Author Archives: Tamar Chalker

The Farm Report: 4/6/13

Another tough day on the farm, but there was still plenty of interesting things to watch. Graham Stoneburner made his first start in Triple-A. He has long been a favorite dark horse of mine, though injuries have slowed him down quite a bit the last couple years. Rafael De Paula made his debut with Charleston, who split a doubleheader with Greenville. Culver had a strong day going 3-8 on the day and continues to look nice in these first couple games.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Pawtucket 7-2:
Melky Mesa started the RailRiders off with a single in the first, but they were unable to score him. They broke through in the second when Luke Murton reached on an error. He moved to second on a ground out by Addison Maruszak and scored when Gil Velazquez grounded a single to center. Pawtucket responded in the top of the third, however, as J.C. Linares lead off with a single. A wild pitch moved him to second and a double by Dan Butler brought the Red Sox’s first run home.…

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The Farm Report: 4/5/13

It was a tough day on the Farm for the Yankees affiliates. Tampa picked up its first win of the year, but everyone else came up short. Dellin Betances made his first appearance of 2013, as did the Charleston RiverDogs after being rained out yesterday.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Pawtucket 9-4:
Looking to turn the page on 2012, Betances made his first start of the season on Friday night. Pawtucket got to the big righty quickly, as Jeremy Hazelbaker grounded a single back to the mound and Justin Henry lined on to center. A walk to Drew Sutton loaded the bases, but Betances came back to strike out the next two batters. Brandon Snyder then lined a single to the outfield giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Betances settled down, however, pitching a 1-2-3 second and third inning and allowing just one walk in the fourth before being pulled at the start of the fifth. Hazelbaker knocked a triple off Ryan Pope and scored another run on a sac fly from Henry.…

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The Farm Report – Opening Day!

Three of the Yankees’ full season minor league affiliates go their first taste of action tonight. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre gave their home fans some extra baseball after spending last season on the road, however, they weren’t able to open with a win. Trenton and Tampa came away victorious – and so begins the MiLB season…

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Pawtucket 8-4 (10 innings):
Vidal Nuno got the start and worked a quick 1-2-3 top of the first, while the RailRiders put their bats to work. Corban Joseph lined a single to right and Zoilo Almonte drew a walk. With two outs, Melky Mesa grounded a single to left to score the RailRiders’ first run. Cody Johnson drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch plated Almonte and Scranton took a 2-0 lead. The RailRiders had a chance to get some insurance when David Adams hit a two out double and moved to third on a single by Joseph. Nuno had looked good through the first four innings, but found himself in trouble quickly in the fifth.…

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It’s Minor League Opening Day!

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While the Yankees’ big league club is already a couple games into the season, their full-season minor league counterparts get started today. In a year where the Yankees are already struggling with age and injuries and some of their most promising prospects are starting to get close to the Bronx, it should be a good year to keep an eye on New York’s farm system. If you need a break from the big league games, here are the minors games on tap for MiLB Opening Day, along with some minor league predictions from the crew here and some links in case you missed some of our Spring Training minors coverage.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders v. Pawtucket Red Sox (7:05pm):
After a year on the road, the Yankees Triple-A affiliate kicks off 2013 in grand style. Not only will they finally get to play a game at home, but it will be their first game as the newly christened RailRiders and in the newly renovated PNC Field.…

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Minor League Preview: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

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It is going to be a big year for the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. After the Empire State Yankees spent 2012 completely on the road, they return to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year with a newly renovated PNC Field and a brand new team name - the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Despite spending all of last year on the road, the (then) Yankees put together a surprisingly strong season. They went 84-60 and won the North Division of the International League. Unfortunately, they lost to the eventual IL Champions, the Pawtucket Red Sox, in the playoffs.

Once again, the RailRiders are entering the season with what should be a very strong pitching staff. Even with Manuel Banuelos out for the year after Tommy John surgery, the RailRiders’ starting rotation should be a joy to watch. Adam Warren, Vidal Nuno, Brett Marshall and Matt Tracy are all likely to take turns in the RailRiders’ rotation. The Yankees said they are planning on returning Dellin Betances to the rotation and this year should be telling after his thoroughly frustrating 2012.…

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Minor League Preview: Trenton Thunder

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Trenton put together a surprisingly strong 2012, going 79-63 and winning the Division, eventually falling to the Akron Aeros in the Eastern League Finals. Stellar play by Brett Marshall, Zoilo Almonte, Vidal Nuno and David Adams all came up big for the Thunder. Luckily, this year should see more of the same for the Thunder, who should see some of the Yankees’ hottest prospects don their uniform.

A lot of eyes will fix on the Trenton outfield this season, with Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Ramon Flores and Mason Williams all likely to spend some time there this season. According to Josh Norris, Flores and Austin are looking outstanding in the Minors Spring Training right now. Unfortunately, Austin seems to have tweaked his ankle and missed yesterday’s game, however, it sounds like he should be fine by Opening Day. Flores celebrated his 21st birthday yesterday and has been swinging a hot bat in Spring Training.

While it is clear that the outfield will get a lot of attention, the Thunder has strong players all over the field.…

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Minor League Preview: Tampa Yankees

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Just as the start of 2012 brought a lot of excitement to Charleston, the Tampa Yankees reaped the benefits in the latter half of the year. Unfortunately, a slow start to the season put the Yankees in a big hole in the Florida State League and they ended the year with a 65-70 record, their first losing season since 2005. Additions of Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez and Tyler Austin revived them somewhat, but in the end their inconsistencies early in the season were too much for the Yankees’ hottest prospects to salvage.

While inconsistency was a problem for the Yankees on both offense and defense in 2012, they should have some solid players on both sides of the field this year. Combined with some strong players waiting for promotions down in Charleston, it could be enough to propel the Yankees back to a winning season, if not another FSL championship. Williams and Sanchez will anchor a strong lineup, with Angelo Gumbs probably starting in Charleston.  …

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Minor League Preview: Charleston RiverDogs

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There was quite a bit of excitement in Charleston when the 2012 season got underway, as the RiverDogs’ Opening Day roster boasted some of the Yankees’ most exciting prospects. With Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Gary Sanchez, Dante Bichette, Jr. and others, it looked like the RiverDogs would be the team to beat in the South Atlantic League. Unfortunately for Charleston, Austin, Williams and Sanchez moved up to Tampa part way through the season, while Cito Culver and Bichette struggled to make up for the lost production and the RiverDogs ended the season 73-63, just short of a SAL playoff berth.

As always, there will be plenty of changes in Charleston this season, and I am not just talking about  the newest addition to their heralded concessions - the beer milkshake. These changes will start in the dugout, as Al Pedrique will take over managing duties for the RiverDogs for Carlos Mendoza, the new roving defense coach for the Yankees minor league system.…

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IIATMS Top 30 Prospects 2013

With Spring Training underway and the Yankees gearing up for their first “game,” it seems like a good time to look at the Yankees of the future. The bulk of the Yankees’ strongest prospects still have at least a couple years to go, but they are getting closer. Some of these guys may find their way to the Bronx at during the next seven or eight months, others are still a few years away from the majors and – of course – some may never get the chance to run out onto a big league field. Regardless, here are some names to keep an eye on during this year’s Farm Reports.

1. Gary Sanchez (C):
We had Sanchez at the top of our list all last season and see no real reason to move him out of that top spot, though some of the other young guys make this a bit of a harder decision – but more about them later.…

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