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 - I can pay you in maple syrup.

Author Archives: Tamar Chalker

The Farm Report: August

Well, we have somehow hit that point in the season where the minor leagues are getting closed to wrapping up and prospects will be hoping to get their first taste of big league action with a September call up to the Bronx. I’ll do a more thorough recap of the minor league teams’ seasons after they have finished, but here is an update for now.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders have put together a very strong 2015, going 76-60 so far. They are five games ahead of Rochester in the IL North and, with eight games left in the season (two against Rochester), they only need four games to eliminate the Redwings. The RailRiders used a league-leading line of .269/.336/.385 to put them within reach of the IL North crown. Jose Pirela has been a big bat for Scranton in August, hitting .320/.391/.361 with eleven walks and six strikeouts. Ben Gamel has been solid for Scranton as well, hitting .355/.395/.570 this month.…

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Checking in on the Staten Island Yankees

Staten_Island_YankeesThe Staten Island Yankees are hosting a lot of the Yankees top draft picks of this year, so I thought this week we would check in on the Yankees’ New York-Penn League team. The short-season team is actually leading the McNamara division with a 28-26 record, despite the team having no clear strength. They lead both Aberdeen and Hudson Valley by a game and half.

The Staten Island hitters are putting up a combined slashline of .249/.327/.348. All of those put them squarely in the middle of the NYPL, yet they hold the third most runs (257), doubles (94) and RBIs (220). The Baby Bombers have shown that they can get on base and make it count, drawing 186 walks and stealing 46 bags. While the number of steals isn’t that impressive, they have only been caught 13 times, the lowest in the NYPL. For comparison, Williamsport has stolen the second most bases (67) but has been caught the most (44).…

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Minor League Stories of the Week

Ben Gamel‘s walk-off inside-the-park homer:
Ben Gamel took a little of the limelight away from Greg Bird, who was just named IL Batter of the Week, by putting together a thrilling ending to Scranton’s game against Pawtucket last night. It was the fifth straight time the RailRiders have defeated the Red Sox, who have now lost eight consecutive games. With the game tied in the ninth, Gamel smacked a line drive to right, which Jonathan Roof tried to stop with a sliding catch, instead seeing the ball careen past him. Gamel flew around the bases, beating the throw to the plate for the walk-off victory.

Winter is Coming:
In perhaps my favorite story of the week, and one I am disappointed to say I didn’t know about until after the fact, the Staten Island Yankees changed their name for the evening on Saturday to the Staten Island Direwolves. The Game of Thrones event was complete with George R.R.…

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The Farm Report: July

With the passing of the trade deadline comes August, so it is time to look at how the Yankees’ farm teams fared last month. Due to some time constraints on my end, I’ll be touching on Scranton and Trenton today, with Tampa and Charleston to follow. Enjoy!

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders continued their strong season in July, going 17-12 and giving them a solid 61-49 record for the year so far. They remain at the top of their division, leading Rochester by four games. Scranton’s roster has seen a lot of action, with players like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez being called up and other players like Luis Severino getting called up to the Bronx.

They have strength on both sides of the field, however, Scranton’s batting line of .270/.340/.386 tells you why they are in first. They have the best team average and on base percentage in the International League. They have drawn 380 walks (third most) and have limited their strikeouts to 784, which is lower than average.…

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Prospect Profile: Austin DeCarr

This week I thought we could take a look at one of the prospects that ranks on most, if not all, top Yankee prospect lists, but is still a relatively big unknown for the Yankees. Austin DeCarr was drafted by the Yankees in the third round of last year’s Draft, however, he has only appeared in a handful of rookie league games and was one of the many Yankees’ pitching prospects to go under the knife and have Tommy John surgery this year.

Austin-DeCarr-2.JPGName: Austin DeCarr
Position: Pitcher
DOB: March 14, 1995
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 215
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

DeCarr hails from Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he graduated from Xaverian High in 2013 before attending Salisbury in Connecticut for a post-grad year. DeCarr was set to attend Clemson, but after the Yankees drafted him with the 91st pick and offered him a million dollar bonus, well over slot, he signed and got his professional career underway.…

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Minor League Stories of the Week

It was an exciting week in the Yankees farm system, with a few fun storylines to watch play out. With his recent promotion, Gary Sanchez plays the biggest role, but after the way he has been playing and his apparent new focus on his professional career, it is well deserved. Without further adieu, here are the big stories from the week.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
Sanchez made his Triple-A debut in style on Saturday. The Yankees’ much vaunted catching prospect spent the last couple seasons in Trenton, but after a strong showing over the last month, and an appearance in the Futures Game, he got the call to join the RailRiders. In his last nine games with Trenton, the young backstop hit .342 with four homers and four doubles. On Saturday, Sanchez wasted little time in announcing his arrival, as he drove a three-run shot over the wall inhis very first at-bat. It was Sanchez’s thirteenth homer of the season and he finished the night going 2-4, accounting for all of the RailRiders runs, as they fell to Louisville 6-3.…

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Sanchez and Judge at the Futures Game

sanchez futuresAs we get ready for the Major League All-Star Game, the minor leagues celebrated some of the best up-and-coming prospects this weekend in Cincinnati. The Yankees had a couple top prospects taking swings in the exhibition game. Aaron Judge played for the US Futures Team, while Gary Sanchez started for the World Futures Team. The US had little trouble in dispatching their World counterparts, falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first only to come back and take the 10-1 victory, the sixth straight US Futures game win.

Kyle Schwarber, the Cub’s catching prospect, had a two-run triple in the bottom of the third that gave the US the only lead they would need yesterday. The 2014 fourth overall pick took home the MVP award, and he didn’t have to go very far with it, as the catcher grew up just north of Cincinnati. Pirates’ prospect, Josh Bell, knocked a two-run homer in the fourth.

Both Yankees’ prospects contributed to their teams efforts on Sunday.…

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Greg Bird moves up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

birdOver the holiday weekend, the Yankees promoted another prospect to Triple-A, putting Greg Bird just a step away from the Big Leagues. The power-hitting first baseman is generally in the top five of most Yankee prospect lists, including our own here.  The former catcher’s bat has long been causing Yankee fans to salivate, and he has given us no reason to doubt his potential so far.

In Trenton this season, Bird hit .258/.358/.445 with 29 RBIs, six homers and sixteen doubles. While he was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, but didn’t put together a full season of play until 2013, making just a handful of  appearances after signing and getting into 28 games in 2012. He opened a lot of eyes with his 2013 season in Charleston, however, and has continued to show off his strong and patient bat.

Bird’s success this year really appears to just be a continuation of his past couple years.…

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The Farm Report: June

Well, I don’t know about you all, but June flew by for me. I can’t believe we are already in July, but here we are. Let’s take a look at how the Yankees’ farm teams did last month and what the rest of their season may hold.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders currently hold a half game lead over Rochester for the top spot in the North Division of the International League. They went 18-11 in June, including five-game and seven-game win streaks. They ended June on a sour note, however, taking five straight losses. They lost their first game of July as well, but managed to turn around and stomp Pawtucket last night to stop the skid.

The RailRiders continue to find success primarily through their batting. While they have some strong pitches both in the rotation and in the bullpen, Scranton’s overall pitching numbers has them generally in the middle of the pack. Batting is another story entirely. As a team, Scranton is hitting .271/.342/.384, for the highest average and on base percentage in the IL.…

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