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

Recapping Day One of the 2015 Draft

After not having any picks in the first round of the draft last year, the Yankees had two first round picks and a second round pick last night. Not only did they have a few decisions to make on the first day, but the Yankees also had their lowest pick (16th) since 1993 (13th). Let’s take a look at the newest Yankees’ draftees.

James KaprielianJames Kaprielian (RHP): The righty out of UCLA was widely expected to go in the middle of the first round. Much like their first pick last year, Jacob Lindgren, the Yankees chose another pitcher in Kaprielian who could be ready for the majors in very little time. Kaprielian started his collegiate career coming out of the bullpen, but in his sophomore and junior years the hurler took up the front spot in the rotation. Scouts believe he is a pretty solid bet to be a middle of the rotation guy on a major league team, making this sound like a smart pick for the Bombers.…

Read more

Slade Heathcott’s Long and Winding Road to the Majors

sladeAs you likely know by now, Slade Heathcott made his major league debut Wednesday night when he pinch ran for Mark Teixeira in the eighth and then played center. This is not just notable because arguably the Yankees’ most important offensive piece, Jacoby Ellsbury, hit the DL, causing the Yankees to call up their first round pick from the 2009 Draft. Hopefully, Heathcott gets an opportunity to pick up his first hit sometime soon, but as we wait for that I thought I’d look back on Heathcott’s long road to the Bronx.

If you have followed the Yankees’ farm system at all the last five or six years, you know the name Slade Heathcott and why I am so excited to see him finally break into the majors. Granted, his stay may be a short one for any number of reasons, but considering how miniscule the percentage of minor league players to ever make an appearance in the majors is, this is no small feat.…

Read more

Checking in with Rob Refsnyder, IL Batter of the Week

refsnyderRob Refsnyder had made a name for himself well before the Yankees took him in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft. After being drafted, Refsnyder went on to win Most Outstanding Player honors with Arizona at the College World Series. Having capped off his collegiate career on top, Refsnyder signed with the Yankees and quickly began his professional pursuit. The young second baseman hasn’t stopped picking up some hardware as he journeys towards the Bronx, with his most recent honors coming on Monday, when he was named the IL Batter of the Week.

In truth, Refsnyder’s recognition for last week was well-deserved, but doesn’t come close to telling the full story. Between May 11 and May 17, Refsnyder hit .400, with six extra-base hits (two homers and four doubles) and six RBIs. After Tuesday’s game against Charlotte, however, Refsnyder is riding a ten-game hit streak and has made it on base in every game since the second game of a doubleheader against Pawtucket on April 25 (21 games).…

Read more

Prospect Profile: Jacob Lindgren

jlindgrenJacob Stephen Lindgren
Born: March 12, 1993, Biloxi, Mississippi
Height: 5’11
Weight: 205
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Position: Relief Pitcher

Even though it has been a couple years since I consistently wrote prospect profiles, by and large the players on the upper level rosters are very familiar to me. Jacob Lindgren, a relief pitcher with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, would be one of the exceptions. Having been drafted out of Mississippi State by the Yankees in 2014, Lindgren has shot through the Yankees’ farm system and appears to be on the cusp of making his major league debut.

Lindgren was taken by the Yankees with their first pick of the 2014 draft, however, he was taken in the second round – the 55th overall pick. The southpaw began as a starter in college, taking Mississippi State to the College World Series, but in 2014 he started coming out of the bullpen. Quickly becoming one of the most dominant relievers in college baseball, Lindgren didn’t slow down after signing with the Yankees, making appearances with four Yankees minor league affiliates last year.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Pineda picks up AL Player of the Week Honors

MLB just announced the players of the week via Twitter, and it should come as no surprise that the Yankees’ own Michael Pineda is taking home the honors, after two lights out performances. Bryce Harper took the NL Player of the Week honors.

 

Pineda went 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA over fifteen innings of work. Not only did he allow just one run while scattering eleven hits, but he struck out an impressive 22 batters while walking just one. It’s worth pointing out that the one walk was not in the game where Pineda struck out sixteen Orioles.

Read more

Prospects Who’s Not: April

sanchezInstead of today’s farm report, I’m bringing you the prospects who are not performing at their expected or hoped for levels. In case you missed it, I did a similar list of those prospects who started 2015 hot last week.

Austin Romine (Scranton): Romine went from competing for the backup position in the Bronx during Spring Training back to Triple-A, where he has struggled to show the Yankees they made a mistake in giving the spot to John Ryan Murphy. In fourteen games in April, Romine hit .192/.288/.365. He isn’t hitting much at all, but when he connects he is making a difference. Of his ten hits in April, seven were extra base hits (six doubles and a homer). He picked up six RBIs and drew six walks as well.

Tyler Austin (Scranton): Austin really struggled at the plate in April, hitting .213/.238/.275. He had just one homer and two doubles. Perhaps most telling is his 22 strikeouts, with only three walks.…

Read more

Prospect Who’s Hot: April

flores

I see ya there, Ramon! Courtesy of MiLB.com

After a brutally cold winter this year, it appears as though spring has finally made its way to the northeast, which must mean we have made it through the first month of baseball! I think many of us entered this season wondering what kind of year it would be for the Yankees and their affiliates, but so far 2015 seems to be off to a good start. This seemed like a good chance to look back on April and see which prospects are starting hot!

Chase Whitley (Scranton): Whitley started the season in Scranton and put up some strong performances. Now, he is holding his own in the Bronx with two strong showings under his belt during the absence of Tanaka. Before his call up, Whitley was 2-0 in three starts with a 2.12 ERA, thirteen strikeouts and only six walks.

Slade Heathcott (Scranton): After being sidelined by injuries quite a bit during his professional career, Heathcott made quite the impression during Spring Training and he hasn’t let up any.…

Read more

The Farm Report: May 4

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders had a tougher week this past week, going 3-4. They avoided the three-game sweep by Gwinett, before splitting a four game series with Charlotte. They now own a 12-13 record and remain 3.5 games behind Buffalo.

The big news out of Scranton has been Jose Pirela, who continues to rehab in Scranton. In his four games with the RailRiders this week, Pirela went 11-19 (.579) with four doubles, a homer, four RBIs and a walk. He is hitting .364/.400/.606 over eight minor league starts spread between Tampa, Trenton and Scranton. Ben Gamel continues to swing a hot bat (.368/.427/.574), but Slade Heathcott had a slow week hitting just .250.

Rob Refsnyder is riding an eight game hit streak, going 32-79 (.405) with seven RBIs and a stolen base. He even stole a hit from Eury Perez, which you can watch here. Jose Ramirez picked up his last two save opportunities this week, throwing three hitless innings, walking one and striking out one.…

Read more

The Farm Report: April 27

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders went 4-3 this week, putting them at 9-9 over all, and 3.5 games behind Buffalo in the IL North Division. They took two out of three from Lehigh Valley before splitting a four game set against Pawtucket. The RailRiders currently lead the IL in triples with seven.

Chase Whitley continues to impress, throwing six innings against Lehigh Valley on Wednesday, giving up one run on six hits, no walks and two Ks. He owns a 2.12 ERA right now, with opposing hitters batting just .210 off him. Whitley has struck out thirteen in three games, while walking just six. Jacob Lindgren made two appearances this week, each for 0.2 innings. He allowed only one hit, two walks and struck out three. He owns a 2.98 ERA over seven games and has opposing hitters batting just .206.

Tyler Austin had a tough week, going just 3-28 with one RBI. He took only one walk and struck out seven times.…

Read more