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: Jorge Mateo

Jorge_MateoIt’s been a while since I did a prospect profile, so I thought I’d start this year with Jorge Mateo, the Charleston RiverDogs’ shortstop. Now that he is playing his first full season of professional baseball, the young middle infielder is garnering a lot of attention, so let’s look at why.

Jorge Luis Mateo
Born: June 23, 1995
Height: 6’0
Weight: 188
Bats: Right
Throws: RightPosition: Shortstop

Mateo was signed by the Yankees for $250,000 in January of 2012. He started his career in the Dominican Leagues, appearing in 14 games in 2012 and then 64 in 2013. It has been evident from day one that speed is Mateo’s game, and he managed to swipe 49 bags in 2013, a number he looks sure to easily eclipse this season.

In 2014, Mateo made his first appearance stateside, hitting .276/.354/.397 over sixteen games in the Gulf Coast League, though he missed a good chunk of time due to a wrist injury.…

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The Farm Report: 4/20/15

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre:
The RailRiders started the week off in rough form, losing four straight games, including a three-game sweep by Rochester. After dropping a game to Syracuse, however, Scranton came back and won the last three games of the week, putting them at 5-6 so far this season. Pawtucket is off to a strong start and leads the IL North division, while Scranton sits three games back.

Bryan Mitchell had a good week, throwing 3.2 innings on Monday and allowing just one run on five hits and two walks. Even though he only threw 3.2 innings, Mitchell tossed 87 pitches, thanks in part to his 7 strikeouts. On Sunday, not only did Mitchell turn 24, but he put together another stellar outing. He threw seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits and three walks, while striking out four. Jacob Lindgren picked up his second save of the season, throwing two hitless innings, walking one and striking out three.

Slade Heathcott hit his first Triple-A homer on Friday and followed it with a tenth inning sac fly that proved to be the game winner for the RailRiders.…

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Who is Jose Peraza?

Yesterday, George King wrote that the Yankees had expressed interest in Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A second baseman, Jose Peraza. With the future of the Yankees’ infield very much influx, it is not surprising that they are looking for young middle infielders. While Robert Refsnyder has moved quickly through the system and garnered a lot of attention, he continues to struggle defensively at second base. I find it hard to believe that the Yankees are writing off Refsnyder, as King and others have surmised, but there is no question that the future of the Yankees’ infield is a major concern. Didi Gregorious, Gregorio Petit and Stephen Drew have provided the Yankees with very little offense this year, and while there is plenty of time for these guys to turn their seasons around, the  Yankees need to do their due diligence.

Granted, the Braves have shown no interest in parting with one of their top prospects, but we all know how quickly things can change.…

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The Farm Report: Opening Week!

For the 2015 season, I will be doing the Farm Report as a weekly post reviewing how the Yankees’ affiliates fared in the previous week. It may take some time to get a good feel for the best way to do this, so please bear with me. Feel free to let me know what is working and what isn’t and I’ll try to adjust it as best I can.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
The RailRiders are off to a 2-2 start to 2015, however, their opening day game gave them a lot to live up to this year. Scranton beat Syracuse 8-3, but the story was Ramon Flores. The young outfielder started the day’s scoring with a homer in the first inning, and finished the day as the third Scranton player to ever hit for the cycle. He ended up going 4-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. As a team, Scranton had 16 hits, assisted by Kyle Roller, who went 3-5, and Robert Refsnyder, who went 2-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored.…

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2015 Minor League Preview

Though there is still snow that hasn’t quite melted away outside my window, like many of you, nothing says spring more to me than the start of baseball season. The Yankees got their first game of 2015 under their belt yesterday, and by the end of the week the Minor Leagues will have begun as well. With that in mind, here is a quick reminder of how the minor league affiliates ended last season, along with some of the prospects to watch.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
Last Year: For the second season in a row, the RailRiders ended with a lackluster 68-76 record. Despite this disappointing record, there were some positive signs, not the least of which was their offense. The RailRiders had the best team batting average in the International League and they owned team slash line of .273/.337/.413. Pitching was less successful for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with their numbers putting them squarely in the middle of the pack.

