Warren, Joseph, And Almonte Optioned Down To Triple-A

According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have optioned Adam Warren, Corban Joseph, and Zoilo Almonte to Triple-A.

There was some belief that Almonte had a chance to win the outfield spot, but the switch hitter has hit just .190/.227/.333 in 22 plate appearances. Almonte has never played above Double-A, so he’ll have a chance to compete out of Scranton now. The third outfield spot is looking more and more like Melky Mesa‘s spot to lose.

Corban Joseph was also an option at third base, but his defense this Spring was proven awful. Joseph also put up an unimpressive .200/.286/.200 in his 28 plate appearances, but showed off a much stronger bat in last year’s season in Scranton.

Finally, Warren will now enter his third year in Triple-A. He wasn’t spectacular in his 3 starts (5.00 ERA but a 1.000 WHIP), but he’d have a chance at a starting job on most other teams. At 25 years old, Warren still has some value, and could be a trade chip with the Yankees’ starting depth.… Click here to read the rest

Some Glimmers Of Light In The Injury-Filled Prospect Darkness

Don't sleep on this guy. Courtesy of Mike Ashmore

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

This has not been a good season for the Yankee farm system.  EJ Fagan made that perfectly clear yesterday in his evaluation of the Manny Banuelos shutdown story, which was much more level-headed than mine.  By my count, the Yankees have seen 4 of their top 5, 5 of their top 8, and 7 of their top 12 prospects miss time with injuries this season, and have had another handful of their top 20 have fantastically bad years (see: Betances, Dellin or Bichette, Jr., Dante).  I guess the one good thing about all of this is that at least Jesus Montero hasn’t gone over to Seattle and started becoming the next Miguel Cabrera, right?  But fear not, Yankee fans, because all hope is not lost.  The injured will return to full health at some point, and further down the prospect food chain there have been some strong performances in the Yankee system this year. … Click here to read the rest

Corban Joseph: The #2 Yankee Minor League Story of the Year?

Tyler Austin is the biggest story this year in the Yankee system, without much question. His breakout has been real and powerful, and he is a now a solid top-50 prospect in all of baseball. But I think that a number of stories are flying under the radar right now. The most under-the-radar-y, and in my book #2 most important story of the year, is what’s going on with Corban Joseph.

Corban Joseph has always been an intriguing prospect, but also a classic ‘tweener candidate. The Yankees picked him up out of high school in the 4th round out of the 2008 draft, a year known much more for Yankee failures than successes. Up until 2011, he put up fairly consistent .280/.360/.430 type numbers throughout the minor leagues. That line would have made him an interesting prospect to be an above-average major league 2nd baseman, but he always had question marks at the position. He was barely holding on to the position defensively, and still draws poor marks.… Click here to read the rest

John Sickels Top 20 Yankee Prospects

I’ve had my disagreements with John Sickels in the past, mostly over how he judges some prospects, but I’ve always had a lot of respect for his rankings. I love that he’s a tough grader: his grades seem pretty evenly spread across a normal bell curve, where most legitimate MLB prospects are in the C- to C+ range. This allows real differentiation when you’re ranking prospects, and it’s something that I’ve tried to recreate in my own system.

Sickels ranked the top-20 Yankee prospects this weekend. Here are his top-5 prospects:

1) Jesus Montero, C-DH, Grade A: What he did in the majors last year was not a fluke. It was at the high end of expectation, yes, and I wouldn’t expect him to hit like that over 500 plate appearances at age 22. He may need some adjustment time, but his bat is truly outstanding and he wasn’t just getting lucky. His glove isn’t very good and while he’s not a complete player in terms of contributing speed or defense, his hitting is so strong he still gets a Grade A from me.

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2012 Darkhorses in the Yankee System

A darkhorse in the minor leagues is a player who is talented, but flying under the radar. Most have yet to truly break out. I think that quite a few of these prospects are lurking deep down in the Yankee system. Here are the five which I think are most worth watching in 2012, in no particular order:

  • Angelo Gumbs – Mason Williams and Dante Bichette Jr. sucked a lot of the air out of the short-season leagues this season. That’s not a bad thing, since they are fantastic prospects, but it causes us to overlook a guy like Angelo Gumbs. His .264/.332/.406 batting line was not as flashy as Williams’, but it is a positive all the same. Gumbs didn’t turn 19 years old until this October, and was considered a raw project-type player when he was drafted a year and a half ago. That he held is own against competition much older and more experienced than he was is a big deal.
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Prospect Stock Watch: Hitters

In an earlier post this afternoon I profiled the performances of a few Yankee pitching prospects, and in this post, I intend to do the same with a few hitting under-the-radar (for the mainstream prospect follower) prospects.

Eduardo Nunez

It seems like Nunez has been around forever, and he has been in the Yankee system for a while, making his stateside debut at age 18 in 2005 for Staten Island.  The .785 OPS he posted as a teenager has yet to be replicated in his career, and until last season, he failed to even break .700.  In 2009, Nunez had a breakout season for Trenton with a .318/.344/.428 line and 9 home runs, good for a .772 OPS.  At age 23 in Scranton, Nunez has thus far put together a similar season.  While Nunez’s home run rate is down from 2009 (only 2 homers through 324 PA’s, compared to 9 in 523 last year), Nunez has shown improvement in his previously paltry walk rate. … Click here to read the rest