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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Looking back at the 2012 Charleston RiverDogs

Curtain Calls:
Tyler Austin (OF): Austin had a breakout season this year, hitting .320/.405/.598 in 70 games for Charleston, before getting the call up to Tampa and even making an appearance in Trenton. He had a team leading fourteen homers, along with seventeen stolen bases and five triples.

Ben Gamel (OF): Gamel hit .306/.342/.394 over 110 games. He lead the team in RBIs (61) and was second to Bichette in doubles (23).

Mason Williams (OF): After a breakout 2011, Williams continued to impress. He hit .304/.359/.489 before being promoted and then having season-ending shoulder surgery.

Gary Sanchez (C): Upon the trading of Jesus Montero, Sanchez took over the role of most exciting catching prospect for the Yankees this season. He lived up to the billing, hitting .297/.353/.517 for Charleston. He had thirteen homers, nineteen doubles and even eleven stolen bases (let’s see Montero do that…). Still just nineteen, Sanchez ended the season in Tampa, where he hit .319 over 26 games in August.…

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Looking back at the 2012 Staten Island Yankees

Curtain Calls:
Taylor Dugas (OF): Dugas was a strong presence in the Staten Island lineup this season, hitting .306/.465/.373 over 59 games. Pay particular attention to his .465 on base percentage, a product of his drawing a league leading 51 walks, while striking out just 35 times.

Matt Snyder (1B): Snyder hit .299/.397/.428 with 34 RBIs, three homers and thirteen doubles. He also managed to work more free passes to first base (26) than strike outs (19).

Saxon Butler (1B): In 36 games in the NY-Penn League, Butler dominated opposing pitching. He hit .296/.370/.620 with ten homers, fourteen doubles and 36 RBIs.

James Pazos (LHP): In 28 appearances (40.1 innings), Pazos went 2-2 with a 1.79 ERA. He struck out 39 and walked just nineteen.

Players to Watch:
Ravel Santana (OF): The return of Santana, after an ugly ankle injury ended his 2011 season, was much anticipated. A five-tool prospect who had dominated the GCL prior to his injury, Santana struggled this season.…

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Looking back at the 2012 GCL Yankees

Curtain Calls:
Jerison Lopez (2B):Lopez was the cornerstone of the Yankee offense this season. He hit .321/.385/.415 with fifteen RBIs and thirteen doubles. His performance earned him GCL All-Star honors as the Yankees’ lone representative.

Mikeson Oliberto (OF): If Lopez wasn’t the one starting a rally, it was likely Oliberto. The outfielder hit .279/.342/.477 with eight stolen bases, three homers, six triples and thirteen doubles.

Jordan Cote (RHP): Cote was the Yankees 3rd round pick in 2011 and the raw hurler from New Hampshire showed just what the Yankees were excited about when they signed him. He absolutely dominated the GCL, going 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA over 27.2 innings. He gave up no homers, struck out 25 batters and allowed just four walks. He held opposing hitters to a .204 average before being promoted to Staten Island and promptly placed on the 60-day DL (mainly to limit his innings, not due to a specific injury).

Players to Watch:
Austin Aune (SS): This year’s second round pick showed some good stuff this year, though his defense definitely needs some improvements.…

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