Yankees Sign 17-Year-Old Australian Pitcher Brandon Stenhouse

Brandon Stenhouse

Stenhouse and his dad.

Already over their 2013-2014 international spending limit, the Yankees pushed themselves further over by reportedly signing Australian pitcher Brandon Stenhouse to a 6-figure contract yesterday.  Stenhouse, 17, is a right-hander who drew the eye of scouts after pitching in the Under 18 National Championships.  There’s not much out there on him scouting report-wise, but the report from Australia references fastball velocity in the low 90s and the pictures make him look like he’s got a decent frame.

The exact figures of the deal are unknown, but the Yankees’ plan for Stenhouse is not.  He’s going to report to the team’s Tampa complex for a 2-week Extended ST “orientation” in April and then go back to Australia to complete school.  Once that’s done, he’ll return to the US to start his professional baseball career full-time.

Due to the small amount of information available on him, it would be unfair to even try to guess what Stenhouse’s potential is and what kind of ceiling he has.  …

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Keith Law Puts Yanks Farm System 20th Overall

In an insider only piece, Keith Law of ESPN.com put the Yankees farm system at 20th overall. Law includes a few details on why he put them there, noting that most of the top prospects had disappointing seasons. He also points out that their great 2013 draft should help the system in a big way.

In Domenic’s interview with Baseball Prospectus’ Jason Parks last week, he also looked for a consensus on where the organization ranks. Parks also has the Yankees in the 20′s, though he believes they’re not one of the worst farm systems in the game. The Yankees hold a number of high upside players in the lower levels, though as Parks said, they lack any major league ready impact players.

I agree with both of these assessments, though it’s easy to see how the Yankees could fall in the top 10 next year. They have a number of extremely high upside players at the low levels, which includes Ty Hensley, Ian Clarkin, Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Rafael DePaula, Jose Campos, Greg Bird, Abi Avelino, Luis Torrens, Luis Severino, and Gosuke Katoh.…

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Yankees Land Two Prospects On MLB.com’s Top 100

It wasn’t a great year for the Yankees’ farm system, but they still managed to land two players on MLB.com’s top 100 prospects.

Gary Sanchez finds himself at 47th overall after placing 27th in 2013. Sanchez hit just .253/.324/.412 while splitting time between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Both ballparks are notoriously pitcher friendly, and despite that, Sanchez combined for 15 home runs at the age of 20. The catcher also showed some improvements with his plate blocking skills, and scouts have been blown away by his arm. Sanchez still has a lot to prove, and hopefully he can find some more success in Trenton in 2014.

Mason Williams, who ranked 37th overall in 2013, placed 75th overall in 2014. Williams hit just .245/.304/.337 between both High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2013. The outfielder’s struggles were exacerbated by off the field issues, which included an arrest for a DUI in April. Williams’ value comes from his raw tools.…

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Let’s Talk About Some More Prospects

Rafael De Paula Futures Game

The Masahiro Tanaka signing storm has calmed down a bit, things are getting back to normal in Yankeeland, and we’re exactly 3 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting.  Obviously that means it’s time to talk about prospects again.  The Yankee Minor League complex in Tampa is open and there are already a handful of top guys down there getting ready for the season, plus I’m releasing my yearly top 30 prospects list next week.  Timing couldn’t be better.  Last time I rattled guys off the top of my head who I had already labeled.  This time it wasn’t so easy.  Probably the most mental energy I’m going to exert today.

Prospect I Want to See Bumped to A Full-Season League- Gosuke Katoh

Katoh didn’t come with any of the hype that the 3 Yankee 1st rounders in last year’s draft did, and there were some who thought he was a big reach as a 2nd round pick.  All he did to silence the critics was hit .310/.402/.522 (.434 wOBA) in 215 GCL plate appearances and showcase the plus defensive skills that already had scouts pegging him as a long-term second baseman.  …

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Not A Prospect Yet (But Worth Watching): Dietrich Enns

Dietrich Enns

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

We continue our slow build towards the start of AB4AR Prospect Week with another look at a young player starting to make some waves in the Yankee MiL system but not enough waves to warrant full prospect status in my eyes.  Today’s player is Dietrich Enns, left-handed A-ball pitcher.  You might remember Enns from my profile post on him last June, and since that post there have been some developments in his development that make him one of the more intriguing fringe guys in the system.

