The Monthly Prospector: May Edition

For those of you who may have missed the April Edition, The Monthly Prospector represents a broad-strokes update with respect to TYA’s combined top-twenty prospects list. In addition to providing a glimpse into the present production of the team’s potential future, such an exercise also offers a wonderful excuse for snark...

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The IIATMS pre-draft top 30

1. C Gary Sanchez: My number one prospect before the season, Sanchez has done nothing to lose that ranking since. His home run rate is down from 2011, but he’s already eclipsed his total number of doubles from last year, and all of his triple slash line numbers are higher as well. Also drawing some good reviews on his defense, though still has a lot of work to do with the glove.

2. LHP Manny Banuelos: 2012 hasn’t been kind to Banuelos so far, as the guy just about everyone else considers the Yankees’ top prospect dealt with a bout of walking everyone and has already spent time on the disabled list with two separate injuries (lat and elbow). Pitched pretty well between the DL stints, however, do hopefully this rough start has just been a blip for Banuelos.

3. OF Mason Williams: Is marred in a slump at the moment that’s dragging his numbers down, but has more than held his own through most of the season at Single-A, and is just three extra base hits shy of his 2011 total in 98 fewer plate appearances as of this writing.…

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May Prospect of the Month: Mark Montgomery

Montgomery has been embarrassing lower level hitters since making his professional debut last season, but he was downright dominant last month. Pitching 14.1 innings over 11 appearances, Montgomery allowed just one run in that span on six hits three walks while striking out an eye-popping 26 opposing batters. That translates to a 0.64 ERA and 16.7 K/9! For the season as a whole, Montgomery has pitched to a 1.35 ERA and 1.21 FIP with a strikeout to walk ratio of 43:9 in his first 26.2 innings of High-A ball, making it easy to see why most observers expect Montgomery to be on the receiving end of a call up to Double-A sooner rather than later.

Obviously it’s Montgomery’s gaudy strikeout numbers that make you stand up and take notice of his performance to this point in his very young career, but Montgomery’s approach to racking up all of those punch outs is surprisingly simple. “I just try to go at hitters and get ahead with my fastball and then try to get that strikeout or bury them with my slider,” is how Montgomery described his mode of attack to me last week.…

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A closer look at Derek Jeter’s season

This season that hasn't automatically been a ground out to the shortstop.

Early in the season, when Derek Jeter was first getting off to his hot start, I was skeptical that his strong performance would last. At the time...

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Who’s Not: Minor League May Edition

J.R. Murphy (C, Tampa A+):
Despite recently being named to the Florida State League All-Star team, J.R. Murphy has not been playing like an All-Star in 2012.  He had a mediocre April, but he seems to have really bottomed out this May.  He hit .211/.299/.284, with just four doubles, a homer and four RBIs.  One positive sign was the fact that he drew twelve walks and struck out just ten times in May.  Murphy also had a great day on May 25th, when he went 5-5 with four runs scored, a double and a stolen base, but it did not seem to turn things around for the Tampa catcher who hasn’t had a multi-hit game since.

Brandon Laird (IF, Empire State AAA):
Brandon Laird is likely happy to see the end of May, as he struggled mightily.  After a nice April, he hit just .211/.283/.303 in May.  He did hit a homer, seven doubles and have ten RBIs, but he is going to need to turn things around if he doesn’t want to find himself stuck in Triple-A.…

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Who’s Hot: Minor League May Edition

Ramon Flores (OF, Tampa A+):
Flores had a pretty dismal April, but that is a distant memory after his performance this May.  The outfielder hit .315/.368/.419, reminding us why we had him ranked as the 10th best Yankees prospect prior to the start of the season.  He hit eight doubles, a triple and a homer, picking up seven RBIs and four stolen bases in the process.  He clearly needs to keep working on his power, but Flores is showing a lot of the hitting ability and technique that make him an exciting prospect.

Angelo Gumbs (IF, Charleston A):
Perhaps the only person to have a more impressive turnaround than Flores in May was Angelo Gumbs.  The Charleston infielder hit .306/.345/.532 with six doubles, two triples, five homers and 20 RBIs.  He stole fourteen bases and was only caught stealing twice.  In an already stocked RiverDogs lineup, Gumbs has managed to stand out after he almost always seemed to be in the midst of Charleston rallies in May.  …

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2012 Pre-Draft Top-20 Prospect Rankings

Its that time again. Three days from now, the Yankees will add 30-40 young baseball players into their organization. Before that happens, it is appropriate that we take stock of the Yankee farm system, so that we may better understand the Yankee draft and signing strategy.

Below are my Top-20 prospect rankings. I usually rank 30...

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