2015 Arizona Fall League Wrap-Up


The Arizona Fall League championship game was played on Saturday, with the Scottsdale Scorpions defeating the Surprise Sagueros 6-4.  The Yankees were well represented in the Surprise lineup, with Gary Sanchez starting at catcher and hitting cleanup, Tyler Austin starting in left field and hitting 6th, and Dustin Fowler starting in center and hitting 8th.  They all performed well too, each recording at least 1 hit in the game and Fowler hitting a home run.

With the AZFL season officially over, here’s a final tally for the Yankee representatives:

Sanchez: .295/.357/.625, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 16 R in 88 AB
Austin: .272/.344/.444, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 13 R, 7 SB in 81 AB
Fowler: .279/.313/.410, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 14 R, 7 SB in 61 AB
Tyler Wade: .220/.313/.268, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 6 R in 41 AB

Ian Clarkin: 24.2 IP, 34 H, 16 ER, 14 BB, 17 K, 5.84 ERA in 6 App
Chaz Hebert: 14.1 IP, 13 H, 7 ER, 10 BB, 12 K, 4.40 ERA in 7 App
Tyler Webb: 12.1 IP, 13 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 12 K, 5.84 ERA in 9 App
Domingo Acevedo: 12.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 2.25 ERA in 7 App

The standout numbers still belong to Sanchez, who fell short in his bid to win league MVP despite leading in homers and ribbies.  …

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Checking in on the Surprise Saguaros

If I was a betting man, I would hazard that the majority of folk reading this title wondered some variation of “what the heck is a surprise saguaro?” And, to be perfectly fair, I couldn’t blame you.

The Surprise Saguaros are one of the six Arizona Fall League teams, and they just so happen to be the Yankees affiliate (in addition to the Royals, Brewers, Cardinals, and Rangers). They are currently 20 games into their 31 game season, sitting at the top of the West division at 12-8. That doesn’t really matter, though, as the purpose of the league is developmental (much like the minor leagues as a whole, at least form the perspective of the Major League team). With that in mind, and with a few hours remaining until we will know who received a qualifying offer, now seems a good time to check-in on the Yankees’ eight representatives.

Domingo Acevedo, RHP
6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 5 K, 4.26 ERA

Acevedo made his full-season debut this season, and performed quite well (1.81 ERA in 49.2 IP).…

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Ian Clarkin Throws 4 Innings In His 2015 Debut

Guess these fall league updates will be more frequent than I thought.  That’s with good reason this morning, as Ian Clarkin finally made his 2015 in-game debut yesterday in the AZFL.  He missed the entire MiL season due to a still undisclosed elbow injury, but started throwing bullpens and BP again in August and September and took the hill in his first real game of the year yesterday for the Surprise Saguaros.

By all accounts, I’d say it was a pretty solid debut.  Clarkin went 4 innings, gave up an earned run on 4 hits and 3 walks, and struck out 2.  He threw 64 pitches, 37 strikes, 1 wild pitch, and got 6 outs on the ground.  The command wasn’t there, as one would expect from a 20-year-old pitcher who didn’t pitch all season, but it sounds like the stuff was.  Keith Law was at the game and tweeted this about Clarkin:

Throwing with good velocity, throwing plus offspeed pitches, and coming through the outing with no physical problems.  …

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Arizona Fall League Starts Off With A Bang For Yankee Prospects


The Cubs advancing to the NLCS and the Dodgers forcing a Game 5 last night was cute, but the real highlight was the 2015 Arizona Fall League getting started with its first games.  The Yankees are well represented on the Surprise Saguaros roster, with 8 players on the team, and they had more than a few stars in last night’s 6-5 loss.

The biggest and brightest was Gary Sanchez, who popped a 3-run home run in the top of the 1st to get the Saguaros on the board early.  He finished the night 2-4 hitting from the cleanup spot, and he was matched in that feat by fellow Yankee farmhands Tyler Austin and Tyler Wade.  Both guys doubled as one of their hits and Wade drove in 2 runs batting from the 9-spot and playing second base.  Austin hit 7th and played first.