Quick refresher on Enns for those who were too lazy to click the link.  He’s 22 years old, average sized, and was an unheralded 19th round pick out of Eastern Michigan in the 2012 draft.  He boasts a solid 3-pitch mix of a low-90s fastball, plus changeup, and an OK curveball.  He worked almost exclusively as a reliever at EMU and built up a well-earned reputation as a pitcher who will attack the strike zone with all of his pitches and mix up his pitches and speeds well from batter to batter.  …

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The Young Guys Most Likely To Contribute In 2014

Jose Ramirez

Jose could be closer to the show than you think

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

The time for the unveiling of the 2013-2014 AB4AR Top 30 draws nearer.  As part of the prelude to that, I’d like to revisit a post topic from last offseason and take a look at some of the organization’s top prospects who are serious candidates to make the jump and contribute at the Major League level in 2014.  The Yankees haven’t gotten any younger in their free agent spending spree and don’t appear to be making that a priority as they fill out the rest of their remaining roster holes.  We saw this past season how that approach with an old core worked out, and the constant barrage of injuries created many opportunities for upper-level MiLers to break into the lineup and attempt to carve out roles for themselves.

Last season’s version of this post came in late December, so I’m a little behind schedule on this post in comparison.  …

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Where Does Zoilo Fit In Now?

Zoilo Almonte 2013

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

It was an up and down 2013 for Zoilo Almonte.  He hit .297/.369/.421 (.361 wOBA) in 293 Triple-A plate appearances in his first experience at the level, showing improved plate discipline and on-base skills that had yet to be part of his offensive repertoire.  When the barrage of injuries struck the Major League club, he got called up to the show in the summer and the results weren’t nearly as good, .236/.274/.302 (.257 wOBA) in 113 PA.

A hamstring injury ended his season early, but he picked it up back in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.  If you haven’t been following the comings and goings of that league closely, and I don’t blame you if you haven’t, Zoilo hit .316/.343/.454 out there and has seen time at all 3 outfield positions.  What does that mean as far as his Major League standing for 2014 goes?  Probably not much.  Almonte has hit in this league before, and with the new acquisitions made by the Yankees to upgrade their outfield it’s not a stretch to say he’s the 7th outfielder on the 40-man right now behind Ellsbury, Beltran, Gardner, Soriano, Ichiro, and Wells.…

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Let’s Talk About Some Prospects

Bryan Mitchell

I have a confession.  I’m bored.  I’m bored talking about mediocre second and third basemen and I’m bored waiting around for the Rakuten Golden Eagles president to just embrace the inevitable and agree to post Masahiro Tanaka.  I’m bored pondering which righty reliever the Yankees will overpay to “compete” with D-Rob for the closer role next year and I’m bored wondering how or if they are going to be able to move Ichiro.

Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus have both recently released their annual top 10 Yankee prospects lists, and both have their strengths and weaknesses.  That means prospect ranking season is right around the corner, if it isn’t here all ready, so I’m saying the hell with the Major League issues this morning and going with the prospects.  I still have to put the finishing touches on my top 30 ranking for this season, but for the sake of conversation and debate here’s a peek into my mindset.

Prospect I Value More Than I Probably Should- Tyler Austin

Austin slid down the rankings on both BA and BP’s lists.  …

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Yanks Actually Get Something Useful Back In The Chris Stewart Trade

Kyle Haynes

The final punctuation mark was put on Chris Stewart‘s Yankee career yesterday when the Pirates completed their PTBNL part of the trade.  There’s been no announcement yet from YES on when Stewart’s “Yankeeography” will air next year, but when it does it’ll be sure to include a brief mention of Kyle Haynes, the A-ball relief pitcher who was sent to the Yankees for Stewart.  Normally players to be named later are nothing more than organizational filler, guys destined to float around aimlessly on MiL rosters or make phantom DL trips when roster moves need to be made to accommodate higher value prospects.  That doesn’t seem like that’s the case with Haynes, at least not according to his early career numbers.

Before we get to those, a quick little background on Haynes for the uninformed.  He’s 22 years old, he’s a righty, and he’s decent size at 6’2″/190.  He was drafted in the 20th round of the 2012 draft out of VCU, where he worked primarily as a starter, but has pitched almost entirely out of the bullpen in his A-ball career.  …

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