The Farm Report: Opening Week!

For the 2015 season, I will be doing the Farm Report as a weekly post reviewing how the Yankees’ affiliates fared in the previous week. It may take some time to get a good feel for the best way to do this, so please bear with me. Feel free to let me know what is working and what isn’t and I’ll try to adjust it as best I can. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders: The RailRiders are off to a 2-2 start to 2015, however, their opening day game gave them a lot to live up to this year. Scranton beat Syracuse 8-3, but the story was Ramon Flores. The young outfielder started the day’s scoring with a homer in the first inning, and finished the day as the third Scranton player to ever hit for the cycle. He ended up going 4-4 with three runs scored, two RBIs and a walk. As a team, Scranton had 16 hits, assisted by Kyle Roller, who went 3-5, and Robert Refsnyder, who went 2-4 with a RBI, a walk and a run scored.

Scranton dropped the next two games, but came back to split the four-game series with a win on Sunday. The RailRiders had a chance to see a little more history, as Tyler Austin fell just a triple shy of the cycle. Chase Whitley took the mound and threw a very strong five innings, spreading out four hits and walking two. He struck out five and got the win. Austin went 3-4 with a run scored, a double, a homer and two RBIs.

With some interesting prospects and a lot of questions about the big league club, it is going to be a very interesting year for the RailRiders. Roller, Austin and Flores are all off to a strong start, but Slade Heathcott, who had an exciting spring, has been slow to heat up now that the games count. He is 3-14 with one RBI and four Ks. Nick Rumbelow is doing well in relief, allowing just one hit, one run and one walk over three innings. He has struck out four.

Trenton Thunder: The Thunder had their Opening Day game postponed due to weather, but that didn’t slow down what is probably the most exciting lineup in the Yankees’ system right now. They beat the Erie SeaWolves 15-2 on Friday, thanks to fifteen hits and four errors on Erie. Everyone in the lineup got at least one hit and Jake Cave went 4-6 with two runs scored, a stolen base, a homer and two RBIs. Aaron Judge went 2-6 with three RBIs and a homer, while Dante Bichette and Cito Culver went 2-5, with Bichette going deep once.

Trenton showed that the offensive outburst wasn’t a fluke, when they beat Erie 9-3 on Saturday. Once again, the offense came from the whole lineup, with everyone getting a hit with the exception of Greg Bird. There was a lot of power, some of it from surprising places. Gary Sanchez had his first homer of the year, while Eric Jagielo clubbed two home runs. Cito Culver rounded it out with a three-run bomb of his own. The Thunder took their win streak to three, taking the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, but Erie managed to pull off a 3-2 win over Trenton to split the day.

Tampa Yankees: Tampa faced off against Lakeland to start off their 2015 campaign. They drew first blood, with Ericson Leonora scoring on a Danny Oh sac fly in the fifth. Angelo Gumbs singled in Matt Snyder to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Lakeland put together a bit of a rally in the bottom of the eighth, but the Yankees held them to one run and took the 2-1 win.

After four games, the Yankees are 2-2, having alternated victories. Snyder is off to a strong start, going 5-11 in four games with a homer, three walks, four RBIs and two Ks. Miguel Andujar has gone 6-16 with three doubles and two RBIs. On the mound, Rookie Davis put in a good showing, allowing just one run on three hits over six innings. He did not issue a walk and struck out five. Jonathan Holder picked up a win, throwing six scoreless innings and allowing just three hits and striking out four, while Brady Lail has already notched up nine Ks in just five innings this season. He has scattered four hits.

Charleston RiverDogs: The RiverDogs got off to a slow start, dropping their first two games of the season, but they rebounded and managed to split the four-game series with Lexington. Justin Kamplain threw six strong innings on Saturday, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out six. Joey Maher and Cale Coshow combined to keep the Legends scoreless over the last three innings and Charleston took the 2-0 win. They extended their win streak on Sunday, when they beat the Legends 4-2. Abiatal Avelino went 2-3 with a double, two runs scored, a walk, a RBI and three stolen bases. Jorge Mateo went 2-4 with a RBI and a run scored, picking up four stolen bases.

Chris Breen and Austin Aune have both started the season going 4-13. Breen has a double and two RBIs, while Aune has a triple. They have both struck out seven times. Avelino is 4-15 with three runs scored, three doubles, a RBI and six stolen bases. Jordan Montgomery appears to have the pitching performance of the week, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one unearned run on five hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters in that outing.