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

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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Prospect Profile: Brady Lail

Brady LailI’ve noticed Brady Lail working his way through the Yankees’ farm system the last few years, but at times he has seemed to fly under the radar, particularly given some some of the bigger name pitching prospects that are working their way up to the Bronx. The right-hander from Utah has pitched pretty consistently as he climbed the ladder and is putting together a solid season for the Trenton Thunder, so let’s find out a bit more about him.

Name: Brady Joe Lail
Birthdate: August 9, 1993
Birthplace: South Jordan, UT
Bats: RightThrows: Right
Height: 6’2
Weight: 205

Drafted in the 18th round of the 2012 draft, Lail started his professional career right out of high school and has the potential to be one of those late round drafts that pays off, which is why I love following the minors. His career started in the Gulf Coast League, where he managed to put together a strong five games in 2012.…

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Judge called up to the RailRiders

judgeThe march of the prospects continues for the Yankees as news broke last night that Aaron Judge, the Bombers’ top power hitting prospect, has been promoted to Triple-A. When the Yankees drafted Judge out of Fresno State with the 32nd pick of the 2013 Draft, they thought they had drafted a guy who could move rather quickly through the system, and so far they seem to be right.

Judge has flown through Charleston, Tampa and Trenton in less than a season and a half. After signing late in 2013, Judge never made an appearance due to a hamstring injury, but he wasted little time in making an impact on Charleston in 2014. In 65 games, the huge outfielder went .333/.428/.530 with nine homers. He was promoted to Tampa, where he continued to hit the ball hard. Judge wasn’t done when the regular season ended, however, as the Yankees sent him to Scottsdale for the Arizona Fall League. The Yankees invited Judge to Spring Training and he had a strong start of 2015 with Trenton, hitting .284/.350/.516 with twelve homers, three triple, sixteen doubles and 44 RBIs.…

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Catching up with the Thunder

thunderWhen I wrote about the RailRiders earlier this week, it wasn’t intended to start a series of similar posts, rather I was just excited by what is happening in Scranton. However, much like Scranton, Trenton is putting together a nice season, after a rather disappointing 2014. While some of the names are the same, the reasons for Trenton’s success are less clear.

Last year, the Thunder went 67-75, landing in fourth place in the EL Eastern Division. Today, they are sitting at 37-29, just half a game behind the New Britain Rock Cats. If the season ended today, Trenton would be back in the playoffs, a feat they have managed to pull of a little over half the time that Trenton has been in the Yankees’ system.

As I mentioned on Monday, offense has been the driving force behind Scranton’s strong season thusfar. Trenton’s strength seems to lie more with their pitching. As a team, Trenton has a 3.58 ERA and is tied for the most shut outs with seven.…

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Catching up with the RailRiders

refWhen I first started covering the minor leagues for IIATMS about four or five years ago, the truly exciting prospects were in the lower levels and, in some cases, weren’t even stateside. It often felt like Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was stocked with players who were either desperately trying to make it back to the majors, even though their prospects looked bleak, and those who had once been greatly touted, but were never able to breakthrough (see Eric Duncan). This is one of the many reasons I have gotten such a kick out of seeing players like Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores and Mason Williams all make their debuts this year.

It’s been pretty exciting for me to watch some of these guys as they move along. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some (Chase Whitley wasn’t off my radar, but I didn’t expect much from him) and disappointed by many (Graham Stoneburner – who just seemed destined to put on pinstripes with a name that translates to Steinbrenner, Dante Bichette, Jr., Jesus Montero, and so on).…

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