There were no Yankee pitchers involved in last night’s game, but that’s where there figures to be the biggest focus once the season gets going.  …

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Checking in on the IIATMS Top 30

With the Yankees season having ended with a whimper, it is officially the time to look to the future – in terms of both the team that will take the field in 2016, and the farm system that will (hopefully) keep it competitive for the rest of the decade (and beyond). And what better place to start than with our pre-season prospect rankings?

30. Hoy Jun Park, SS
Pulaski (Rk) – .239/.351/.383, 5 HR, 12 SB (7 CS), 109 wRC+, 262 PA

Every report about Park has been positively glowing. The 19-year-old South Korean flashed above-average power at times, demonstrated patience at the plate, and played excellent defense at short. His overall numbers may not jump off of the page, but his overall skillset is enticing, and despite his distance from the Majors he may be the closest thing to a pure shortstop in the system.

29. Gosuke Katoh, 2B
Pulaski (Rk) – .287/.426/.416, 5 HR, 9 SB (0 CS), 143 wRC+, 254 PA
Charleston (A) – .161/.264/.202, 1 HR, 8 SB (2 CS), 42 wRC+, 149 PA

Katoh was solid but unspectacular with Charleston in 2014, posting a 96 wRC+ in his full-season debut.…

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Shadow Yankees

Over the last twenty seasons, John Sickels of SB Nation’s Minor League Ball has conducted his own draft for the Minnesota Twins. It began as a pet project of sorts, with Sickels making picks for the first ten rounds or so, and rolling with the international free agents signed by the real world Twins. Over the last several years, however, he has changed course, determining his own international signings and making all fifty (and now forty) Rule IV picks for his Shadow Twins. And each year he rates his own prospects and critiques his own farm system. It’s an incredible undertaking, and a worthwhile read to say the least.

I began my own version of this back in 2008, when I first became enamored with the draft itself. Lacking the connections, resources, and insight of Mr. Sickels, I focused entirely on rounds one through five, as my subscriptions to Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and Scout could only take me so far.…

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Does Ben Gamel Have A Future With The Yankees?

Courtesy of Butch Comegys/The Times Tribune

The Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders won last tonight to lock up their first International League North division title since 2010.  It’s a cool accomplishment for those younger players, and in some way it’s a testament to the quality of the Yankees’ upper-level organizational depth and talent.  This is a team that, at some point during this season, had Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Bryan Mitchell, Mason Williams, Ramon Flores, Rob Refsnyder, and Jacob Lindgren playing for it, along with the slew of other relief arms that have ridden the roster shuttle this year.

The name left out of that group that may have been the biggest part of this division title is Ben Gamel.  The 23-year-old outfielder, picked in the 10th round of the 2010 draft, had a monster year in his first Triple-A season and was the one consistent roster presence on a team of change.  …

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Checking in on the Staten Island Yankees

Staten_Island_YankeesThe Staten Island Yankees are hosting a lot of the Yankees top draft picks of this year, so I thought this week we would check in on the Yankees’ New York-Penn League team. The short-season team is actually leading the McNamara division with a 28-26 record, despite the team having no clear strength. They lead both Aberdeen and Hudson Valley by a game and half.

The Staten Island hitters are putting up a combined slashline of .249/.327/.348. All of those put them squarely in the middle of the NYPL, yet they hold the third most runs (257), doubles (94) and RBIs (220). The Baby Bombers have shown that they can get on base and make it count, drawing 186 walks and stealing 46 bags. While the number of steals isn’t that impressive, they have only been caught 13 times, the lowest in the NYPL. For comparison, Williamsport has stolen the second most bases (67) but has been caught the most (44).…

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Quick hit: Greg Bird called up

Well, lookie here:

Greg Bird started the year off in Trenton but was promoted to Scranton and batted .301/.353/.500/.853 with six home runs in 34 games for the RailRiders.

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