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). He's a big dude, standing at 6'7", and he flirts with triple-digits with his fastball - basically the ideal Yankees bullpen piece. He's a starter for the time being, but his future may lie in the bullpen.
Ian Clarkin, LHP 16.1 IP, 22 H, 1 HR, 10 BB, 10 K, 6.06 ERA
Heading into this season, Clarkin was one of the team's three or four best prospect ... and he missed the entire season with arm/elbow discomfort. His numbers in the AzFL aren't too important; what really matters is that he's healthy and, per every source I could find, his stuff appears to be intact.
Chaz Hebert, LHP 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 HR, 5 BB, 8 K, 1.00 ERA
The former 27th rounder burst onto the scene this season, posting a 2.55 ERA and 3.6 K/BB across three levels. He's a small-ish command/control type that could fit in at the back of the rotation.
Tyler Webb, LHP 7.2 IP, 9 H, 1 HR, 3 BB, 5 K, 8.22 ERA
Webb struggled a bit in his second trip through Triple-A, and missed time due to a tendon issue in his hand. He's another giant reliever at 6'8", who seems well-suited for middle relief.
Tyler Austin, 1B .273/.360/.455, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB, 44 AB
Austin earned himself a demotion back down to Trenton after struggling in Triple-A, and rounded into form before missing more time due to injury. He was also outrighted off of the 40-man roster. 2016 seems to be a make or break season for him.
Dustin Fowler, CF .300/.323/.433, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 30 AB
Fowler is on the slow and steady plan, playing at least half a season at every level thus far. He's an interesting prospect due to his well-rounded skill-set, with a bit of power, a bit of speed, and the ability to stick in center.
Gary Sanchez, C .328/.344/.705, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 2 SB, 61 AB
Sanchez exploded back onto the prospect scene this year with a very good all-around season, and should find his way back into the top-100 on most lists. He's currently leading the AzFL in home runs and SLG.
Tyler Wade, SS .206/.263/.265, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 34 AB
Recently rated one of the top-20 prospects in the deep Florida State League, Wade had an impressive season that saw him reach Double-A as a 20-year-old. He has struggled against older competition, but he profiles as a solid regular at SS or 2B.