now).…

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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.…

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Yankees kick off international free agent signing with a bang

Just as Katie told us yesterday, the Yankees broke out the checkbook in a big way for this year’s international free agent signing period, including all four of the players she wrote about. While the Yankees have yet to confirm any of these signings, reports have them picking up ten players yesterday, for a total of $14.25 million in signing bonuses, far surpassing their assigned 2,193,100. Here is a quick look at the signings so far.

Dermis Garcia (SS): The Dominican power hitter will likely outgrow short, but with his big arm he could look nice at third. He was ranked at the top of MLB.com’s rankings and ninth for Baseball America, earning him $3.2 million from the Yankees.

Nelson Gomez (3B): Another Dominican infielder, Gomez was widely considered the top offensive player in this year’s class, fetching him $2.25 million from the Bronx Bombers. He was ranked second by MLB.com and sixth by BA.

Juan De Leon (OF): De Leon is a very toolsy player who was second on BA’s list and fifth on MLB.com.…

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Minors Review: May

As you may have noticed by the lack of Farm Reports this past month, I was out of commission for most of May, recovering from Tommy John…wait, no…from rotator cuff surgery. College athletics – the gift that keeps on giving! I am slowly getting back to “normal” (or as Brad said, I’m about ready to throw a side session) so I hope to resume those posts in the coming weeks.  For now, I will ignore the frustration caused by my slow one-handed typing so as to permit me to at least get out the end of month posts. So, without further adieu, let’s look back at May.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
At the end of May, Scranton was 28-26 and two games behind Rochester in the IL North. After a lackluster start to 2014, the RailRiders had a solid month, going 17-13, thanks in part to a six game win streak.

The RailRiders hurlers only allowed seven homers in April, a feat they were unable to replicate in May, though their 24 homers through May still were the least in the International League.…

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Prospects Who’s Not: April

Well, I’ve given you the the hot prospects for April, along with some well-deserved honorable mentions, so now it’s time for the not so hot. While the Hot list was tough to make because there were those deserving a mention who got left off, the Not list was much easier. This was in part to some rough performances by some recognizable names, but also because not as many of the more important prospects struggled. There were plenty whose April was more of a mixed bag, but here are five who really are going to need to turn things around in May.

Austin Romine (C, Scranton):
I have never given out a Not Prospect of the Month, but Romine is tempting me this April. After a brief call up to New York early in April, the Yankees passed him over for John Ryan Murphy when Cervelli got injured. If Romine was trying to convince them they made a mistake, he certainly has done little to prove them wrong.…

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Prospects Who’s Hot: April

I always like it when this list is hard to put together because I feel like there are a decent number of players I could talk about here. That was the case this month, so here are my picks for April, in no particular order.

Peter O’Brien (C, Tampa):
O’Brien had a solid first full season in professional baseball last year, splitting time between Charleston and Tampa. He has picked up right where he left off this month, crushing the ball with a .330/.361/.703 line. He had eight homers, eight doubles and a triple, alone with sixteen RBIs. Despite crushing the ball, O’Brien has only taken four walks over 24 games, striking out 22 times. If he keeps swinging like this he may be taking at bats in Trenton by the break.

Luis Severino (RHP, Charleston):
The Dominican righty got his first taste of baseball stateside last season and has started his first full season very strong. Despite a rough first outing, where he gave up three runs in just two innings, Severino turned around and threw seventeen innings with only one earned run over the rest of the month of April (four starts).…

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Minors Review: April

I find it hard to believe that it is already May, possibly because up here in northern New England it felt like winter was never going to end this year, but it is and so we have our first month of Minor League baseball in the books. The strange weather has played some role in the early part of the season for some of the Yankees’ affiliates, but overall there have been some very positive things going on down on the farm.

zoiloScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
Like many of the teams located in the northeast, the RailRiders’ April was interrupted by the slow departure of winter (if in fact it has left…). They had nine games postponed due to rain, snow or inclement weather, in addition to battling through some chilly games. At the end of April, Scranton had an 11-13 record, while not the strong start the RailRiders had hoped for, it hasn’t put them too far behind Buffalo and Pawtucket, who both started the year a little stronger and lead the IL North Division.…

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