Arizona Fall League update and other Minor League notes

Random Notes:

  • After having some strong prospect representation on Baseball America’s top 20 lists for the South Atlantic League and the Florida State League, the Yankees failed to have any prospects make the Eastern League or International League lists. This is not surprising, given the way players like Betances and Manuel Banuelos failed to impress this season and the Yankees’ general lack of exciting prospects in those higher levels this past season.
  • George King had an interesting post about Ronnier Mustelier at Baseball America recently. He notes that while Mustelier has been very impressive with the bat, the Yankees main concern has been trying to find out where he fits. Mustelier has played second, third, left field and right field over the past year and, according to Mark Newman, has improved defensively. It sounds like the Yankees are trying to get him more comfortable in the outfield to better fit their needs. Mustelier is not on the 40-man but could be put on it next year.
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Familiar faces make BA’s Top 20 Florida State League prospect list

As always, Sanchez’s bat has been widely considered his strongest asset, and this has not changed. While Ballew only quietly acknowledged the young backstop’s defensive improvements, he primarily focused on the improvements Sanchez needs to make defensively and what he viewed as a “lackluster” work ethic. Cooper didn’t seem to see things quite as bleakly, though he notes it is still uncertain Sanchez will stick at catcher. Cooper thought Sanchez made some good progress defensively and showed more energy, better receiving and a strong arm.

Injuries continue to be the main concern for Heathcott, who has had two surgeries on his left shoulder since being drafted by the Yankees. BA’s scouting report, however, will remind you why he is such an exciting prospect. In fact, Chris Truby, the manager of the Clearwater Threshers, is quoted as saying that Heathcott was his favorite player in the league, noting his ability to play strong defense, hit for power and run. It is easy to forget how exciting a player he is given his injuries, but if Heathcott can stay healthy it could be a fun couple years watching him develop.…

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Three Yankee prospects break BA’s Top 10 SAL Prospects list

Williams was praised for his tools, but BA seemed particularly dissuaded by the young outfielder’s actions. They note that he apparently “caused a few headaches” for the RiverDogs’ staff and included a quote from an unnamed scout saying, “He’s got the tools, but he needs to be humbled.” I never saw any specifics regarding this, so I hope that this is more of an instance of a young guy who has yet to really be challenged feeling cocky.

Sanchez made this list last season, coming in fourteenth, so the young backstop made some good improvements, coming in fifth this year. BA continues to tout Sanchez’s great bat, his ability to use the whole field and hit for power. They note that he has made defensive improvements, but doubt his ability to stick at catcher. Sanchez also seems to take a hit for his apparent “lackluster” work ethic.

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Looking back at the 2012 Empire State Yankees

Curtain Calls:
Adam Warren (RHP): Originally slated to be the number four or five starter, Warren struggled out of the gate, but eventually became a consistent force on the mound. Warren went 7-8 with a 3.71 ERA over 26 starts. He struck out 107 and walked 46.

Chris Dickerson (OF): Perhaps Empire State’s most solid bat this season, Dickerson went .316/.417/.515 over 69 games. He had seven homers, 24 doubles, four triples and 17 stolen bases.

Ronnier Mustelier (OF): Perhaps one of the more perplexing players in the Yankees system. He is older, so he isn’t looked at much as a prospect, yet the Yankees signed the Cuban outfielder last June and he has done nothing but hit since then. After destroying the competition in Trenton, Mustelier spent the season with Empire State, hitting .303/.359/.455 with ten homers, 21 doubles and seven stolen bases.

Players to Watch:
Corban Joseph (2B): After a strong start with Trenton, Joseph put together a decent season in Triple-A.…

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Looking back at the 2012 Trenton Thunder

It was an exciting season for Trenton, who showed some consistent play across the season despite the coming and going of various players due to injury or promotion. Trenton Manager Tony Franklin picked up a much deserved EL Manager of the Year Award. While it is always disappointing to just fall short of a championship, I would think Thunder fans have a lot to get excited about in the next couple years. They have the opportunity to continue to shine as prospects like Ramon Flores, Tyler Austin and Mason Williams could see time there shortly.

Curtain Calls:
Zoilo Almonte (OF): In 106 games, Almonte hit .277/.322/.487 with 21 homers, 23 doubles, 70 RBIs and fifteen stolen bases. He caused some excitement during Spring Training and has shown some good stuff.

David Adams (2B): Coming back from a nasty injury, Adams got better as the season progressed. He played 86 games and hit .306/.385/.450 with eight homers, 23 doubles and 48 RBIs.…

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Looking back at the 2012 Tampa Yankees

Curtain Calls:
Slade Heathcott (OF): Coming back from his second shoulder surgery, Heathcott added a nice bat to the Yankee lineup when he returned to action in June. He ended the season .307/.380/.461 with seventeen stolen bases, five homers and sixteen doubles in 60 games.

Ramon Flores (OF): Flores was central to the Yankee offense this season, hitting .302/.370/.420 over 131 games in Tampa. He smacked six homers, seven triples and 29 doubles, while swiping 24 stolen bases.

Mark Montgomery (RHP): Montgomery continued his fast track to the majors in 2012, starting the year off dominating in the FSL. He made 31 relief appearances, going 4-1 with a 1.34 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .165 average. Montgomery struck out 61 batters, allowing just sixteen walks over 40.1 innings of work. He was just as strong in fifteen games with Trenton and will get some extra work in the Arizona Fall League, so seeing him in the Bronx at some point next season could be realistic.…

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