Who’s Hot: Minor League July Edition

I have to say, this was by far the hardest month to come up with this list – in a good way.  There were some really outstanding individual performances for the Yankees farm system this July.  I’m sure I snubbed someone, but with these performances it was hard not to.

David Adams (2B, Trenton):
Adams has been one of our players to watch, as he has a great deal of potential but has been working his way back from a nasty injury.  He started 2012 slow, but he blew away the competition in July.  With a batting line of .375/.444/.477, Adams was a big part of the Thunder’s success last month.  He had eleven RBIs, a homer and six doubles.  After seeing him play less than forty games in each of the last two seasons, it is nice to see him hitting his stride in the late months of 2012.

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Yankees DFA Pena

Well this is unexpected: via Chad Jennings, rather than optioning Ramiro Pena to Triple-A, the Yankees have actually designated him for assignment. I say that it’s unexpected because the Yankees didn’t need to clear a 40 man roster spot for the newly acquired Casey McGehee, so Pena could have simply been optioned and remained on the 40 man roster. I guess this move means that the Yankees are planning another 40 man roster move in the near future.
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The Farm Report: 8/2/12

Empire State was beat by Indianapolis 13-1:
The Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by Eduardo Nunez.  They held the lead through three, but the Indians tied the game on a RBI single by Yamaico Navarro in the fourth.  Indianapolis put together a nice rally in the fifth, with three straight singles and a double to start.  They scored four runs and never looked back, taking a 13-1 victory over the Yankees.

Nunez went 2-4 with a homer.  Corban Joseph and Kosuke Fukudome each had one hit for the Yankees, rounding out their offense.  They were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and only drew one walk.  Adam Warren gave up five runs on nine hits, no walks and a strikeout in five innings.  Juan Cedeno had an uncharacteristically horrible day, giving up six runs on seven hits and a walk in just one inning of work.

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Yankees release Cust in flurry of minor moves

Well this is interesting. Per Donnie Collins, the Yankees released Jack Cust from Triple-A Empire State last night. The specific reasons for the move aren’t clear at the moment, but in the short run it appears that it will clear roster space for Melky Mesa to be promoted from Double-A Trenton. Now this morning comes news that Adonis Garcia is being promoted to Double-A.

After failing to find big league employment amidst a recent history of injury and lack of productivity, Cust really thrived at the plate for the Empire State Yankees, hitting .249/.400/.475 in 425 plate appearances with 20 home runs and a 145 wRC+. However, he was strictly a designated hitter for the Yankees, and the odds of him seeing the Bronx at any point this season were slim to none, so ultimately he wasn’t much more than organizational filler right now.

The Yankees also released Colin Curtis and Ray Kruml. Continue reading Yankees release Cust in flurry of minor moves

Minor League Review: July

I’m sure I’m the millionth blogger to say this today, but can you believe it is already August? I can’t.  July was an exciting month for the minors, with some of the Yankees key prospects getting tested after various promotions.  Empire State and Trenton continue to show up my predictions as they storm into the final part of the season.  So, without further delay, here is a recap of July for the Yankees’ minors affiliates.

Empire State Yankees:
The Yankees seem to be doing alright for a team without a home this season.  Their loss to Pawtucket yesterday put them just half a game behind the Red Sox in the North Division of the International League.  The story was supposed to be the Yankees’ superb starting rotation in 2012, but only one of those five pitchers has been with Empire State for the bulk of the season, as Adam Warren appears to be the last one standing.  David Phelps has spent much of the year traveling back and forth between the Bronx and wherever Empire State calls home.   Manuel Banuelos has battled injuries, though he reportedly threw a bullpen recently and may be working his way back.  Dellin Betances struggles earned him a demotion to Trenton and DJ Mitchell was traded to Seattle as part of the Ichiro Suzuki deal.  Yet, the Yankees continue to impress.  Their pitching has been mediocre, they have a 3.98 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.  They have struck out just 789 batters, fourth lowest in the league.  Warren had a decent July, going 1-1 with a 3.23 ERA in five starts.  He walked ten and struck out nineteen.  John Maine has done a decent job filling in the holes in the rotation.  He went 3-1 with a 4.54 ERA in July, pitching one complete game in six starts.  He has held batters to a .190 average over the past month.