Prospects to Watch: There are a few familiar faces in Scranton this season, including some intriguing prospects who should get a chance in the Bronx at some point.…

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Robert Refsnyder moves to the outfield – for now

refsnyder

It has been well documented that Robert Refsnyder has been hitting the ball very well this year. This follows a very quick journey through the Minors after ending his college career with a College World Series title and the MOP award. Last year, the Yankees moved Refsnyder to second base, as they thought his lack of power hitting would play better there than as a corner outfielder. No doubt this move looked even better when Robinson Cano left for Seattle.

Many people tagged Refsnyder as a prospect who could move through the system quickly, but learning a new position was likely to slow this process some. Earlier this week, however, Brian Cashman told the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate to have Refsnyder get back to playing some outfield and added to the rumor mill by saying that if he was to get the call this year it would likely be to play in the outfield. The Yankees sorely need some offense and, after reworking his swing with Marcus Thames in Trenton, Refnsnyder’s bat is begging for a chance in the Bronx (he’s hitting .308/.431/.551 right now).…

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Minors Review: June

With trade season upon us, a fair amount of the conversation revolves around the Yankees lack of prospect trading chips. Given that, it is hardly surprising the mediocre performances the Yankees’ affiliates have put together this season. There are some strong individual performances to be sure, but of all the full season teams, the only team not to have a losing record in June was Tampa, who went .500.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders:
The Yankees’ Triple-A team went 12-17 in June, putting them 10.5 games behind Syracuse in the IL North Division as of Sunday afternoon. Losing Ramon Flores and Mark Montgomery to the DL this past month certainly hasn’t helped matters. While the Railriders are struggling to pick up the wins, their team statistics are not as dire as one would expect. On the mound, Scranton owns a 4.34 ERA, which is the fourth highest. They have minimized damage by the long ball, as their 53 homers are the third lowest in the IL.…

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Yankees kick off international free agent signing with a bang

Just as Katie told us yesterday, the Yankees broke out the checkbook in a big way for this year’s international free agent signing period, including all four of the players she wrote about. While the Yankees have yet to confirm any of these signings, reports have them picking up ten players yesterday, for a total of $14.25 million in signing bonuses, far surpassing their assigned 2,193,100. Here is a quick look at the signings so far.

Dermis Garcia (SS): The Dominican power hitter will likely outgrow short, but with his big arm he could look nice at third. He was ranked at the top of MLB.com’s rankings and ninth for Baseball America, earning him $3.2 million from the Yankees.

Nelson Gomez (3B): Another Dominican infielder, Gomez was widely considered the top offensive player in this year’s class, fetching him $2.25 million from the Bronx Bombers. He was ranked second by MLB.com and sixth by BA.

Juan De Leon (OF): De Leon is a very toolsy player who was second on BA’s list and fifth on MLB.com.…

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Minors Review: May

As you may have noticed by the lack of Farm Reports this past month, I was out of commission for most of May, recovering from Tommy John…wait, no…from rotator cuff surgery. College athletics – the gift that keeps on giving! I am slowly getting back to “normal” (or as Brad said, I’m about ready to throw a side session) so I hope to resume those posts in the coming weeks.  For now, I will ignore the frustration caused by my slow one-handed typing so as to permit me to at least get out the end of month posts. So, without further adieu, let’s look back at May.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders:
At the end of May, Scranton was 28-26 and two games behind Rochester in the IL North. After a lackluster start to 2014, the RailRiders had a solid month, going 17-13, thanks in part to a six game win streak.

The RailRiders hurlers only allowed seven homers in April, a feat they were unable to replicate in May, though their 24 homers through May still were the least in the International League.…

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