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

MLB 2012 Rule IV Draft: Day 2

(12:53) The Yankees have another pick coming up momentarily.  They got two Second Round picks because Sam Stafford did not sign last year.

(12:56) Some more on Aune.  He has played shortstop and has a strong arm and some decent range, but scouts view him as a center fielder.  Aune has plus potential power and a pretty big upside if the Yankees can sign him.

(12:58) This should get some interesting discussion – the Yankees use pick #94 to draft Miami catcher Peter O’Brien.

(1:00) O’Brien was drafted by the Rockies last year in the second round.  He’s another offensive minded catcher (I think the Yankees have a couple of those), who may be a bit big for the position at 6’4″ and 225 lbs.  Opting for another year in college, O’Brien shouldn’t be hard to sign.  It sounds like he is a capable catcher as well, with a strong arm and decent agility for a big guy.  BA had him ranked #69, so perhaps the Yankees just grabbed him because he was still around.…

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Getting to know Yankees’ first round pick Ty Hensley

The young hurler clearly has plenty of power, with a fastball in the mid-90s that has touched 97.  Despite that, his power curveball may be his best weapon, rating as a plus pitch.  He had an incredible 111 strikeouts through 55.1 innings this season. He throws hard but his command needs to improve and he is going to need another strong pitch if he wants to start.

Pitching and size are not the only things Hensley brings to the table, however.  He is a switch hitter who actually can do a lot of damage at the plate.   He hit ten homers this season and drove in 42 runs, while picking up the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year for Oklahoma.  In fact, Hensley’s twitter profile uses a picture of him at the plate instead of pitching. Scouts have noted Hensley’s work ethic and makeup as other positives, in addition to his ability to speak Spanish.  Baseball America has this video of Hensley both on the mound and at (both sides of) the plate.

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Who’s Not: Minor League May Edition

J.R. Murphy (C, Tampa A+):
Despite recently being named to the Florida State League All-Star team, J.R. Murphy has not been playing like an All-Star in 2012.  He had a mediocre April, but he seems to have really bottomed out this May.  He hit .211/.299/.284, with just four doubles, a homer and four RBIs.  One positive sign was the fact that he drew twelve walks and struck out just ten times in May.  Murphy also had a great day on May 25th, when he went 5-5 with four runs scored, a double and a stolen base, but it did not seem to turn things around for the Tampa catcher who hasn’t had a multi-hit game since.

Brandon Laird (IF, Empire State AAA):
Brandon Laird is likely happy to see the end of May, as he struggled mightily.  After a nice April, he hit just .211/.283/.303 in May.  He did hit a homer, seven doubles and have ten RBIs, but he is going to need to turn things around if he doesn’t want to find himself stuck in Triple-A.…

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Who’s Hot: Minor League May Edition

Ramon Flores (OF, Tampa A+):
Flores had a pretty dismal April, but that is a distant memory after his performance this May.  The outfielder hit .315/.368/.419, reminding us why we had him ranked as the 10th best Yankees prospect prior to the start of the season.  He hit eight doubles, a triple and a homer, picking up seven RBIs and four stolen bases in the process.  He clearly needs to keep working on his power, but Flores is showing a lot of the hitting ability and technique that make him an exciting prospect.

Angelo Gumbs (IF, Charleston A):
Perhaps the only person to have a more impressive turnaround than Flores in May was Angelo Gumbs.  The Charleston infielder hit .306/.345/.532 with six doubles, two triples, five homers and 20 RBIs.  He stole fourteen bases and was only caught stealing twice.  In an already stocked RiverDogs lineup, Gumbs has managed to stand out after he almost always seemed to be in the midst of Charleston rallies in May.  …

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The Farm Report: 6/3/12

Trenton lost 8-4 to New Hampshire:
Ryan Goins opened up the game with a double for the FisherCats, scoring on a single from Mike McDade.  Jose Pirela answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning  tie the game.  The game stayed knotted through five, but the FisherCats took the lead with two runs in the sixth.  Trailing 3-1 in the eighth, Trenton put together a rally.  Addison Maruszak and Shane Brown both walked and scored on a double from Pirela.  Zoilo Almonte grounded a single to right, plating Pirela and giving the Thunder a 4-3 lead entering the final inning.  Unfortunately, New Hampshire had a bigger rally in them as they plated five runs in the top of the ninth for an 8-4 victory.  Pirela went 2-4 with two runs scored, a double, a homer and three RBIs.  Jose Gil went 2-3 and was the only other Trenton player with multiple hits.  Adam Miller took the start and went 6.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on eight hits, four walks and a K.  …

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The Farm Report: 6/2/12 (Updated)

Trenton beat New Hampshire 3-2 in 14 innings:
Finishing up their game from yesterday, the Thunder and FisherCats played a minor league doubleheader in one game.  Scoreless after five innings, Trenton broke through in the bottom of the sixth.  Kevin Mahoney singled to left, scoring on Addison Maruszak’s double.  Maruszak stole third and scored on a single from Jose Pirela, giving Trenton a 2-0 lead.  The FisherCats answered by tying the game up in the eighth and the game went into extras.  Each team had a chance to score, but neither really threatened much as the innings went on.  Finally, in the bottom of the fourteenth, Pirela hit a walk-off homer to give the Thunder a 3-2 victory.  Pirela ended the day 3-7 with a homer and two RBIs.  David Adams went 2-5 with a double, while Mahoney went 3-5 with a run scored.Vidal Nuno threw seven innings giving up just two hits and a walk, striking out five.

Trenton won Game 2 against New Hampshire 6-5 in 15 innings:
braham Almonte drew a walk to start the bottom of the first.  …

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Minor Leagues Review: May

Empire State’s pitching has not lived up to its potential.  While Dellin Betances and Banuelos have both showed some strong improvement over their April showings, Betances continues to struggle with control and Banuelos is back on the shelf with a finger issue.  Meanwhile, the Yankees’ offense has been a pleasant surprise.  As a team, they are hitting .257/.338/.391, which puts them about fourth in the International League.  Ronnier Mustelier has done a good job since being called up earlier this month, hitting .287/.324/.479.  Steve Pearce, Jack Cust and Kevin Russo haven’t been able to replicate their strong April numbers, but continue to provide a lot of offense for Empire State.

Trenton Thunder:
The Thunder also continue to put together a strong season than I anticipated.  They went 19-10 in May and are just a game and a half behind the New Britain Rock Cats in the Eastern League Eastern Division.  Trenton has been nailed with injuries, with Graham Stoneburner back on the DL after a brief return.  …

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The Farm Report: 5/31/12

Trenton beat Erie 11-0:
Luke Murton and Kevin Mahoney hit back-to-back singles in the second and Murton scored on a sac fly from Jose Gil.  Addison Maruszak started the third with a single and stole second.  Abraham Almonte drew a walk and Corban Joseph hit into a force out, with Almonte out at second.  Maruszak scored on a ground out from David Adams and Cody Johnson followed with a homer to right, giving Trenton a 4-0 lead.   The Thunder used a double from Mahoney to score another run in the fourth.  Almonte and Joseph hit back-to-back singles int he fifth.  Adams hit into a force out at third.  Luke Murton walked to load the bases.  A passed ball allowed Joseph to score and a single from Gil plated Johnson for a 7-0 lead.  The Thunder scored two more on a homer from Murton in the seventh.  Trenton continued to put away Erie, scoring two runs in the eighth and taking an 11-0 win.  …

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