While the offense held many question marks for the Yankees in 2012, they continue to find people to step up.  In July, Kevin Russo was a force to be reckoned with.  He hit .375/.438/.482.  Chris Dickerson was solid, hitting .305 and finding his power stroke with all four of his homers this season coming in July.  He also hit three triples and ten RBIs.  The Yankees brought in Kosuke Fukudome this month, and he has made his impact felt in his twelve appearances for Empire State.  He is hitting .295/.404/.432.

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The Farm Report: 8/1/12

A slow start to August for the Yankees farm system, as Empire State had the day scheduled off and the GCL Yankees’ game was postponed.  The remaining teams split  the day 2-2.  The big news, however, was the Yankees release of Jack Cust, Colin Curtis and Ray Kruml.  This appears to foreshadow some upcoming promotions, as evidenced by Melky Mesa getting the call up to Empire State.  Cust, Curtis and Kruml were unlikely to see time in the Bronx, but they were a big part of the Yankees’ Triple-A success this season.  It will be interesting to watch over the next couple months.

Trenton beat Altoona 4-3 in eleven innings:
Altoona took an early lead, scoring a pair of runs on a pair of doubles and a walk in the second inning.  Trenton got their first run in the bottom of the fifth.  Rob Segedin reached on an error and Jose Gil was hit by a pitch.  Jose Pirela hit a sac bunt, loading the bases on an error.  A sac fly from Addison Maruszak plated Segedin and the Thunder trailed 2-1.  The Curve got the run back in the top of the sixth, but Trenton tied the game in the bottom of the eighth.  Luke Murton doubled to left and Kevin Mahoney followed with a homer to right, making the score 3-3 and taking it into extra innings.  In the bottom of the eleventh, Segedin drew a walk and moved over on a sac bunt by Gil.  A wild pitch put Segedin on third and he scored on a sac fly by Pirela for a 4-3 walk-off win.

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The Farm Report: 7/31/12

The Yankees minor leaguers ended July on a positive note, with the exception of Empire State who took a tough loss to Pawtucket.  Staten Island had the day off and the GCL Yankees game was postponed.

Empire State lost to Pawtucket 4-2:
The Red Sox held a 3-0 lead after two innings.  Darnell McDonald hit a solo homer in the fifth, giving the Yankees their first run of the day.  The Red Sox got the run back in the sixth on a RBI double by Andy LaRoche.  Eduardo Nunez doubled in the eighth and moved to third when Jack Cust struck out by was safe at first on a passed ball.  Another passed ball allowed Nunez to score, but it was not enough as the Yankees fell 4-2.

Chris Dickerson went 2-5 with a double, but he struck out three times.  Nunez went 1-4 with a double and a run score, along with three Ks.  Cust had a rough day, going 0-4 with four Ks.  Ronnier Mustelier went 2-3 and was hit by a pitch.  Ramon Ortiz gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits, to walks and two Ks.

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The Farm Report: 7/30/12 – Hensley makes shaky pro debut for GCL

The Yankees took a couple extra innings losses in Charleston and Staten Island, as the Yankees’ affiliates went 3-2 on the day. Ty Hensley made his first appearance with the GCL Yankees and while it was not particularly smooth, he showed off some heat.

Empire State beat Pawtucket 2-1:
The Yankees had a chance to take an early lead as Chris Dickerson singled in the bottom of the first.  Corban Joseph hit into a double play, but Eduardo Nunez and Ronnier Mustelier followed with singles.  An error moved both runners over, but Brandon Laird struck out and ended the inning.  The game stayed scoreless through five, but the Yankees finally scored in the sixth.  Joseph walked and Laird hit a two out single to left.  Kosuke Fukudome singled in Joseph and Empire State took a 1-0 lead.  Nunez singled in the eighth and stole second, moving to third on an error.  A sac fly by Mustelier gave the Yankees some needed insurance.  The Red Sox scored their lone run of the game in the ninth, but the Yankees held on for the 2-1 win.

Nunez went 2-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.  Kosuke Fukudome went 2-4 with a RBI. John Maine threw seven innings and gave up just one hit and one walk, striking out two. Cory Wade went one inning and struck out one batter.

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